Sempervivum forum: Sempervivum growth cycle

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Europe (Zone 7a)
Region: Europe
Aug 23, 2016 3:39 AM CST
Is there a time of year during which semps are most likely to produce offsets, or do they appear exclusively during a certain time?

Also, do the rosettes always flower every 3 years? Or is it 4 years? Does it depend on any factors?
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
Bee Lover Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter
Aug 23, 2016 10:37 AM CST
The heavy offsetting season is, in my climate, during April and May. And then a smaller flush of offsets occurs in the August time frame. That's the short, simple, summary answer. But of course nothing is quite that simple. I'm speaking of the most common genus/species Sempervivum/Sempervivum. The Jovibarbas offset differently by rosette division and seem to be continuously but slowly happening in Spring through Summer. The Arachnoideums offset heavily in early Spring but in my experience not at all thereafter. The Globiforeums seem to be dropping little rolling offsets throughout the growing season. Offsetting appears to halt completely through the winter, even though I can see some slow growth happening in my mild winter climate.

The time chosen for a rosette to bloom is each plant's own private mystery. Sometimes an offset will bloom immediately without ever forming a rosette. Occasionally, immature rosettes may decide to take the plunge. Generally, though, each rosette will grow to a considerable size and then bloom. When they reach their maximum size you can expect them to bloom soon. Some species like Calcareum are shy about blooming, but most are not. And yes, environmental factors can play a role. Many of us have received a tiny offset hoping to grow a big plant only to have it panic and bloom, leaving us with nothing. Rarely and frustratingly, a plant may "bloom out" in which case each and every rosette blooms. But for the most part the larger rosettes are blooming with the smaller ones happily growing to replace them.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - Aug 23, 2016 10:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Paul
southern California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California Herbs
Aug 23, 2016 2:32 PM CST
Here in the desert, they only offset in spring and summer. It also depends on the species or cultivar. They all offset in spring for me usually. Most of mine go dormant in the summer and just turn mostly green and sit there until the weather cools, but a few actively grow offsets for me in summer, especially S. tectorum and a few of my NOIDs. Kalinda also grows and makes lots of offsets in summer here. The small pot I got and up-potted a few months ago has grown pretty aggressively with offsets spilling over the sides already and a new batch coming out.

For me flowers only seem to happen to the biggest and oldest rosette(s) in a clump. So far! I've never noticed random incidents of blooming from differences in watering or anything. Age of 3 years or older in many cases and size seem to be the determining factors here.
Europe (Zone 7a)
Region: Europe
Aug 25, 2016 1:26 AM CST
Thank you both for describing the growth cycle of these plants I tip my hat to you.

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