Sempervivum forum: Can anyone give me definitive winter care for these new plants of mine

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iminei
Nov 1, 2016 3:52 AM CST
Hi there,

Firstly apologies if this is the wrong area of the forum (if it is maybe a mod could transplant this thread to the correct bed) but can anyone give me definitive winter care for four new plants I acquired this autumn.

We bought a Crassula Gollum (this was my favourite plant) and
a Euphorbiua Fimbriata (a spiky lil bugger, my hubby’s choice, I wonder what that tells us…)

We put both of these in the greenhouse and they have lived happily (I think) there since September with very little ‘care’ whilst we wait to decide
what we are going to do with them, (which will probably be next spring now) but I have noticed that some of Gollums fingers were turning yellow so have now brought them both into the house......but how much light and what temperature do these need to overwinter?

We also bought an Aeonium Copper Kettle and an Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg …. I noticed that these did not do well inside the greenhouse…. their bottom leaves shrivelling and falling, so transferred them to a place outside with some other potted sempervivums awaiting transplanting into displays (we find it really hard to find decent grit round here) and since doing that both look far better and have not lost any further leaves…

However the season is changing and I really need to know how to overwinter these plants. We live in North Dorset and have had sempervivums,
planted in terracotta displays, which have over wintered well outside but I think these succulents require a little more ‘TLC’ so have come to you for your advice.

In addition could anyone tell me if the Crassula and the Euphorbia can be planted in a display with other Sempervivums or are their needs too different and it would be better to keep them separate?
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Nov 1, 2016 8:45 AM CST

Moderator

Hi iminei.
Both of these interesting plants are frost tender and need to be brought in before winter begins in zones below 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
I'm not sure why your Aeonium 'Copper Kettle' and Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg' would not do well in your green house.
Can you give us more information on the conditions inside the greenhouse? Humidity, temperature, light exposure? What kind of soil you are using? How often do you water?
And photos would be very helpful. Some of the conditions you are describing can happen from to much water, not enough water, or pests.
Hope you can post some photos for us to help identify the problem.

As for displaying them with sempervivum, it could work as long as you separate them for winter. Their winter growing conditions differ greatly.
Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
Beekeeper Cat Lover
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madcratebuilder
Nov 1, 2016 8:58 AM CST
I agree

Your Ech's and sulla's are most happy above 40*F, some varieties can handle a light frost but may suffer damage.

The Semps want to see some cold winter weather, but want dry feet. Lynn has forgotten more about Semps than I'll ever know D'Oh!

Very little water for all these in winter months.

Welcome!
Spectamur agendo

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iminei
Nov 1, 2016 10:32 AM CST
Right, Ill get them in now as we are going to have our first frost tonight!

The copper kettle whilst in the greenhouse lost a lower leaf each day which shrivelled up and fell off...??

The other lost its leaves more slowly..probably because it had fuller more fleshed out leaves ...??

No pics at the moment so should I overwinter in the greenhouse in their original pots or in the house or ???
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Nov 1, 2016 6:28 PM CST

Moderator

What is the temperature of your greenhouse in the winter? If it is in the upper 40's and into the 50's it should work well for winter housing. Just remember they like to be kept on the dry side. Very little water in the winter.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Nov 1, 2016 7:33 PM CST
I agree with Lynn but also will say don't forget to water them, often I've checked a plant in winter and it is very dry, your plants will want a small amount of water maybe once per week I tip my hat to you.


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iminei
Nov 2, 2016 4:34 AM CST
Okay, all photoed up and in an album that you can (hopefully) view here.......

https://goo.gl/photos/jMqH2eGn...

I keep orchids and Nepenthes and tend to use the dunk/stand in water for a while before removing, method of watering, letting them dry out between watering...would this be a suitable way to give them a drink?

The greenhouse is unheated so will be a few degrees higher than the outside temperature but as we live in the south I would say it would get only down to freezing in a bad winter.

In the house, the south facing window has a radiator underneath (which is not always on as we tend to rely on the woodburner in the dining room to heat us ) and the kitchen windows face north ... so no sunshine but they don't get really cold as there is a lot of ambient warmth and the windows face onto a courtyard type arrangement.
[Last edited by iminei - Nov 2, 2016 11:14 AM (+)]
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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
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Nov 2, 2016 8:11 AM CST

Moderator

They all look great. Some are in need of potting into a larger container.
I would not use the dunk/stand water method of the tender succulents. When the soil dries out they only need a sip of water.
If kept dry during the winter they will do very well in the greenhouse as long as the humidity is to high. The light would be perfect for them.

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iminei
Nov 2, 2016 11:19 AM CST
[quote="valleylynn"
If kept dry during the winter they will do very well in the greenhouse as long as the humidity is to high. The light would be perfect for them. [/quote]

Do you mean as long as the humidity is ....not...too high???

So the dunking method is not good?? oh dear! I have just dunked the prickly one and the gollum...:(...Still they will dry out...they're in the kitchen at the moment, along with the other two...

So back to the greenhouse you think, with a lil water when they are bone dry?? for all of them??
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Nov 2, 2016 11:39 AM CST
What I do is water just till the surface of the pot is covered (so counting maybe 2 seconds of holding the water over the pot) then I let that sink in and water other plants and come back and repeat, in this way, the soil has actually gotten the water rather than it slipping right out of the bottom of the pot. But it is a short amount of water. Not like tropicals where you water until the plant is dripping. Thumbs up
Didn't check your pictures yet but I will! nodding
I tip my hat to you.

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Nov 2, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Hello iminei, with succulents, some are active summer growers, and some are active winter growers. With the plants that you have Crassula ovata 'Gollum' is actively growing when temps are cooler. But as with all succulents, be careful with watering, when it is cold, less water, bigger intervals in watering, got to make sure media is dry before you water again.

I don't grow the Euphorbia you have, but I have observed my Euphorbias they prefer to be kept warm. So I move them indoors by our south facing window during winter. I water them sparingly, since the light intensity is not the same as with summer, so they are not consuming much. During the hot months, they can drink a lot.

Echeverias like temps in the 65F to 80's range. Lower than that, got to keep them dry. Their leaves stash moisture so well, so it can take longer dry out time. Higher than that to triple digits they just stop any growing and wait it out till temps return to the favorable one they like.

Aeoniums are very active winter growers. These ones I never have problems if it rains or not in my area during late Fall to Spring. They truly love the cooler temps. But as always media has to be very well draining to it is not sitting moist too long.

Sempervivums are alpine succulents that tolerates the cold temps well, but still have to watch out that they do not go soaking wet.

With greenhouse growing, do watch your temps and humidity levels. When enclosed if humidity is high, it might invite fungal rotting. So good air circulation must be provided from time to time. It is different when they are growing outdoors, there is more air and sun interaction, and they do their gas exchange at night so the succulents grow better, but got to keep them drier by night time.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Nov 2, 2016 11:46 AM CST
Great info Tarev! Thanks for posting! I tip my hat to you.

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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Nov 2, 2016 6:44 PM CST

Moderator

Yes, that is a great explanation Tarev. Thank you so much.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Nov 2, 2016 6:52 PM CST
Just to add, Crassulas do that leaf drop of its lower, older leaves when seasons change. It is redirecting its energies to new leaf growth to the tips or anywhere up and down the nodes, or it maybe trying to push out new buds. So do not be tempted to overwater, it is just a phase it undergoes. As long as the trunk and branches are holding firm, then the plant is okay. It is another case when it starts going limp and mushy, then got to check your soil, maybe the media is getting too wet a long time, and rotting is ensuing.

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iminei
Nov 3, 2016 4:20 AM CST
I will try and take this all in (I will get there but it may take some time)

Lynn you mentioned that some look in need of re-potting...I'm guessing all but the prickly one (Euphorbia right?) do.

Could you advise as to the size of pot, terracotta?? (I have thousands of vintage terracotta pots) and what mix of soils to use...and also when would be the best time to do this?

So to summarise...

My Gollum likes it cooler and will be starting a growing phase and if some of the lower fingers turn yellow and drop off this is not necessarily a bad thing

The Copper kettle can stay outside, as long as it is freely draining ??? I first saw these planted in the ground outside in Cornwall and they looked superb, which why I was keen to own one!

The Echeveria is not the spiky one (as it sounds like it should be) but the pink fleshy one and prefers warm temperatures, so would the windowsill in the lounge be the best place for that or would that be too warm? In the kitchen maybe which is where it is at present along with ...

the Euphorbia is the spiky one not the fleshy one and likes to be warm as well, like a cacti ??? Lounge windowsill too?? I wonder how I can fit all these on to the lounge windowsill...I have a few orchids and a tropical butterwort there too.
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Nov 3, 2016 9:45 AM CST

Moderator

Tarev would be the one to advise on pot size and time to repot. She has so much experience with this type of plant.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Nov 3, 2016 10:18 AM CST
Thanks for the vote of confidence Lynn *Blush*

Iminei, I usually do my repot for most of the succulents during Spring.

Except for the Aeoniums, I have learned, at least in my area, as seasons transition from Spring to Summer, it slowly goes semi-dormant here. So best to wait till mid Fall to do it for the Aeoniums. But the temperature prevalent in your growing area maybe different than mine, we get much hotter and dry conditions here, so there are succulents that do a rest period here as Spring to Summer conditions goes on. Our temps during the warm months here easily hover to a very dry 90F to 100F (32C to 37C) and higher. If your temps just hover in the 21C to 26C range, (69F to 78F) I think you can do your repot safely.

Sometimes Fall temps seem similar to Spring temps, so it is also a good time to repot, but I try to look ahead on forecasts, making sure it will not be a rainy one. Got to consider too that in Fall, daytime hours are shorter, that is why Spring is still the preferable time, with daytime hours slowly going longer duration.

If you are growing them indoors during winter, yes, the windowsill is good for them, just not too close to the glass, it will be cold in that zone. Some augment their lighting indoors with grow lights, if they lack space at the windowsill. There are lots of threads around here in NGA about the grow lights some growers use. I am fortunate enough not to need one, our winters are relatively mild, but I still move some of my succulents and we have a big window with south facing orientation.

I am looking at your photos, to me they still look good in their current containers. I will give them another year before I repot. But do bring in your Euphorbia, as I have said earlier, I find them happier kept warm.

Aeoniums do tend to be top heavy at times, but when it starts to shed leaves when seasons transition from Spring to Summer, it will be lighter and have a long neck remaining. You can choose to cut them and keep them dry, leave them alone, they are partially dormant then they resume active growing in Fall. Or do the stem trimming in Fall, let the callus ends dry and it will regrow new leaves at the cut end. That way you can keep the height at a manageable level.

It is really cute when they grow new rosettes at the cut ends:
Thumb of 2016-11-03/tarev/ae435a


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iminei
Nov 8, 2016 1:26 AM CST
So the Echevium...The pink fleshy one .... and the copper kettle have been moved into the greenhouse and we have had a couple of hard frosts...Have I got this right?



Thumb of 2016-11-08/iminei/88d84f

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Nov 8, 2016 11:12 AM CST
It is echeveria for the pink fleshy one. Yes, it is good you can protect them. No watering needed, just keep them dry.

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iminei
Dec 14, 2016 10:44 AM CST
So as we had a particularly cold snap just I have decided that they would come and live on my bedroom windowsill (south facing) warm but with very little heat as the radiator is rarely on in there.


Thumb of 2016-12-14/iminei/786794

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