Growing Pains: My tall Spanish Dancer

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Growing Pains

By valleylynn
January 1, 2010

A plant clinic for Sempervivum, Jovibarba and J. heuffelii. This is a companion article for the Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum.

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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Sep 12, 2010 4:36 AM CST
Ha, bet you thought I got way off track here, didn't you?

I have several 'Spanish Dancers' semps, but one of them is getting really, really tall. It's probably 4" tall and 3" diameter. It doesn't appear to be coning though. Any idea what's causing this? (Oops, please ignore all the dirt the rain has splashed on it.)

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Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
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Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 12, 2010 6:58 AM CST
Chris, Well, on this one, it will be mostly speculation. We know so little about why these plants do the things they do, because there has not been a lot of scientific research into the biology of them.

I have seen a number of types of sempervivum do this. A rosette, for some reason, starts to grow tall, but does not form the bloom crown. In every case I have seen so far, the rosette involved bloomed in the next growing season. What I think is going on here is that the plant has matured enough to start the blooming process, but other cues in the environment are inhibiting the flowering because the growing season would not be long enough to allow the flowers to form and seed to mature.

So I think you were correct in suspecting blooming, but its just been delayed a bit. Please make of note of this plant's location and let us know if it blooms next spring.

I had a number of S. 'Green Gable' in a trade a couple of years back that arrive and all were tall. I thought, at that point, that this was a unique feature of that variety. ((gables on roofs, you know!)). Of course, they all went on to bloom without making chicks, so I lost that variety from my collection before it even got started. I have some S. 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' from a spring trade this year that are also tall. I'm watching them closely, hoping to get some offsets, before they bloom as well.

I tip my hat to you.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Sep 12, 2010 2:15 PM CST
Thanks, I'll keep an eye on it and report next Spring! At least I have a few of these so if this one does bloom and die I'll still have some more.
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 12, 2010 3:26 PM CST
It is through observing differences like this, then following developments objectively, that helps us advance knowledge in the hobby.

Thank you!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 12, 2010 7:03 PM CST
I did wonder about your topic title Chris, thought maybe you made a trip to Spain. Rolling on the floor laughing
My S. 'Purdy's Big Red' did that same thing, then all of a sudden it started producing offsets galore. I was just outside looking at her, she still has some of the forty some offsets from earlier this summer and she is all of a sudden sending more chicks out from between her upper leaves. She is one very big producing hen. I'll post her picture over in the Semp thread.
Oh Chris, I love the form of your Spanish Dancer's limbs. Big Grin

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