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Oct 8, 2013 12:04 PM CST
|a little history.... I was asked to work on green wall concepts for a small outfit I have worked for over the last number of years doing odd construction and christmass lighting, long story short I no longer work for Joe or whatever his name is...but I am still into the plants the techniques and the possibilities. I have a hydro background and like perlite or just water and air, so I started these plants out for the summer in a perlite flood and drain ebb/flow table with semps sedum and stepables ...the semps got over run I watered too much and perlite held too much water near the surface though some semps did survive burried for a month or 2 under the other plants getting flooded every 15 min and are still alive LOL some die but some really do sempervivum, I mean live forever. anyhow I just moments ago stood my first "green wall" panel and this is how she looks....|
so the nature of the experiment has been changing as I go along but I'm getting back to the root of the experiment which is mainly growing semps in air and water(/nutrient) and of course indoor over winter, so light schedules/intensity come into play. for the time being I am going to run my semps 13-17 hour days...17 right now. some have been at 24 for several weeks and they are fine (not that several weeks matters to these plants) Im just going to run 17 as peak summer growing.
The real issues come with watering and substrate. I've been dealing with lots of chicks and unrooted plants and its a little tricky to manage eveyone in the same flood and drain table.
under the florescent bulbs mostly
The experiment has been progressing nicely....most eveyone seems quite happy, despite my desire to water all the time (I weaning myself off the water) the plants have changed mediums routinely as I find anything organic holds too much water. my latest plantings are larger plants in big limestone chunck. the roots are basically hanging in huge gaping fisures air drying constatly....
last night I really cut to the chase and planted up a semp with roots hanging in air inside a small coffee container. thats where I am heading perhaps with a eek foam sheet over the flood table. roots would hang in air until I decide to water again. which brings us to the current question of how much and when would you water such a plant.
light intensity is great with florescent bulbs just inches overhead, but I can kick it up to hard core If I feel like it with a HPS 1.5 feet overhead. Im hoping the air root method with really get the plants popping. Ideally I will be getting good root hair formation, and huge healthy roots. we will see.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on semp roots in air... how often do I water? every 4 hours while the roots are still damp or every 4 days, long after the roots have completely dried?
ppm are at 150 ish. I feel like I am seeing growth...and happy plants
some unrooted plants I got from north hills nursery sitting in the rooting bed. mainly finely crushed limestone upper , i find lava wicks and holds too much water, I'm moving away from lava.
these are mostly the rooted plants I got from North Hills this mix of lava and pea gravel is ok. the lava scares me as it holds too much water, but i just pull the kids up and prop little rocks around them to keep them high and dry around the base.
Ps... I got testy one night and deleted all my further posts so if you want to catch up to speed I reenter the conversation towards the bottom of page 3.
Oct 8, 2013 12:16 PM CST
|Hi WarpJr, and a big to ATP.|
I see you are becoming another semp lover.
Let me engage our experts:
I have found that sempervivum really need a winter dormancy time to stay happy and healthy. There are many different soils combinations that work for growing semps, depending on the other growing conditions. To much food for semps can cause them to grow to fast, causing them to be susceptible to disease and pests. They also don't like wet feet, so having standing water is not good.
Maybe you could try dividing the plants into groups, each group under different conditions? That way you can see what works and what doesn't work.
I would not think that 24/7 lights would be a good thing for the semps.
I have never used mycorrhizal fungus, so can't give an opinion on that topic.
I have to say, that green wall is very green and healthy looking. Thumbs up on it.
The sixth photo down from the top shows very nice looking semps. How long have they been in this new growing situation?
Oct 8, 2013 12:37 PM CST
I would be interested how it all pans out...My offspring grows twice as quick in the polytunnel ,the outside ones take their time...
Oct 8, 2013 12:56 PM CST
I have, on a few occasions, kept a few semps indoors over the winter. Those were cases with small semps that I did not think would likely survive over the winter due to size. They were kept under fluorescent lights, on 24/7 and situated close to the light. To compensate for the heat and resulting dryness, as well as the normally very dry inside conditions in my house, the plants were contained in individual pots. The pots were tightly enclosed in sealed plastic bags to maintain even moisture. The amount of moisture was such that there was little growth, but also little etoliation. 24/7 lighting did not seem to be an issue for me. Plants totally drying out because I forgot or did not have time to water them in dry conditions was an issue, thus the bagging of the pots. I consider this method to be a relatively safe way to house a semp for a long period of time but not a way to encourage growth or propagation.
If you are confident of your ability to provide enough, strong enough light and keep the plants growing over winter and propagation is your goal, then I think the best path is to do surgical division, discussed in other threads here. I don't know your skill level, but I would not recommend division during the winter for indoor or outdoor plants unless the skill level is high.
"Flooding" when talking about semps, is fraught with risks. Watering semps in a highly porous mixture, where the water passes through the container and out, is likely OK, but I think there are risks associated with flooding them whenever water remains in the pots for any duration. However, seems like there are some interesting possibilities there, suggesting some experimentation.
Oct 8, 2013 3:53 PM CST
|I look forward to your updates on progress Warp. Would love some photos of the project, if you can.|
Oct 8, 2013 8:18 PM CST
|Wow, most of those are looking wonderful Warp. Keep up experimenting.|
Oct 8, 2013 10:56 PM CST
|Warp what USDA growing zone are you in? I'm asking because I'm in zone 7b (Seattle) and they grow year round here - slower in winter, but they put out roots and attain greater size (just no offsets) Is there a reason you're maintaining 70degrees? Seems warm for them. |
by the way!
Oct 9, 2013 11:48 AM CST
|Warp - yes that sounds perfect! Having some outside still so you can see what impact the different enviro's have on the plant! We are all interested so do keep us posted! |
Cheers (I was asking because when I first received semps, I'd never heard of "hardy succulents" and kept them indoors on a very bright windowsill, with the window slightly open, for air, and they didn't do well at all! In fact I think all but 3 or 4 died...so a bit skeptical about indoor growing for these plants.
Oct 9, 2013 3:28 PM CST
|What new plants Warp? Which ones, where from?|
Oct 9, 2013 9:28 PM CST
|Very cool! |
Oct 10, 2013 4:10 PM CST
|Northwoods? I don't thing I've heard of them before? |
Nice mix in your list. Can't wait to see photos of them.
Oct 10, 2013 4:32 PM CST
Oct 10, 2013 4:38 PM CST
|Peter, Thanks for giving information from Germany about a nursery in the Pacific Northwest for ValleyLynn. As if the info from Europe wasn't enough...|
Oct 10, 2013 4:43 PM CST
|I'm guessing Warp you mean Northhills nursery! ??? |
Oct 10, 2013 4:53 PM CST
gg5 said:I'm guessing Warp you mean Northhills nursery! ???
that would make more sense
the Northwood I've found doesn't seem to be a perennials-grower....
Oct 10, 2013 5:03 PM CST
|Oops, gotta take back that "pat on the back", Peter. And sorry Lynn!|
Oct 10, 2013 6:27 PM CST
|Haha! Wouldn't that have been a big surprise, a perennial nursery in her own backyard that she didn't know about yet! |
Oct 10, 2013 6:28 PM CST
| Wow, that hurt. |
Well, maybe not.
I can't find any online site for Northwood Nursery.
Must be Northhills Nursery?
Oct 10, 2013 6:29 PM CST
|That's what I was thinking, because Northwood is only about 45 minutes from me. Sounds like a pretty big commercial place.|
Oct 10, 2013 6:37 PM CST
|Yes Lynn I think its the place we drove by that had miles of japanese maples (near the restaurant we ate lunch) that just a guess! |