Growing Pains: One of natures miracles

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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: 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
Oct 15, 2010 5:45 PM CST
Dr. Houseleeks, and all others, I found this very interesting and thought you might like to see this lady's experience with decimation of semp beds by deer, squirrel or any other pesky critters. I was amazed at what happened.
http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/one-of-natures-sm...

S. 'Artist'

Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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LuvNature
Oct 15, 2010 6:36 PM CST
Lynn, thanks so much for sharing. Good to know information. I guess I finally have enough semps that the critters are checking them out. I've found several pulled up and had to replant them. I immediately put a DVD on fishing line and hung it up on a hanger...so far, so good.... Rolling on the floor laughing
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
Oct 15, 2010 9:02 PM CST
Charleen is sending me discs, I also found rubber snakes at Walmart for $1.00 each. That seems to be working for the last 2 days. I am going out every day and moving them around the beds. I will hang the discs as soon as they get here.
Bad birds, bad birds. Thumbs down

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Oct 15, 2010 9:51 PM CST
I knew from my experimentation with propagation techniques that semps can come back from the roots. The miracle of the story, IMHO, is that the deer did not pull the plants out by the roots when eating them.

I doubt that many people know that they (semps) can regenerate from the roots, as most people think the only way to propagate is from offsets or seed. Actually the plants will grow again from cuttings, given good enough care. What does not usually happen, however, is regeneration from just a leaf. If the leaf has a piece of root or significant piece of stem, then there is a chance. I now routinely take cuttings of plants I want or need to propagate. It usually works well and sometimes the process of propagating from division (cutting) of the rosette can trigger a lot of offsets as the rosette is healing. Division by cutting can also save a blooming rosette if caught early. You must, of course, provide good growing conditions for this to work. During stressful times, such as high heat, this can be difficult.
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
Oct 15, 2010 11:26 PM CST
Thank you doctor. Can you tell us the best way to make the cuttings? Is it similar to doing heuffs?

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Oct 16, 2010 8:14 PM CST
Yes, depending on the size of the plant, take cuttings vertically encompassing leaves, central stem and roots in each piece. A vertical division in half is a good way to go. Larger rosettes can be divided in half, then the halves divided again to get quarters. Let dry a couple of days, then plant. Keep on the dry side for a few weeks to let roots develop and the plant start to regenerate.

One thing to keep in mind is that when taking cuttings, expect the plant to use the current growing season to heal and regenerate. Then next growing season (year) you can divide the resulting chicks/rosettes or let grow as a clump. You can even take cuttings again in the second year if necessary, repeating the process.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Oct 16, 2010 8:25 PM CST
I forgot to mention that you can also take cuttings horizontally, but this is not nearly as reliably successful as vertical divisions. As noted above, roots with a bit of stem out of the ground will usually regenerate plants. A horizontal piece, such as stem and leaves, may root as well, but this is not as guaranteed or reliable as the vertical division method.

As far as rapid propagation goes, there are two little known methods (for home gardeners) that can be used to maximize propagation of plants. You don't need to wait for the plants to decide to produce offsets on their own schedules:

1) Take young offsets from the ends of healthy stolons as close to the base of the offset as possible. The healthy stolons tend to replace young chicks taken this way, and will often produce a cluster of offsets at the end of the stolon. Younger offsets take a littler longer to establish and size up, but you get a lot more of them this way.

2) Take vertical divisions as described above. In many cases the plant from the division may rapidly produce multiple offsets as it recovers from the division.
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
Oct 17, 2010 9:18 AM CST
Thank you Dr. Houseleeks. I did not know that. It will be fun to experiment with that prcedure next spring.
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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LuvNature
Oct 18, 2010 10:21 AM CST
I found something interesting today while cleaning out my semps with "Chick" pox. Rolling on the floor laughing
I had placed a piece of broken stolen, maybe an inch and a half long, vertical, in my soil sometime back during July or August.
Today while removing the hens and chicks, I found it with a chick growing on it. So, maybe we can break up our long stolons and produce more chicks??? Rolling my eyes.

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
Oct 18, 2010 10:26 AM CST
Oh boy, I see great things coming from all this experimenting.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Oct 18, 2010 10:09 PM CST
Linda, I have not tried that, but it sounds like a good thing to try. It's very similar to my recommendation of taking chicks from healthy stolons early and close to the chick. The stolen tip has the ability to grow more chicks, which you have demonstrated in a novel way. The advantage of keeping the stolon attached to the hen is that the hen can sustain the stolen while new chicks are developing.
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
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BlueFox
Jan 28, 2011 1:42 PM CST
And here I've been using the stolon as a way to hold the chick in place in a craft until it can root. I've been missing something. I'm definitely going to try the division method - how intriguing.

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