Growing Pains: Planting Chicks

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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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Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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LuvNature
Sep 6, 2010 11:02 AM CST
Ok....I need to know the best way to plant / transplant chicks? Confused Blinking
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
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BlueFox
Sep 6, 2010 4:07 PM CST
Be cruel! I just rip them off their mother and jam them into the driest, worst soil and most horrible conditions possible - then I don't water them for two weeks! Rolling on the floor laughing

It's true! Most Sempervivum are killed by kindness, or what we think of as being kind. Rot is not our friend, repeat after me...
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 6, 2010 4:20 PM CST
Thanks so much Jacki....I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something special I needed to do. Then again, I guess it is special when you treat them horrible...... Rolling on the floor laughing Other plants would kill over.... Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing

I'm glad you told me not to water them.....I'd have been treating them like other plants that has to have water when transplanted......thanks! Thumbs up

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 7, 2010 4:50 AM CST
Some considerations from the Dr.

1) Cruelty in all aspects of life can negatively affect your karma. If you must transplant chicks, please do so with love in your heart. Sticking tongue out

Growers Tip-> 2) How you take the chick can have some consequences. If you take the chick from the end of the stolon (close to the chick), while the offset is still somewhat small and before it develops roots and while the stolon is still healthy, the stolon may develop additional chicks. You need to do this before the chick roots and the stolon starts to die off. When you take the chicks smaller, the smaller chicks will grow a bit slower the first year, but you will have more plants. This is not guaranteed, but works for many of the varieties.

If you take the chick with the stolon attached and stolon severed close to the hen, then plant the stolon, the chick will likely root and grow faster.

3) If you really want to be cruel Angry or see something neat, and if you are growing some rollers (Jovibarba hirta), take some offsets and place them on the soil upside down so the crown is facing the dirt and the bottom of the roller is facing the sky. The little buggers will send out roots towards the soil from the bottom of the plant, take root, then turn the chick over so that it is oriented correctly. Takes a little time for them to do this, you'll just be going by one day and see them facing the right direction again. Plants move - don't forget it less you miss the early signs of a triffid presence... Whistling Once the offset is right side up again, if you turn it over again, it may call triffids to your garden for protection, so remember point number 1) Rolling on the floor laughing You could have offset races. Take a group of offsets, turn them upside down, then take bets for which one will right itself first! (Lynn, sounds like a possible contest to me). or Rank the hirta varieties to see which ones move the fastest.
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
Sep 7, 2010 12:54 PM CST
A contest for rollers? Let me see, how can I set that up? Confused
Maybe make a tray of rollers, all upside down and numbered?
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 7, 2010 1:37 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Too funny! I'm all ears! Well I took apart my new s.'Red Heart' (very gently). I wouldn't have treated fine diamonds any better. Rolling on the floor laughing It had a total of 26 chicks. Hurray! Thumbs up

I'm not sure if I like where I planted them...they look a little sad today. Sad Also looks like something nibbled on them. Confused I'm afraid of triffids... Sticking tongue out

I put them in an orchid pot which has holes all in the sides. I put a few chicks in those holes too. Rolling on the floor laughing

Had several leftover and they are laying on top of some soil right now. I bought a big round slightly shallow, stoneware pot to plant some in.

t....I've grown accustom to your expertise....something needs to be done about your bandwidth.... Crying

Another question about my sedum...in photos, the ground cover sedum looks very compact and neat. Mine is scraggy looking.....growing long with a few leaves on it (not classy, more trashy Rolling on the floor laughing ). What am I doing wrong? Confused
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
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BlueFox
Sep 7, 2010 2:21 PM CST
Thanks for your reminder about karma, Twit - I do always have love in my heart, so I'm hoping I'm safe.

Linda, if you are also cruel Whistling to your Sedum it will benefit from a haircut, causing more growth to start from lower down on the stem. You can also plant the bits, and make more plants!
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
Sep 7, 2010 2:40 PM CST
In this case cruel is good. Rolling on the floor laughing Whistling
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 7, 2010 3:44 PM CST
Jacki...thank you. I had thought about cutting it back, so I'll take my scissors and give them a hair cut.... Rolling on the floor laughing

Thank you for your info on the semps, too. It made me feel a little more comfortable knowing that they are not so fragile. Lovey dubby

I do fear my desire to water plants. Blinking I have to stay away from the succulents, so they survive. But I'm learning. I collect Heuchera's also, and I had to learn not to over water them...they're doing wonderful now. I only killed 2 earlier in the spring..... Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
BlueFox
Sep 7, 2010 5:06 PM CST
I find that due to my neglectful tendencies, succulents do great for me. I guess there's a plant for everyone, and I've found mine!
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 17, 2010 2:41 PM CST
Thanks for all the great info. Thumbs up Another question about chicks. I have a hen/hens that have long stolons with chicks. The chicks have taken roots on their own. Do I cut it off the stolon so the hen doesn't have to support that chick?
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
BlueFox
Sep 17, 2010 5:37 PM CST
If it already has roots and you don't need the stolon to hold it in place (in a topiary, for instance) then yes, you can cut the chick off - leave the stolon on the hen, as Twitcher says it will possibly grow more chicks. I've never seen this, but great if it works.
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 17, 2010 5:48 PM CST
Thanks Jacki....one of the stolons has another chick growing on it already. I thought it might be good to cut the large chick lose. Thumbs up

I just re-read Twit's answer to my first question and he had answered it....duh...I sometimes wonder about me.. Confused Whistling

I haven't had any stolens die yet and all the chicks have rooted.....maybe I should let it fill up the planter... Smiling

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 17, 2010 9:26 PM CST
Linda and Jacki, I think you improve the odds of more chicks on the stolon the more close you are to the chick base when you remove the chick (get as close to the bottom leaves of the chick as you can) and it helps to be early, rather than late, in the chick development. Remove the chicks from the end of the stolon as early as you can if you want more chicks to develop on that stolon.

Growers Tip -> If you have a variety of Sempervivum that makes thick stolons, there is some chance that blooming of the hen can trigger blooming in the chicks. Therefore, I recommend that you sever the stolons from the chicks once the chicks have rooted for Sempervivum with thick stolons. Also, if the hen starts to rot, do the same to protect the chicks from rotting as well. This is just an observation and has not been verified by testing

I tip my hat to you.
Name: Linda
M'boro, (Middle)TN (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Image
LuvNature
Sep 17, 2010 10:26 PM CST
My Semp has very large and long stolons. Thanks for your advice again Twit....I keep learning new things.
Thumbs up Smiling
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
BlueFox
Sep 18, 2010 8:36 AM CST
That's interesting that you say in varieties with large stolons have more potential for more chicks. I guess next year I'll be doing more experiments. I need a bigger garden...
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
Image
valleylynn
Sep 18, 2010 10:15 AM CST
And I better get started prepping my 20' x 4' raised veggie bed. I don't need veggies anyway.
This picture is from last year, I didn't plant it this year. It had sweet potatoes, squash and cucumbers in this picture. I can get all of those at the farmers market. The beds off to the right are all filled with semps and a few sedum. Big Grin
Thumb of 2010-09-18/valleylynn/1bbf59
Name: BlueFox
Grand Forks, B.C. Cdn. Zone 5A (Zone 4a)
Romantic & Rustic, Xeric & Organic
Charter ATP Member Sedums Sempervivums Region: Canadian Garden Art Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Xeriscape Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
BlueFox
Sep 18, 2010 10:20 AM CST
I really like being able to just pick whatever's ready in my veggie garden for dinner - I actually meant I need a bigger garden for all the Semps! Rolling on the floor laughing
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
Image
valleylynn
Sep 18, 2010 11:20 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I have plenty of space to be adding more beds and less lawn. Thumbs up I have also started incorporating my veggies into the flower beds. Thus having more raised bed room for semps. Big Grin

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 18, 2010 2:34 PM CST
Jackie, I don't think it's limited to just larger stolons. I think the larger stolons are riskier for rot and blooming propagation, but thinner stolons can produce extra chicks as well. I sent someone some S. 'Jeramia' chicks this year on a trade and one of the stolons on the hen produced multiple chicks at the tip of the stolon, for example.

I think there is some chemical communication that takes place. The hen sends out the stolon with the expectation of a chick. The chick grows and takes root, eventually sending a message back to mom saying "Ok, I'm established now, I don't need nutrients from mom anymore". Mom says "OK, I'll stop sending via the stolon and the stolon dies".

When the chick doesn't get big enough to send the message (nutrients not needed) or the normal message "ok, chick here growing" disappears, mom tries to create more chicks on the stolon.

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