Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Newbie advice thread

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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Nov 10, 2014 8:40 AM CST
I posted in the Chat and Photos thread but felt it might be better, since I am such a novice, to ask my many questions in a separate thread, and maybe other newbies to these plants can come here too.

I'd been given a mixed container of semps and various sedums, some hardy and some not, so I've been dividing it up and trying to identify what's what and who needs what etc.

One clump of semps I'd originally put in the ground outside but then decided it needed to be divided since it was all clumped up and had been hanging over the edge of the original container, looking for a home for its many babies.

I lifted and divided it, and here's that photo:
Thumb of 2014-11-10/kylaluaz/9d9ecc

Lynn had some good advice:
valleylynn said:Kyla thank you for the photos.
Good news, these are not Jovis, they are sempervivum, so it will be okay to plant them now. Jovibarba heuffelii is difficult to divide this time of year, and would be prone to rot dividing them right now.

First clean all dead leaves from them, then place the tiny rosetted in containers with dry potting mix with some sand added. Just lay them on top of the mix. Put the containers in a protected area outside where they won't get rain. You want to keep them on the dry side until they start making new white roots.
These plants don't do well indoors, they need the winter dormancy to stay happy and healthy.


So, now I've done that step of cleaning off the dead leaves:

Thumb of 2014-11-10/kylaluaz/980f31 Thumb of 2014-11-10/kylaluaz/83f3be

I'm gathering I need to separate all the littles from the bigs, even the ones that are still hanging on?

And I guess it's okay to lay the teeny ones in a large-ish container? (I don't have that many small ones haha.)

Also, they've been inside, drying, where it's pretty warm. Outside, it's going to be warmish for a few more days and then the temps are going to plunge in the night, around the end of the week. I wonder if the sudden shift will be a shock. I also would like to know if I might just moisten the potting mix a bit before I lay the starts on it. How long can they go with no moisture at all?

See? Many questions! so maybe best not to clog up the other thread with all this. Green Grin!

And, Thank You!

Edit: @valleylynn and @dave, not sure why that quote showed up twice?
[Last edited by valleylynn - Nov 10, 2014 12:25 PM (+)]
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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
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valleylynn
Nov 10, 2014 12:37 PM CST

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You did a great job of cleaning them up Kyla.
I wouldn't separate the very tiny ones, that have not yet formed rosette shape. The others can be separated if you want, or left attached. They can go quite awhile with no moisture, like weeks. Since cold weather is coming. just mist the top of the soil, plant and top dress with chicken grit. You don't want the potting mix to be wet, the combination of soggy soil and cold is what can harm them. They will be better off out doors, the drop in temperature will not harm them. You can place them in a protected area so they don't get excess amounts of rain. Freezing and snow will not bother them.

I fixed your above post, I found that the quote had been placed twice. I deleted one of them.

I look forward to seeing your little ones this spring. It will be interesting to see what they look like then. Hurray!
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Nov 11, 2014 10:00 AM CST
I thought I'd post a picture of the tray of them. They are sitting on shelves outside, next to the shed, and mostly protected from rain unless it blows hard. This also inspired me to clean up and organize my potting area.

Not the most exciting picture, but if I did anything wrong I can still fix it!

I don't have a mister; the soil was moist out of the bag and once the surface (semps already there) had dried (it's kind of low humidity right now) I sprinkled with my fingers! Not real even but definitely not too much.

I also do not have chicken grit. I mixed some pea gravel in with the potting mix; it has sand mixed with it but the gravel pieces are a little large. Like quarter of an inch, some of them. I may put a teeny bit between the rosettes if I can manage it.
Thumb of 2014-11-11/kylaluaz/303a56

There are drainage holes in that tray. And coffee filters to keep the mix from running out.

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
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valleylynn
Nov 11, 2014 10:07 AM CST

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Looks good Kyla. That was a great idea to add the sand and pea gravel, that will provide for fast drainage.
You can also use newspaper to line a tray, to hold the soil in. By the time the newspaper breaks down the plants are rooted.
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Nov 11, 2014 10:09 AM CST
Hurray! Hurray! You have some nice chicks there!
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Nov 11, 2014 11:16 AM CST
Thanks! Er, nothing to drain though. LOL! I have SUCH a hard time not watering something. But! I am following wiser voices so chances are better this will work. And thanks for the tip about newspaper, too! Coffee filters seem neater, but I do have a bag or two of old newspapers left from when I made the new lasagna beds this year.

Julia, yes, that original container has proven to have been full of riches. From this one clump, that populates that whole tray, there were also two larger rosettes that I did put back into the garden (but I didn't water them in!) And there is one even larger one, that has a darker blush, that I think is a different plant. And, oh, lots of other stuff. Green Grin!
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
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valleylynn
Nov 11, 2014 12:11 PM CST

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And the newspaper is cheaper. Big Grin
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
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kylaluaz
Nov 11, 2014 12:12 PM CST
True! nodding
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
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valleylynn
Dec 10, 2014 4:42 PM CST

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Kyla, how are those new semps doing?
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Dec 10, 2014 5:19 PM CST
They are hanging in! And thanks for asking. The tray has gotten soaked a couple times, and also frozen, but so far even the tiniest rosettes seem to still be alive (still have some green) so I believe all of them are deep in their winter sleep.

Green Grin!
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
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valleylynn
Dec 10, 2014 5:46 PM CST

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Winter sleep is a good thing. Glad to hear they are doing well. Sad
Mine had started into winter sleep, only to wake up to warming temps and lots of rain. I may lose some this winter if the cold weather doesn't arrive.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Dec 10, 2014 5:51 PM CST
Hmm. Well, it's hard to tell how much rain is too much, at least for me. We've not gotten PNW levels of rain, nor are freezing temps constant, even lows at night are hovering around the freeze mark.

So, everybody out there looks purty good, considerin.

Green Grin!
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
Dec 10, 2014 6:00 PM CST

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Good to hear. Smiling
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Apr 28, 2015 6:54 AM CST
I'm reviving this thread to ask some beginner questions about offshoots (I think that's the right term?)

I understand what happens with rollers but I have two semps growing in the garden, one is Green Wheel and the other is NOID -- both are producing offshoots and neither seems to have enough space around it for the offshoots to, er, shoot off? (or root in next to the mother plant, I guess....)

I'm posting a picture of each to ask what's the best thing to do here? Should I try to create more space around them? (Particularly the Green Wheel). Should I wait til the offshoots are a decent size and snip them off to root elsewhere? Does it matter? Whistling Hilarious!

Well, what would you do?
Thumb of 2015-04-28/kylaluaz/7a6206 Thumb of 2015-04-28/kylaluaz/629ef3

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, 2015 9:33 AM CST

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'Green Wheel' looks to have plenty of room for the offsets to root. The NOID is needing a bit more room. Maybe you could remove the rocks on the right and left of the colony? When you want to plant some of the offsets somewhere else wait until the offset/offsets have already rooted into the ground. Cut the stolon/stem and gently remove the offset, roots and all to the new location.
Nice photo Kyla. Thumbs up
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Apr 28, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Thanks much, Lynn! The Green Wheel has room cause I shoved that creeping jenny off it to get the photograph. I'll trim it a bit and watch it, and I'll do the rock movage around the NOID. Wait til they're rooted. *check*

Thumbs up Green Grin! 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
Apr 28, 2015 4:53 PM CST

Moderator

I look forward to updated photos as they increase in colony size. What a wonderful site they are and will be. Thumbs up
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Apr 28, 2015 4:58 PM CST
Here's a shot of that whole small bed. Too dark really in this photo but you can get just a hint of the little space:

Thumb of 2015-04-28/kylaluaz/71a667

Everything is doing really well there! I'll try to get a better shot with some better light if I can.

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, 2015 6:12 PM CST

Moderator

Love they way you tucked in little treasures amongst the rocks. Great idea. Thumbs up
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Apr 29, 2015 7:26 AM CST
Well, here's a related but separate newbie question, though this time I already did the deed.

My Lonestar was making offsets and the rosette producing them was far too close to the edge of the basket I'd planted it in:
Thumb of 2015-04-29/kylaluaz/e4331c

One offset was trying to grow into the basket side. So I lifted the whole thing, rosette and offsets, and repotted. Other, larger Lonestar rosettes remain in the basket. Which isn't great but okay for now I guess!

Here's the repotted rosette:
Thumb of 2015-04-29/kylaluaz/c65a8a

Here it is in position, in the border of this bed where other potted semps are doing really well:
Thumb of 2015-04-29/kylaluaz/b711e3 (it's the pot on the farthest right.)

I'll know better in the future than to plant like I did in that basket! Live and learn. I hope the move didn't disturb the development of the offsets! but letting them squoosh into that basket just wasn't tolerable. Sticking tongue out

[Last edited by kylaluaz - Apr 29, 2015 7:28 AM (+)]
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