Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Soil condition = semp color?

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Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
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TerriStanley
Apr 22, 2016 3:26 AM CST
In some of the reading and research I've done, I've seen some semp folks claiming that soil condition has a lot to do with their semps color.
I would like to know more about this.
What must one do to the soil to obtain maximum color?
Sunset zone 36
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Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
Terristanley.blogspot.com
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TerriStanley
Apr 22, 2016 3:13 PM CST
I'm setting up a few tests. Different soil recipes and also a few tests with different soil amendments.
I know I can have 2 different pots of the same semp (siblings), and they can look different.
One being repotted a few months before the other.
I want to get to the bottom of this and of course I want the absolute best soil mix for my sempies!


Sunset zone 36
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
Apr 23, 2016 6:52 AM CST

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Lots of things can affect the way semps look - soil, amount of light, moisture & temperature. I have the same semps in containers and different parts of the yard and they look completely different, even though many of them have the same soil. It's a good idea to experiment and find out what works best for you.
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Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 23, 2016 11:35 PM CST
I see this all the time, too. They are are quirky little critters. I tend to let mine get overgrown in containers. Some, in the sun too much will literally ball up, turn red and go dormant. I have taken these, separated and repotted them, and literally within minutes they will start to open up and change color. Also, I have a NOID that my sister and I have passed back and forth for the last 25 years. It only likes the sides of strawberry jars. It doesn't like the top and doesn't like pots. Go figure.

I totally agree that there are alot of different factors. Just watch them change color and open up after a summer rain. I don't think there is a pat answer, because, sad but true, different varieties have different preferences. You know, different strokes for different folks. Sighing!
Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
Terristanley.blogspot.com
Sempervivums Vegetable Grower Bee Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Hummingbirder
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TerriStanley
Apr 25, 2016 2:08 AM CST
I've got my first soil test going with 2 noid sisters.
Next, I'm setting up a few tests for soil amendments. I have a several different (for me) fertilizers to test as well as a Mycorrhizal Inoculant. I'll report back on any significant results. Crossing Fingers!
Sunset zone 36
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort!
Name: Jo Ann Mc Brayer
NW Oregon (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums
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ricos
Apr 25, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Soil/ fertilizer/ light is something i have been working on for quite a few years.
Experience and experiment are great teachers but sometimes I think we can have and effect on our own experiments. (That's why in real science they do "blind"tests). I can share with you what I think I have learned.
Should say up front that I am growing in pots 3 1/2 in and gal
Some semps just fade in the heat of summer due to their genetics.
Some fade more than others.
Lack of water changes the color and you are so right Margo about the "ball up ,turn red and go dorment" . I would add and then just die unless you get them some water and new soil pretty quick.
Regular watering is important, especially here in Oregon where we had no rain from May to October last year, but fertilizing is important too. I have a feeling that nitrogen boosts the color a bit but it's easy to get too much. Just 10-5-5 is fine I think starting in spring till beginning of Aug.
My soil mix is high in composted bark and pumice which is very different than what I saw this weekend at Kevin and Lynn"s. I get a lot of earthworms right in the pots and I take that as a sign that something is right. I am planning to create a large bed here soon and am going to try to copy what I think would be like the mountainous soil where semps grow naturally. Since mountains are mostly rock, I am going to add glacial gock dust. I don't know if threre will be any noticable difference. I think micorrhiza can't be bad for anything.
Wouldn't it be fun to see them in their native habitat. I do know that if i want the large ones to get really large I have to keep them in light dappled shade all day or shade in the afternoon but too much shade will make them fade. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Margo, I wish you knew the name of the one that grows on the strawberry pot.
Some" noid' I bet
Name: Margo
Ohio (Zone 5a)
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ravenpickers
Apr 26, 2016 12:35 AM CST
Yes, Ricos, it's a NOID. I got that long before I started keeping names straight. I'm sure it's a cilliosum, but without a tag, I call it a NOID. Check this out. I wasn't kidding. The ones I have growing in containers don't even look close to the same plant.
Thumb of 2016-04-26/ravenpickers/055fc0


Thumb of 2016-04-26/ravenpickers/bf3079

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Apr 26, 2016 10:54 PM CST

Moderator

Very nice Margo.

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