Echeveria Imbricata or Echeveria Blue Rose is a popular and very old hybrid created in France in the late 1800’s. The Echeverias said to have been used to create Imbricata were Echeveria Glauca and Echeveria Metallica, though these may not be the Glauca and Metallica we know today.
An interesting fact about Echeveria Imbricata is that it has not been only made in France but elsewhere in the world by different breeders that used slightly different plants, though exactly which ones is not known. As a result, the Imbricatas around the world can somewhat vary from one another.
While Echeveria Imbricata is quite an easy plat to grow there are a few things to know about this succulent. The information below is based on growing thousands of Imbircatas at our nursery Fern Farm Plants.
Echeveria Imbricata is an evergreen succulent with a symmetrical rosette type arrangement of leaves. The colour is usually shades of blue-green in the warmer months but can change to kinds of purple, pink and orange in autumn, winter and early spring.
The leaves of Echeveria Imbricata are large and oval with a small pointy tip. They are also on the thinner side.
Echeveria Imbricata tends to be blue-green when its warm but if the plant is stressed either by cold, lack of root space or the sun the colours can change. In summer, it is very likely the whole plant will be just green, no matter what you do. The leaves have a thin dusting of the protective substance called the farina. Farina acts like a sunscreen and helps protect against sunburn.
Echeveria Imbricata grows on a low stalk, close to the ground. Individual plants can reach over 30cm in diameter and 15cm height in ideal conditions where the plant is repotted regularly or has a lot of space for the roots.
If Echeveria Glauca was used to create Imbricata, Imbricata has certainly inherited the prolific clumping habit. Once a rosette is mature, it will produce numerous offsets at the bottom of the rosette. Each offset will then go on to produce offsets of their own. Large and mature Imbricata can produce upwards of 8 pups every year.
Echeveria Imbricata flowers every spring. The blooms come up on a tall stalk where individual bell-shaped flowers open in a cascade. One rosette can send out 3 or more stalks out at once and the flowers can last for about a month.
Position & Care
Echeveria Imbricata is quite a hardy plant but can develop dark black spots in rainy and humid weather if the potting mix is not well draining enough. In the garden, this does not seem to be a problem though.
Echeveria Imbricata is also not frost tolerant but will survive outdoors if the temperature does not fall below 1C/33F. Mild frost should not kill this succulent but it is likely to cause burns on the foliage.
The best appearance is achieved when Echeveria Imbricata is grown in as much sun as possible autumn-spring, but care should be taken not to expose it to hot afternoon sun in summer heatwaves. During heatwaves of over 35C/95F it is likely Imbricata will get burn marks from strong UV rays and should be moved into shade/under 30% shade cloth for the afternoon.
While Echeveria Imbricata will grow in a filtered light position, it is unlikely to produce those attractive colours and the rosette will not be very compact. The chance of Imbricata rotting are also much higher in too much shade.
In pots, use succulent potting mix and for best results re-pot to a bigger pot every growing season. This will help the plant to grow to its full size and produce offsets.
Echeveria Imbricata can also be grown in the garden and looks particularly fantastic in rockeries, succulent gardens or at the edges. Plants in the ground are usually hardier than those grown in pots and do not develop marks as much as potted plants do. Mulch or pebbles can be used as well.
Potted plants should be watered only when the potting mix has dried up from previous watering. Do not spray the foliage. Properly wet the roots and then leave to dry. The frequency of watering will change based on the temperature and seasons. In summer watering may be needed a couple of times per week while in winter it can be a couple of times per month.
Echeveria Imbricata is not a suitable indoor plant, other than for over-wintering. The only time this plant will have a chance at surviving inside long term is if it’s grown under plant growing lights or in a super bright sunroom.
Echeveria Imbricata can be propagated by offsets and seeds. It is unlikely to propagate from leaves. By far the easiest way to propagate Imbricata is offsets. As for seeds, while possible it can prove difficult to raise this plant from seed.
Echeveria Imbricata offsets are not difficult to propagate at all. The main thing is to wait until they are big enough so they can be safely separated from the mother plant. Please read this article if you’d like to know more about offset propagation.
At the nursery I have tried numerous time to propagate Echeveria Imbricata from leaves but with no luck. The leaf usually either dries out or rots. Sometimes roots come through, but eventually the leaf dies without sprouting any new leaves.
Seeds may not be a great idea for a number of reasons. One, it can be hard to find a reliable seed seller that will actually sell you seed that has not been contaminated with pollen of other succulents/ sell seeds that are viable. Two germination of the seeds can be also be unreliable and three, it can take a very long time (years) for a seed to grow to a decent sized plant.
Whichever propagation method is used, Echeveria Imbricata should only be propagated in the growing season. This would be spring and summer, though do be careful young plants do not get burned in strong summer sun.
Echeveria Imbricata is susceptible to all the usual succulent pests, in particular the mealy bugs. Aphids can attack the flowers and young offsets, but mealy bugs can burrow deep between the leaves and also attack the root system.
As most Echeverias, Imbricata is not listed as toxic to humans, dogs, cats, other pets or livestock, though it is not recommended to consume this plant as food.
Where can I get it?
Echeveria Imbricata is quite widespread and should be stocked by garden centres, specialist succulent nurseries/ online nurseries.