Growing Pains: brown leaves on hen and chics

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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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Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
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taynors
Jun 3, 2011 8:06 PM CST
Hi
i just recieved a bunch of hen and chic no name varietys. i know they are the floret kind with a tip of read with green
but i divided them up and well the leaves are turning brown ? and maybe rotting out ? smooshy like
the woman who gave them to me , i used the same soil as hers that came with the plants
i didn't water them
could they be getting to much sun ?
this is when they were looking so great ! but then 7 day later ... ??? they turned brown
i feel so bad. when i got them they are so beautiful Thumb of 2011-06-04/taynors/a737c5
Thumb of 2011-06-04/taynors/cfec84
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !
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
Jun 3, 2011 9:06 PM CST
Sue, Dr. Houseleeks should be with you in the next 24 hrs. Looks like the patient will be okay until then.
Please let him know where you live, as in weather conditions.
What kind of soil.
Are the brown leaves dry and crispy.
Are they on the bottom side of the rosettte?

I see black plastic in one of your containers. That could be a problem as it will not let your soil drain fast enough.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 3, 2011 9:13 PM CST
thanks
sue
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 3, 2011 10:20 PM CST
Sue, Good drainage is important.

Can you post a pic of what they look like now? The scientific term "smooshy" suggests perhaps some rotting going on, but dry, crispy leaves (thanks Lynn!) leaves indicates the opposite problem from rot, so I really do need a pic or tow.

1) if they are in plastic, remove immediately.

2) expose plants to dry shade. Dig them up if they are smooshy and expose roots to the air. Put on an old towel, off of the ground, in a shady spot that gets good air flow but no hot sun. They will do fine for weeks without dirt on the roots, as long as they are kept cool and dry. If rot has set in, you may lose some. See my thread on dealing with rot.

Waiting to see some pics. BTW, those look like a nice tectorum.

I tip my hat to you.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 4, 2011 5:04 PM CST
oh gosh they are in plastic flats ! ack. ! yes they are dry crispy
i will put in shade and i can't get pics due to my media card died on me :(
ok i will do that .
i will put them back in the GH on the tables
thanks
sue
i will try and get pics
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 4, 2011 10:54 PM CST
Ok Sue, take a deep breath and calm down! Blinking

Plastic flats are OK, as long as the flats have plenty of drainage holes. Semps can fry in bright hot sun. Hard to say what might be going on. Where is Hillbilly Heaven? (need to know your climate and recent weather)

Shade during the hottest part of the day, good drainage (don't put them in plastic bags). If they are going crispy on you and do have good drainage, then mist them (evening just before dark) with a water bottle sprayer is the best advice I can give until I can see them. Don't let them sit in water when you mist them. Get them out of full sun until you know what is going on.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 5, 2011 7:19 AM CST
ok i am calm LOL a good glass of wine last night helped
well i had them in flats on some tables off the ground
got morning sun with afternoon shade . around 4 hrs of sun at most ?
i put them in with t he regular soil that they came with which was sandy black stuff ? but lots of ants so i used bark mulch to help line the flats
maybe that was to rich for them the composted bark mulch ? i got lost if crappy rocky clay soil if that would help ?
Urbana , ohio
zone 5 b
pretty hot mid 90's and humid the last 5 days . but no rain
last night was rain but they are in the GH at present time
sure wish my camera was working to give you pics Thumbs down it just won't download and the media card i use is on the blink
but i will get a new one on monday
or i may try my iphoto booth and see if that would work ?
they just seem to be shriveling up they are half the size they were
thanks for all your help
sue
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 5, 2011 7:40 AM CST
ok lets give it a try and i hope the pics is ok
Thumb of 2011-06-05/taynors/f07bcc
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 5, 2011 7:41 AM CST
the outer leaves are mostly dry and crispy , to hot sun ?
and the bottome leaves are mushy . to much moisture ?
the ones i dumped on the back table in my GH look great !! Rolling on the floor laughing
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 5, 2011 10:23 PM CST
The pic shows rot. The leaves turn soft, then eventually dry out.

The solution to saving your plants is to immediately dry them. Dig them out of the soil, then gently remove as much soil as possible so that you are exposing the roots to the air. It would not hurt them to dunk in some cool water a few times to remove as much dirt as possible, but if you do this, the plants need to drain on dry towels so that the extra water is gone within about an hour.

Once the plant has dried for a few hours, carefully pull off all of the leaves that show signs of rot. Hopefully, the central stem of the rosette will not show any sign of rot. At which point, let the rosette dry for a few days out of the hot sun(breezy shade is ideal), a week is certainly OK. Then plant in dry medium with good drainage and do NOT water for several weeks - misting lightly is OK once a day or every couple of days. Watch closely. You want to be able to distinguish between rot and the plant shriveling for lack of water. Semps can survive for months without being watered, as long as it is not too hot. Paradoxically, during hot periods, they are sensitive to too much water, especially if there is any physical damage to the plant.

Good luck and let us know how they do for you.

IF the stem shows sign of rot and you need to keep the plant, you will need to do surgery. Generally speaking, rot on the stem will spread and kill the plant. Cut out any sign of rot on the stem, once you have removed all rotting leaves. Dusting the stem lightly with powdered sulfur will help prevent any infections of the wound, but should not matter too much if you dry the cuts before planting.

Action is needed promptly to stop rot. Mostly likely the plants sustained some sort of damage during the handling or moving, then were exposed to too much water/moisture. The heat does not help. Your zone and growing conditions are generally Ok for Semps.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jun 6, 2011 7:11 AM CST
i think when i put them in the new flats, i didn't let them callous over and that is how they got rot ?
thanks so much
sue
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jun 6, 2011 12:34 PM CST
You are welcome. They are sturdy plants and should survive once the rot is under control.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jul 6, 2011 3:43 PM CST
twitcher thanks again for all your help. i think i have the rot under control .
smiles always
sue
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jul 6, 2011 3:45 PM CST
they are still some in ball form ? is this normal or did i kill them ?
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Jul 6, 2011 6:04 PM CST
When they curl up, that usually means that they are too dry, which is what you want. If they are planted in the ground or a pot, they should open up shortly or start to grow new leaves.

Some types will curl up as winter and cold weather approaches, but that is not likely in July. Smiling

I'm glad you beat the rot.

Take care.
Hillbilly Heaven
life with out garlic just plain sti
Charter ATP Member Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Dog Lover Tropicals Seed Starter
Region: Ohio Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hostas Farmer Ferns
Image
taynors
Jul 6, 2011 8:17 PM CST
thanks
smiles
sue
Life without garlic , just plain stinks !

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