Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Losing every single one?!

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Name: Melissa
Northern Nevada (Zone 6b)
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MLewis
Sep 17, 2015 1:52 PM CST
I've had plenty of rosettes bloom and die, but it's usually been the largest one of the clump, occasionally the largest couple, always leaving behind the majority of the group.

I don't know if this is common, perhaps it is, but has never happened to me before, but almost this entire clump is either blooming or budding. Almost a dozen rosettes going off at once. If you look closely at the very bottom and slightly to the left of center you'll see even one of the smallest of the group is forming a little bud.

Is this caused by something, some stress reaction making them all think they are going to die and must reproduce right now? Or just bad luck? Is there anything I can do to stop it? While it's very pretty, the thought of losing this whole group really bums me out.

Thanks, Melissa

Thumb of 2015-09-17/MLewis/d73ec4

Name: Melissa
Northern Nevada (Zone 6b)
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MLewis
Sep 17, 2015 1:57 PM CST
I should mention that this pic was taken yesterday. The other blooms I had this year are months old, which makes me wonder even more if some stress is causing this.

You can see the rosette on the right has a bloom that is over a month old (it's contorted because the bloom was growing under and into the portulaca next to it) but all the others are much more recent.
Name: Judith
Northern Virginia (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Garden Ideas: Level 2
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JKing
Sep 17, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Hi Melissa, I think everyone who knows the answers to your Semp questions must be out in their gardens planting all the loot they got last week. Your picture is amazing. Hopefully, you'll have one or two that won't bloom. Sighing! Maybe there are even a few chicks underneath that you can't see yet. I'm looking forward to hearing what the others have to say.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Sep 17, 2015 7:54 PM CST
Melissa, I've been combing the threads to see where I can get more info regarding blooms. I think stress does play a part in initiating blooms. And stress can come in a few forms. Heat, age of rosette and variety of semp are also factors that can affect bloom time
I know others can add more info.

You asked what you can do and this is for future reference:
The thread "Nooooo! My one and only Unicorn is going to flower!" in Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum
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
Sep 18, 2015 1:00 AM CST

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What a beautiful colony of semps Melissa. I really am not certain as to what causes this to happen.
As you can see this one did the same as yours did. Full of offsets and all bloomed out. You can also see that in that same bed none of the other semps did that.

And here it is after I removed all the offset blooms, again you can see that no other colonies did a total bloom out.

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
Sep 18, 2015 1:01 AM CST

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I forgot to say, if there are any offsets in that colony that are not blooming yet, I would remove them and plant them in hopes of saving them.
Name: Melissa
Northern Nevada (Zone 6b)
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MLewis
Sep 18, 2015 9:00 AM CST
Thanks everyone!
Here is the plan of action I am considering after reading the responses here and in the Unicorn thread (thanks for the link webesemps).

I am going to lift the whole colony and take a knife to it (shudder Crying ) hoping to find offsets under and in between the larger flowering ones. Of the dozen or so that are flowering, I think I am going to try cutting the bloom off the ones that are just starting, and seeing what happens to them. I'll plant them all, even the ones I leave flowering, I know it's ridiculous as they are going to die anyway, but I can't bear to be the direct cause of a rosettes death. lol

I won't be able to do this for a day or two, so if anything in my plan sounds iffy, please chime in.
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Sep 18, 2015 9:14 AM CST
Lynn,

That bloomstalk on Persephone is amazingly big. El Toro used to be the champ for big flowering stalk but I think Persephone has it beat.

Hope you got to make a few crosses with Persephone.

Kevin
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
Sep 18, 2015 9:36 AM CST

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Kevin it is the largest bloomstalk I have every had, and the way the branches are formed is also very different. Not the typical style. I did cross it with several different semps. The one I wanted to cross it with did not bloom at the same time.
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
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tcstoehr
Sep 18, 2015 1:44 PM CST
I have seen people cut the main bloom which resulted in new viable offsets near the cut. I would try that.
But maybe that procedure isn't effective during this sort of blooming blitz?
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
Sep 18, 2015 4:29 PM CST

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I have tried that method before Tim, when a plant is on a blooming blitz. So far it has not worked.
Opps, take that back, did it with S. hookerii and I did get viable offsets. The entire multiple colonies bloomed out.
Here it is producing new offsets & blooms. You can see that every rosette/offset has been cut back.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Sep 18, 2015 9:53 PM CST
MLewis - this is my guessing in answer to your question about why this happens - It is my feeling that it has to do with what the plant is treated with while in production. The ones that I have had do this always seem to be ones I've bought from big box stores or nurseries that are using the same plant suppliers. I could be wrong but I do suspect it has something to do with it. Also it really is a pretty sight to have even the offsets blooming. Agree with Lynn, look for offsets that aren't blooming and remove them and replant.
I have done the 'surgery' thing many times, I figure what have I got to lose Shrug! I am not sure why some offset and others don't. It is always a surprise to see the new offsets from the blooming out semp! I think the surgery works best if you catch the plant as early in the blooming process as possible, I'm sure its a chemical thing.
I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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