Growing Pains: Help h. 'Xanthoheuff' live.

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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: cynthia wilhoite
indianapolis in Zone 5
plant geek, soulesgarden.com
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
m1ll3r
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
Twit, i have this plant is there any thing i can do to help it live
heuff. 'Xanthoheuff'

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
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
Do you have a photo you can post of the problem h. 'Xanthoheuff' when you start the new thread?

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
Well, Cynthia, I just don't know for sure what to do, but I'll be happy to share my thinking. The clump that died for me started to look sickly last year during the spring rains, so I put it on the back porch where it would get bright light and I could control watering. I think I let it get a bit too dry as I noticed the outer leaves on the rosettes were drying up in mid summer, so put it back with the other semps in my collection. It seemed to do OK, but did not make it through the winter. Maybe I stressed it too much. I noticed a number of other heuffelii this year seems really dried out as well. We did not have consistent snow cover this year.

The other clump remained out in the yard all year and did fine. It is in a taller pot than the clump that died. A 1 gal nursery pot. I'm working on the assumption that heuffelii are a bit more water sensitive than other semps and jovis. By that I mean they are less able to take insufficient water or too much water. They need a happy balance between the extremes more than their relative types. I think heuffelii in general can handle more water than many semps, but more easily dry out than most semps. Xanthoheuff, however is noted for being sensitive to too much water.

Based on this idea, last year I started planting some of my heuffelli as under-plants to some of my larger potted small fruits plants. They are in really large pots, 18"-24" and up across. the small fruit grows out of the middle and the heuffelii are in a ring around the small fruit, half-way between the fruit tree and the edge of the pot. So far, so good.

Here is what I would do.

1) Plan your medium carefully. Use more porous silica in the mix, use some fine pine bark (not powdered, but 1/4"-1/2" size) to help keep a more balanced water level.

2) Use a deeper pot if planting in pots. If in the ground, plant on the side of a slope, not at the top nor at the bottom.

3) If dividing, keep at least two, preferably 3 or more rosettes together in each divided clump. Be sure to carefully dry (at least a week) all wounded areas before planting.

Just give a little bit better conditions than maybe the rest of you plants get and it should do fine.

Xanthoheuff is an older named heuffelii that has been around for a long time. If I remember correctly, it was the first one to demonstrate yellow coloring. That survival record implies that its not too difficult to grow. Lynn's beautiful yellow picture shows a lot more yellow on the plant than I have seen mine produce.

Also, if you are looking for yellow semps, then S. "Gazelle" should be on your list. It does a wonderfully colorful spring display featuring pale yellow, almost white, coloration and is an easy semp to grow. Just not as prolific as many others. I posted a pic on the "Your top 5" discussion.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
Chris, 'Mars' is my most dark heuffelii, but there are times when it gets a little lighter. That's when my 'Purple Haze" is pretty dark and can be darker than Mars at that time.

I'm glad you like it.
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
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
You sent me 2 and they're both doing great. The colors are really dramatic right now - beautiful!
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
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
Apr 28, 2011 10:20 AM CST
Based on the suggestions above, I shouldn't be able to grow any heuffelii! I'm so mean to all my plants, giving them very little water at any time, and putting them in the most horrible soil with no nutrition, but the key I think, is excellent fast drainage. If you have soil like mine which is awful, sandy, lots of rocks, then they should be fine. Of course, I can pretty much count on good snow cover, in fact, I woke up to another inch (where's the emoticon for 'groan!') Oh boy.

On a good note, and I'm glad that I did have great survival rates, I've got tons of orders for the heuffelii, even though they are seed grown, so not named varieties. I think people are finally taking notice of them, and want to try them, and this is a cheap (relatively speaking) way of doing it. Hurray!

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Apr 28, 2011 2:13 PM CST
So glad you're keeping the snow cover all to yourself, especially this time of the year. Rolling my eyes. We appreciate your sacrifice for others. Crying
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
Apr 28, 2011 2:37 PM CST
It just proves what a good heart Jacki has that she would do that for us. Group hug
Name: cynthia wilhoite
indianapolis in Zone 5
plant geek, soulesgarden.com
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
m1ll3r
May 3, 2011 7:00 AM CST
thank you Twit, as soon as i can i will try your idea. right now i pulled them out of their pots and am trying to dry them under lights as we have had one sunny day in the last 18. I think maybe a dryer mix would help
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
Image
BlueFox
May 3, 2011 2:39 PM CST
Cynthia, it's never too late to err on the side of caution Rolling my eyes. Even though I don't seem to have the issue of rotting with the heuffelii, I do have it with Sempervivum. Who knew?

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
May 3, 2011 6:20 PM CST
I had my J. h. xanthoheuff for 2 years before I lost the one pot of them.

I try to practice what I call "benign neglect" which basically means neglect them (my plants) until they need something. In other words, don't fuss too much with them. My grandmother loved plants to death. She would over water, move them 4 or 5 times in a growing season, etc and always had trouble keeping things growing OK because she fussed over them too much. I got my love of plants from her, but like to think I learned to leave them alone unless necessary from her as well.
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
Image
valleylynn
May 3, 2011 7:09 PM CST
I had to move my J. h. 'Xanthoheuff a couple of weeks ago. It was being over run by it's bigger neighbors. Sure hope this doesn't set it back, it was doing so good. At least it should have plenty of time to adjust to it's new home before harsher weather gets here.

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