Sempervivum forum→Small semps

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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Oct 6, 2019 9:53 AM CST
Starting this topic to discuss "small semps", seems that rosette size between 1/2" - 2 1/2" qualifies for this loosely defined category. I like small semps very much, (big ones are growing on me too), but it's not always easy to know rosette size range because it is rarely annotated in the Sempervivum database.

I did a search on "small semps" and there are related topics, here's a couple of them.
The thread "Meet the Miniature Sempervivum" in Sempervivum forum
The thread "Smallest semp" in Sempervivum forum

Only recently did I discover that these next two little semps are related, 'California' and 'Giftzwerg'.

Semp 'California' is new to my collection this year (2019) and I like it very much, rosettes are small, tight, and firm, a fresh shiny green color currently. I look forward to seeing the orange tint that it gains in spring. This cultivar by Gunther Dillman (Germany) 1998. Photo of potted rosettes taken on October 5, 2019.
Thumb of 2019-10-06/AntMan01/d1c8ff

Semp 'Giftzwerg' was added to my collection in 2018, somewhat reminiscent of 'California', makes sense that it's a 'California' x ? seedling, yet it is easily distinguishable from California. I have 'Giftzwerg' in one of my rocky planters, where its small size and texture are a perfect match. I like the pink stolons on this one.
Photo from mid-June 2019
Thumb of 2019-10-06/AntMan01/036c06

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Oct 6, 2019 9:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Oct 6, 2019 10:14 AM CST
Another small shiny green semp that seems akin to the two previous cultivars is 'Sonnenkuss' by Erwin Geiger in 2014. This is new to my collection in 2019, available from The Sempervivum Patch online store. Again we have have tidy, firm, many-leaved rosettes, looks like it's be perfect for small planters. Judging from the photos in the Sempervivum Database, it can get tinged with reddish or orange color in spring, and the leaves lift upwards forming a pretty ball shape.

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Oct 6, 2019 10:58 AM CST
Mark,

Erwin Geiger has put out a number of nice smaller semps. 'Sweet Litschi' is my favorite of these as it has very bright, almost neon color. If you are doing pot culture, I can see why these would be your go-to plants. Small ones are not my favorites but I have some very nice things out of Erwin's 'Space Dog' and Sue Thomas' 'Devil's Touch'. They do make very neat clumps. Some of these have very narrow (toothpick) leaves that are a bit different. My favorite is a red one with neatest clumps of any semp I've seen. That one will probably be introduced.

I guess my main interest in big ones is that "we had small ones when I was a kid; we've never really had lots of huge ones." So it is a new goal. 'Emerald Giant' was the biggest one when I was a kid. It looks pretty puny now! With these new truly giant seedlings, they can compete with much larger succulents that are normally tender. Thus, we Yankees can do a xeric landscape like the southern Californians and not have to apologize for small size of the hardy ones.

Kevin
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Oct 6, 2019 8:15 PM CST
Kevin, while I like the "little guys" (small semps), I am duly impressed with the big ones too, they're catching on with me. I get back to my home at the beginning of December, but spring 2020 I'll be building my "sempervivumry" outdoor garden similar to Tim's Semp River; I'll need the big ones too! I do have a large two-level deck, and plan on doing lots of planters and focusing on mini and small semps, but I will be a big fan of any mega-semp for my Sempervivumry gardens. Keep on developing and advancing monster semps!
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Jan 15, 2020 8:06 AM CST
Two little semps new to my collection in summer 2019, 'Regensburger Knirps' on the left, and 'Sonnenkuss' on the right. Now observing these two going through winter temps (lots of being frozen solid), Regensburger Knirps has turned a warm shade of red, while Sonnenkuss has kept the shiny green look. I always have to check the spelling on both of these. What I like about both so far, they look as fresh and perky as ever without lots of drying basal leaves.

Thumb of 2020-01-15/AntMan01/cb138c Thumb of 2020-01-15/AntMan01/d04b9a

In this view, I brought into the scene a flat of 'California' (I can spell this one Smiling ), very tight growing rosettes were green in summer, now taking on dark tones. A prop penny and dime in the views for relative size of the rosettes.
Thumb of 2020-01-15/AntMan01/5581c2

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jan 15, 2020 9:46 AM CST

Moderator

Those certainly are small semps Mark. What makes it even better is how clean and healthy they look after all that freezing and thawing. Were these protected from moisture? They look amazing.
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Jan 16, 2020 4:11 PM CST
My thoughts on the small ones have always been that they need to increase FAST in order to cover the same sort of area as at least a medium sized semp would. Fortunately most of the cobwebs produce two sets of offsets here in OR so they make a clump fairly quickly. The tufted ones also have this characteristic. Some of the toothpick ones seem to be vigorous enough too.

If I'm a commercial grower a small and SLOW one is deadly. I have one called 'Rosebud' that is one of my favorites but it will NEVER be a commercial item because it is not fast enough of an increaser to make a clump effect to have landscape impact.

I find that most of Erwin's small ones are very hardy and neat, very little dead leaves and so they are worthwhile as plants. They'll never be my primary interest although I have a small mustard seedling that I've been working and also 'Red Hot Chili', which has wonderful color and texture. There are some crosses to its siblings that look like they might be improvements.

Kevin

Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Jan 16, 2020 4:18 PM CST

Moderator

Interesting thoughts Kevin. I agree when growing in beds/borders, etc about medium to large making a much quicker impact than the small ones.
What I like the small ones for are trough/container gardens, as they won't take over the landscape with other plants. I do find that it takes a bit of patience waiting for some of the small ones to get going. Sighing!
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Jan 17, 2020 4:53 PM CST
valleylynn said:Those certainly are small semps Mark. What makes it even better is how clean and healthy they look after all that freezing and thawing. Were these protected from moisture? They look amazing.


Lynn, the plants shown were not protected from moisture, they were fully encased in that latest 5" hard-as-concrete hail/ice layer, then previously went through yo-yo winter weather, snow storms, it melts away, more snow and/or rain, melts to bare ground again. Now we're in a short frigid bare-ground spell, was 7F this morning, reached 17F but with 30-40 mph gusts, snow storm comes tomorrow, supposed to get 6".

To get warmed up, I'll show another new addition to my collection last year, 'Warm Valley' is a pleasingly perky semp with small rosettes.
Left: 'Warm Valley' when planted shortly after mail-order acquisition, Jun 10, 2019. Nice chocolate leaf tips.
Right: 'Warm Valley' increased quite well, chicks were on relatively short stolons. Sept 27, 2019.
Thumb of 2020-01-17/AntMan01/6177df Thumb of 2020-01-17/AntMan01/4515dd

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, 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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
valleylynn
Jan 17, 2020 5:17 PM CST

Moderator

Very nice little semp Mark. I really like that one.

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