Growing Pains: All of mine died- I am a terrible momma

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Growing Pains

By valleylynn
January 1, 2010

A plant clinic for Sempervivum, Jovibarba and J. heuffelii. This is a companion article for the Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum.

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FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
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weeds
Aug 19, 2010 6:08 PM CST
Lynn,
I tried to grow a few but it just didn't happen! Too late for the doctor!
I do enjoy seeing all the pictures of the ones others can grow.
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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
Aug 19, 2010 6:14 PM CST
Crying I am so sorry Connie. Did you have them in full sun? In your area light shade could work. I am so bummed for you. Group hug
FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Region: Florida Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 2
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weeds
Aug 19, 2010 6:19 PM CST
Nope, had them on the porch so they got a little morning sun. I just don't understand these plants so have no clue how to care for them. Maybe when I retire I can spend some time learning about them.
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twitcher
Aug 20, 2010 1:16 AM CST
Sorry to hear about your losses. Crying

In your area, I think you would need bright shade (if outside) and complete shelter from the rain so that you could control watering. They should do well during the winter when the temps cool a bit. The trick is to balance amount of light, heat and water to get them through the hot times. Heat is the hardest on them, especially when wet. The next go-round, try growing them in just coarse sand and water once a week very lightly during the hot times. I've had some losses this year due to the rain and heat. We've had the hottest summer on record here.

Don't give up! We all like to push the zones when we garden. I've been struggling with che for nearly a decade now and have a single tree left that so far hasn't fruited but has survived 4 winters now. It's zone 6 rated but I'm in zone 5.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Aug 20, 2010 2:44 AM CST
I've lost more this year than the last 10 years put together because of the rain and heat too. Connie, Twit's right - don't give me. They're such great little plants.
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FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Region: Florida Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 2
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weeds
Aug 20, 2010 4:01 AM CST
Thanks twitcher and goldfinch! it is good to know I wasn't the only one with plant problems this year but sad you lost some.
It was incredibly hot and dry here this summer and still is steamy. We are finally getting a bit of rain.
I will have to learn the "balance"!
What is che? cherry, maybe?
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twitcher
Aug 20, 2010 4:57 AM CST
Che is also called Mandarin Melon Berry. It is a distant relative of the mulberry. One of my trees actually produced some ripe fruit the year before it died, so I've had a chance to try it and found it very good.

Here's a link with some good information.

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/che.html

In my zone, the fruit is just ripening in early October, so there is some luck involved in getting a good crop before serious frost. I have my surviving tree in a very large pot so I can move it for the winter. It goes up against the side of the house, near a cracked basement window. (I have to use a dolly) I pile up bags of pine bark around it on the 3 sides away from the house for insulation, then move it back out to a sunny spot in the yard for the summer. I was sure it would fruit this year, but it did not. It's big enough. It's kind of a mystery tree. Grown for a long time in human cultivation, but not a whole lot is known about its biology.

If you are in zone 6 or higher and interested in a fall bearing fruit tree, give this one a try. Edible Landscaping has a variety that sets fruit without a male to pollinate. Pretty tree as well, but does have thorns at times.
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
Aug 20, 2010 10:09 AM CST
Wow, very interesting tree twit. Makes my mouth water reading about the fruit.
Connie, when you get ready to try them again let me know and I will send you some plants of both sedum and semps.
FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
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weeds
Aug 20, 2010 5:40 PM CST
Interesting tree...I think we have regular mulberry trees growing in this area. I have no more room or I would try one.
Thanks Lynn, will let you know when I have the time to give them the attention they need, OR get my mother interested in them. She is very attentive to plants!
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Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
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imapigeon
Aug 20, 2010 6:07 PM CST
Connie, I wonder if the warm, humid air in FL might be hard on the varieties you tried....?
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FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Region: Florida Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 2
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weeds
Aug 20, 2010 6:08 PM CST
Janet, probably, but someone here gave them to me so I suspect it is my lack of attention.
Talk with people around the world.
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Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
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imapigeon
Aug 20, 2010 6:15 PM CST
See, "lack of attention" is what mine get, too, and they thrive on it. If I don't water them for a couple of months, they dry out but come right back when I give them a drink. I plant them in regular bagged planter mix or in the garden, and then I ignore them.

Here they die back like crazy in the winter when it's cold and rainy, but most of them bounce right back after the frost is over and the rain stops. They definitely sulk in the wet, which was why I thought of your humid air.

I have had problems with mealybugs, and I've lost some to them that I tried and tried to salvage, but to date I've been unsuccessful getting rid of them once they settle in on a plant.
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing
FL. Panhandle (Zone 8a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Region: Florida Region: United States of America Garden Ideas: Level 2
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weeds
Aug 20, 2010 6:24 PM CST
I am gathering knowledge with every post. Some day I will give it a go with gusto! thanks
Talk with people around the world.
Visit Carpe diem and seize the day!
Also, Jigsaw Puzzles, Excel forum and tutorials.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Aug 20, 2010 7:14 PM CST
Janet, I've had some success with mealy bugs with the pyrethrins, but you have to treat weekly for a month or so, due to eggs hatching and the bugs moving around. I also routinely spray my plants with alcohol (outside of course) which helps get rid of the smaller pest types.
Name: Janet
Gilroy, CA
Charter ATP Member Bromeliad Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: California Container Gardener
Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Irises Hummingbirder Heucheras
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imapigeon
Aug 20, 2010 7:48 PM CST
Yeah, that "routinely" is what gets me in trouble, twitcher. But I have a couple of plants that I REALLY need to treat on a schedule.
I was advised by a grower to use Neem oil and alcohol in combination. Have you tried that?
Please visit the Clay Arts cubit

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Aug 20, 2010 9:58 PM CST
I have not tried neem on my semps, but have used it on other things. In general, I will use other insecticides as I have not seen neem be particularly effective and I am reluctant to use it in the house. That's just my opinion - I'm not really very familiar with it as I only rarely use it. Insecticidal soap and pyrethrins are usually my first choice for most things.

Anything that comes in the house in the fall gets a bath with both usually alternating daily for about a week. I'm thinking of adding alcohol to the regime as it seems to work against mites fairly well.

Semps and jovis should stay outside - they like the cold.
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
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BlueFox
Aug 22, 2010 8:49 AM CST
I seldom have any hitchhikers - of course, I do have lots of spiders, maybe they take care of the critters. Never pays to get complacent though, so I usually have several cuttings just in case. This is referring to the tender succulents, of course.

Thumb of 2010-08-22/BlueFox/0e64a7

The biggest pests are, believe it or not - chipmunks! I combat them with the bird cages until they move into their winter home.

Thumb of 2010-08-22/BlueFox/92bc54
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Aug 23, 2010 3:37 AM CST
OK, drooling all over my keyboard. Drooling

I am still having problems with something digging my semps up - only the ones that are in the ground though. And they do the damage at night. I've tried putting Plantskydd around them, glue traps, a granular deterent for moles and voles, nothing works. I'm really getting ticked off. Grumbling Grumbling Maybe I should fine something to cage them in....can't hurt.
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
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
Aug 23, 2010 11:10 AM CST
I know what you mean Chris. Three days ago something dug up a large section of one of my raised beds, large rooted plants and all. Many covered in dirt, some with roots up in the air. I was so upset. I am pretty sure it is a homeless tomcat that has taken up residency under our shed out back. I guess I will just have to go get a live trap. He must think I have made a giant litter box for him. : (

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Aug 23, 2010 9:45 PM CST
Lynn, I have a problem with local cats using my raised beds that way. I got in the habit of putting bricks, tomato stakes and rocks in bare areas of the beds to discourage the practice and it stopped.

Chris, I've had early morning birds do that.

[you guys sure that you don't have them cross-pollinated with triffids? Big Grin - they like to uproot themselves to move around a bit, especially when young Rolling my eyes. ]

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