Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Sempervivum with winter damage

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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
Feb 25, 2016 7:53 AM CST

Moderator

Here are some sempervivum that seem to have trouble with our wet winters. And it may even be that it is a combination of summer drought and winter wet. The summer drought causes the bottom leaves to dry out and die. Then winter comes along, with months of rain and cold, causing the dead leaves to rot.
Crimsonette 2/21/2016
Thumb of 2016-02-25/valleylynn/381ad9

Hyacinth 2/21/2016
Thumb of 2016-02-25/valleylynn/e58186

Pacific Hep 2 21 2016 This one is not as bad, but still lost some of the rosettes. I completely lost 'Pacific Hep Sport'.
Thumb of 2016-02-25/valleylynn/c17d55

Which one have you had trouble with?
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
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tcstoehr
Feb 25, 2016 11:44 AM CST
If misery loves company this should be a popular thread! I think it's good to share not only our finest specimens but our most spectacular failures as well.

My 'Pacific Hep' looks similar to Lynn's. Both look like they will somehow manage to pull through.
Thumb of 2016-02-20/tcstoehr/511eaa

I had a small potted 'Jeramaia' that was left in the rain and rotted. It is now in the compost heap.

Here's 'Thayne' which doesn't really look so bad. There was another rosette that I pulled up to check for stem rot, which I didn't find. A needless sacrifice, but I will do this from time to time if I feel it will help me learn what's going on.

Thumb of 2016-02-25/tcstoehr/52e464

Here's a potted 'Raspberry Ice' which had a large over-congested area that seemed problematic. I decided to thin it out and as I did so alot of it seemed like it might be rotting. The main stem is now gone. I may have overdone things a bit. *Blush*

Thumb of 2016-02-25/tcstoehr/c3fe1d

The good news is it looks splendid from the other side.

Thumb of 2016-02-25/tcstoehr/305911

Lessons learned... don't leave potted semps out in the rain over the winter, and stay away from 'Pacific Hep*'.

All in all, I feel like I had very few actual issues. I think having a good eastern exposure for early morning sunshine has been a big help.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - Feb 25, 2016 11:46 AM (+)]
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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
Feb 25, 2016 5:41 PM CST

Moderator

Thank you for sharing your special needs semps Tim. Most just take a little work cleaning them up, to save the cultivar for demise.
Good work. Thumbs up
Ireland . (Zone 9a)
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Paddy
Feb 26, 2016 10:28 AM CST
Here's some of my casualties awaiting emergency surgery .
First up is Ciliosum Borisii .

Thumb of 2016-02-26/Paddy/e8373f

Next is Oddity




Thumb of 2016-02-26/Paddy/b780bb

Ohio Burgundy.

Thumb of 2016-02-26/Paddy/21398c
All these were growing in troughs with good drainage. This winter here we had continuous heavy rain , the highest on record . Next year I'll be building covers 😁
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
Feb 26, 2016 3:36 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, those look a lot like mine Paddy.
The amazing thing to me is that others didn't seem to be troubled by the identical growing conditions.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Mar 2, 2016 3:32 PM CST
valleylynn said: The amazing thing to me is that others didn't seem to be troubled by the identical growing conditions.

That's a good thing to show us which semps can are probably better acclimated to this particular kind of weather conditions. Maybe the tough ones in drier, hot conditions would be different semps?
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
Mar 2, 2016 9:36 PM CST

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Much of the time it is a problem with either the soil, not fast enough draining, our the leaves laying on the soil, no grit/gravel under the plants.

Then we come to the thought of dead leaves from summer drought turning to mush, causing the healthy leaves laying on them to start rotting.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Mar 2, 2016 10:40 PM CST
Wow Blinking
I have never been so grateful for a frozen winter until now!

Here is my worst looking casualty:
Thumb of 2016-03-03/dirtdorphins/fd1154
losta dead crispy leaves to clean up and rosettes to spread around, but really it's okay--no rot.
Interestingly, this one is not in a particularly well draining soil and it was covered with overburden of leaves and snow-smashed dying neighbor plants and buried under pretty deep snow all winter on top of the overburden. We got a big dump early and it never melted much and then we just kept getting more.

Here is one of my ciliosums
Thumb of 2016-03-03/dirtdorphins/7c7290
it is actually planted in this fairly shallow geode and it has no drain hole--the rock was tipped so that it sloped to drain down this crack you see in front there, but the rock fell backward at some point. It is looking a little rough here, after all the snow melt and I had just removed the leaf mess to see it for the first time. It has dried out now and is looking better but I don't have another pic.

I do have a difficult time in the summer (with wicked hot and sun and no water if that helps any one to feel any better)

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
Mar 2, 2016 11:44 PM CST

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You are just showing us how much semps love a real winter. Great examples Dirt.
All those dead leaves are a result of your hot/dry summer. But without all the winter/spring rain we get in the PNW they stay happy and healthy. Thumbs up
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 1, 2016 9:14 AM CST
This thread is really great. I see a couple of you had trouble with Pacific Hep. That was kind of what I was asking on the thread I posted, but nobody answered. I love the Pacifics, but have had trouble with a few of them. If everybody else has problems with them, too, I guess it's not worth tracking them down again. But, you know how it is once you know and love them. Lovey dubby
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 1, 2016 9:25 AM CST

Moderator

Hi ravenpickers. I am so sorry I didn't answer your post. I don't know how I missed it.
I have problems every year with 'Pacific Hep', but I love it's spring and summer colors so much I keep struggling with it. It never seems to die out completely, and comes back on it's own.
What conditions have you grown it in? What growing zone are you in? And what growing medium are you using. It helps to know the specific of your growing conditions, maybe we can figure a way to have them grow for you. Hurray!
Do you grow other semps?
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 1, 2016 12:00 PM CST
I am in zone 5, but the winter before last was really bad. We had several nights, and even days, that were below zero. One night we even went down to 23 below. Brrrrrr!!! I experiment with mediums, since my garden soil here is VERY clay, so its tough to mix. I try to stay with 50/50 potting mix and garden soil. I even bought top soil to mix in with the potting soil, but it seems the local topsoil is mostly clay, too. My husband and I moved here (Ohio) eight years ago from South Jersey. They don't call Jersey the Garden State for nothing. It was MUCH easier to garden there. The soil was a sandy loam and the temps are much milder. Anyway, I got carried away, when I first found named varieties on the internet. I was going to open a greenhouse, but that fell through. In the anticipation of that, I was buying all the varieties of semps I could get my hands on. I soon found out that one person can have a really hard time managing the 300 plus or minus varieties that I had, plus my other gardens. Between being a dummy, working full time and 2 nasty winters, I am down to somewhere between 125 and 150 varieties of semps, including some heuffeliis and jovibarbas. I have several varieties of the Pacifics that are VERY prolific! I have Pacific Knight, Pacific Devil's Food, Pacific Greensleeves, Pacific Red Rose and Pacific Red Tide all over the place. I have trouble keeping those from crowding out, but I struggle with others. I was on a roll with the Pacifics and was trying to get them all, so I have quite a few. Some hang on, but others like Pacific Zoftic, Dawn, Showboat, Daemon, Teddy, Mauve and Hepsport I can't keep. I have replaced Zoftic 5 times and have lost all but one over the years. That's why I was wondering if they were just not quite as hardy as most semps. I still do want those ones but, if I ever get them back, I think I'm going to build a cold frame for the winter. Also, I had problems with some of them heaving over the winter. A big problem is wind blowing the soil away, because we live on top of a hill. We just went and picked up 3/4 ton of grit, so everybody is getting stoned. Hilarious! Anyway, that is most of my story, One of these days I'll get a list together.
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Patty
Apr 1, 2016 11:09 PM CST
Hi Margo Welcome! You're right - there are some varieties that are just not as hardy as others - at least in our PNW rain. Jolly Green Giant, Rubikon, Moss Rose and Pacific Hepsport to name a few. And the downy ones don't hold up as well either. It's frustrating when they don't thrive but on the other hand there are more varieties out there than I can possibly grow so I move on to ones that do well in our climate. Thumbs up
Patty 🌺
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 2, 2016 12:45 PM CST

Moderator

Margo, I don't think it is the cold getting your semps. It sounds more like the soil/soil mix you are using.
Semps are hard to keep happy in a forest product/peat type mix. It might work if you dig ups the area of clay soil and add lots of crushed rock, the sharp edged type, not rounded like pea gravel. This will greatly improve your clay soil and make it drain faster. To this process you can add some of the organic material mixing everything really well for about 6" to 12" deep. That is for growing in the ground.
For container growing semps I would use a good potting mix and add lots of chicken grit and some sharp sand, not fine sand. Or if you can get sandy loam delivered mix it about 1/3 and 1/3 chicken grit and 1/3 with the high quality potting mix, not potting soil.

I'm not sure if you are wanting information for in ground or in pots information?
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 2, 2016 1:30 PM CST
Thanks Lynn, I had never heard of mixing chicken grit. I don't mean to be stupid, but do you mean the chicken grit that chickens actually eat? I hope they sell it in bulk, because I need A LOT. I have already done about half, so those ones are just going to have to live with it. Smiling Pun intended. When I said I got 3/4 tonight of grit, that's what the aggregate supply calls really small stones, but they are smooth, and I bought it to top dress. I took a picture of it with Koko Flanel.


Thumb of 2016-04-02/ravenpickers/c8026e

Thanks, Patty. I do have plenty of others, but l'm probably still going give those maybe one more chance. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 2, 2016 1:40 PM CST
I forgot this was a nasty winter damage thread, so here's my nasty winter damage pic of Feuerstein.
Thumb of 2016-04-02/ravenpickers/dc0e6d

Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Patty
Apr 2, 2016 5:11 PM CST
That's how a lot of mine looked after a winter in Oregon. Since this area of Washington gets so much more rain, I covered the beds with plastic and they came thru looking way better than they did in Oregon! Hurray! Although I did leave the most difficult ones behind Whistling
Patty 🌺
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 2, 2016 6:04 PM CST

Moderator

I also had a few colonies this year that look like your above photo Margo. I'm trying to make up my mind on whether or not to keep them. Most years they have come through with no damage. This year was particularly difficult with a lot more rain than usual.
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 2, 2016 6:09 PM CST
I never throw them out. Everybody gets a chance. I tried tossing them once, and I could hear them screaming from the trash can. Grumbling
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 2, 2016 7:26 PM CST

Moderator

I found some that I tossed out last year. They are growing on a pile of gravel mixed with dirt. Surprised me.
I usually give them all away, the ones I don't want to keep.

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