Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Hi everybody, I'm new here.

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Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Mar 31, 2016 6:46 PM CST
My name is Margo, and I have been following this forum for a couple of years but have never posted. I have been growing semps since everybody just called them hens and chicks. About 8 years ago I found named varieties on the Internet, and now...well, I'm sure you guys know that story. Anyway, I got seriously hooked! I REALLY got obsessed with the Pacific's! I am zone 5 and seem to have trouble keeping some of them. I have bought Pacific Zoftic 5 times and have lost all but one. Also, the year before last we had a brutal winter, where it went down to 23 below, plus several other days where we went to 10 below. I had over 100 Pacific Showboat and lost every one. But, others I can't keep down. Do any of you have these and live in a cold area? I was wondering if some of them are less hardy. I would really love your feedback. Thanks.
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums Bee Lover
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tcstoehr
Apr 3, 2016 11:01 AM CST
Hi Margo. I'm somewhat of a noob myself but I will say a few things. Yes, some varieties are notoriously more difficult to keep than others. If Zoftic is keeps dying for you there's nothing wrong with forgetting about it. Why fight it? There's plenty others. I would also suggest not paying attention to names. Collecting all the 'Pacifics' may satisfy a collector's mentality but otherwise hasn't any value. Pick the ones you like and keep the ones that perform. But if names make you happy, then go for it but understand that names mean little.
23 degrees below zero... that is cold... colder than alot of us here have ever had to deal with. If covered in snow I would say no problem. They are supposed to be hardy to 30 below but I would grant that only in their native alpine habitat. If they get covered in a sheet of ice or bound up in water-saturated, frozen ground, I think that would be trouble. A covering of snow is actually quite protective and insulating. But bare ground exposed to -20 degrees... I just don't know.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - Apr 3, 2016 11:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 3, 2016 12:36 PM CST
Hi Tim. Thanks for the feedback. I got hooked on the Pacific's, when I got a few in a collection that I bought on ebay. They quickly became my favorites, so I wanted more.. and more. Rolling my eyes. It's not a matter of a name, it's a matter of having a favorite hybridizer. What grower doesn't? Hurray!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Apr 3, 2016 4:40 PM CST
Hi Margo, I was out of town when you first posted this, I looked at it on my phone but it isn't easy using my phone to reply (I'm not that good at typing on it) Glad you re-posted in the regular forum so people could answer you! In case you aren't aware the Pacific series were hybridized by Gary G ossett, and I too love his semps! Fortunately for me I live in Seattle and he was in Portland area when he hybridized them, both places have similar climates!
I think that what happens most often with plants that are in the degree of cold you're having, is that they get dried out and the snow keeps that from happening as well. My experience is that the larger ones and smoother ones have a bigger problem with any kind of negative environment - the smaller fuzzy ones seems to do so much better, and maybe that would be something to consider when deciding within the Pacific Series. Pacific Red Tide does great for me, it is medium sized and grows pretty fast! If you don't have that one, it might be one to get!
I'm pretty sure that the Pacific series of semps were first sold through SMG succulents, for several years there has been a different owner, but if you haven't gone to their website it is really worth checking out!
Don is the owner and he is really nice! http://www.smgsucculents.com/
Glad you joined in the conversation! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 3, 2016 7:44 PM CST
Hi Greg. Yes, I am well aware that Gary Gossett is the hybridizer of the Pacific series. If I didn't live so far from the PNW, I would have seriously considered stalking him to get the ones I couldn't get. I settled for cyberstalking. nodding From the best I could come up with he doesn't sell, and it appears that he doesn't hybridize semps anymore. I did find a Gary Gossett that hybridizes hostas in California, so I figure that's him, but I'm not sure. I didn't want hostas. The thing that made me think they aren't as hardy, is that I had gotten Pacific Showboat from SMG and had it for two or three years. It was doing great, and I had divided it a few times and had well over 100 plants of various sizes in at least 5 different planters. That hard winter I lost every plant in every planter. I loved that plant though, and now I can't get it. We don't usually have winters that bad. I have other big reds, but I loved the way the tips curved. I have Red Tide. No problem with that one. I've had it for years. I also have no problem with Devil's Food, Knight, Shadows, Purple Shadows, Greensleeves and Red Rose. I've had all of those for years, too. I have others that struggle sometimes, but I haven't lost them. Last year I was really lucky and SMG had some hard to find Pacifics. I got lucky and got Tightwad, Drama, Red Hawk, Clydesdale and a few others. Oops. Just realized how long this post is getting. Smiling
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Patty
Apr 3, 2016 9:22 PM CST
That's funny Greg - I just said the opposite - that I think the smooth leafed ones fare the best. The downy ones seemed to soak up the rain more and rot. Ah well - there are some varieties that are "problem children" no matter what. And it seems like they aren't often sold, maybe b/c they are difficult (Jolly Green Giant, Rubikon). I've had good luck keeping some of those potted and under cover, not much space for that at this house - but the hubster just got my greenhouse up! Thumbs up
Patty 🌺
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Patty
Apr 3, 2016 9:31 PM CST
And Tim, I too have thought about having a bed devoted to the Pacifics. Sounds satisfying in some OCD way, same as I wish I could plant all my semps in alphabetical order Whistling
Patty 🌺
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Apr 3, 2016 10:38 PM CST
Patty that is so funny I was thinking about that the other day - the alphabetizing semps - make them much easier to find! lol!!
Margo, oh good you already know about SMG! I know when you google 'semps' they are one that come up! Just wasn't sure if you knew that they were the nursery that introduced the pacific series!! So sorry you lost Showboat, it is one I don't have but the way you describe it, sounds really pretty! You know you just have to keep looking at the SMG website because the availability does change often!! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Patty
Apr 3, 2016 10:53 PM CST
It just so happens I have 2 Showboat Whistling one of them headed for Ohio Thumbs up
Patty 🌺
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 4, 2016 2:12 PM CST
Thanks Patty! You're the BEST!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Kate
NEKingdom of Vermont (Zone 3a)
[url=www.LabourofLoveLandscaping.co
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant and/or Seed Trader Sempervivums Tropicals Garden Ideas: Level 1
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LabourofLove
May 4, 2016 5:49 PM CST
I live in Zone 3 (or 4, depending on whose maps you're using). That's -30 to -40 most winters. The trick (as I see it) is to grow in the ground OR in enormous raised beds. Most of my beds are 4'x8'x16" deep. I've never had a loss due to the cold. Pots (unless they are sunk completely in the ground) freeze harder than the surrounding soil if they are left out on their own. Sinking them in the ground moderates the temps. People would not think so, but the plants can tell the difference.
Kate Kennedy Butler
Glover, Vermont

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Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
May 5, 2016 8:28 AM CST
Thanks Kate. I know another problem of mine is that the soil washes away (and blows away) from the top, leaving some of the roots exposed. Hopefully, I have fixed that with a top layer of stones. I have put some in the ground, and they are doing really good, but then the moles dig them up, and perinneal weeds are a problem. I'll get it someday. 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
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valleylynn
May 6, 2016 1:41 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds like you are getting the hang of growing semps Margo. Hurray!
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
May 8, 2016 1:31 AM CST
Actually Lynn, I've been growing semps for over 40 years. It's just growing so MANY of them I have problems with. Confused It was easy, when I just had a couple of strawberry jars and a couple of clumps in my perinneal beds. Hilarious!
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
May 8, 2016 7:43 AM CST

Moderator

I see.
Many years ago I had a veterinarian tell me the more goats you have the more odd things you will see/have happen. I believe that to be true about our semps also. Rolling my eyes.
[Last edited by valleylynn - May 9, 2016 3:27 PM (+)]
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