Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Sempervivum Help!

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Sempervivums Region: California Adeniums Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New York Region: Florida
Planthoarder
May 7, 2017 7:59 PM CST
Last week my plants went through their first heat wave. I watered them twice that week, but the last time I watered it the temps dropped into the mid 50s-70s (night and day temp)!several of my plants rotted. It's been a few days since I've watered now and a couple of my plants have paper thin leaves they aren't big and succulent like the other semps I have. I remember lots of people say when in doubt don't water. Do you think my semps with the paper thin leaves are thirsty or rotting from the inside? I checked the pot and they appear to be try. They are all in terra cotta and may be over potted a little. I'm afraid to water incase they are rotting under the soil. I don't want them to die of drought either. What should I do? The semps at my school tolerate lots more water than the ones I care for at home. I'm wondering now that the temps are going back into the low 80s if I should water.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 7, 2017 9:50 PM CST
Ryan, in my experience, if you water, do it really early in the morning, and just a bit of water each time you water - not like other plants in this way. I also find if I water all of them a little, then go back and rewater, this gives the water time to absorb into the soil a bit so the second watering gets to the roots as needed. I only water a small amount when I water.
Also though I think shade is more important than water when it is so sunny out.
I think it was Paul (in Antelope CA) who said he does 50% shade cloth, during hot days. I know that I think about shading my semps during our hottest days of summer but usually don't and I get some losses. The plants are more susceptible to sun damage being in pots (I think, since they have smaller root systems) but watering while the plants are in full sun doesn't seem to help.
That's my opinion on this topic, hoping other's give their 2 cents as well!
Good luck I tip my hat to you.

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
May 7, 2017 10:10 PM CST
Any photo of affected plant(s)?

Sempervivums Region: California Adeniums Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New York Region: Florida
Planthoarder
May 7, 2017 10:39 PM CST
Thanks Greg. I have a retractable awning I put out for part of the day.

Bev I won't be around during day light tomorrow so I'll take pics on Tuesday to share.

Sempervivums Region: California Adeniums Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New York Region: Florida
Planthoarder
May 8, 2017 10:00 PM CST
gg5 said:Ryan, in my experience, if you water, do it really early in the morning, and just a bit of water each time you water - not like other plants in this way. I also find if I water all of them a little, then go back and rewater, this gives the water time to absorb into the soil a bit so the second watering gets to the roots as needed. I only water a small amount when I water.
Also though I think shade is more important than water when it is so sunny out.
I think it was Paul (in Antelope CA) who said he does 50% shade cloth, during hot days. I know that I think about shading my semps during our hottest days of summer but usually don't and I get some losses. The plants are more susceptible to sun damage being in pots (I think, since they have smaller root systems) but watering while the plants are in full sun doesn't seem to help.
That's my opinion on this topic, hoping other's give their 2 cents as well!
Good luck I tip my hat to you.



Paul is in Antelope,Ca or Antelope Valley,Ca? I live about 10-15 minutes depending on traffic from Antelope California, but I live a couple hours away from Antelope Valley, Ca.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 8, 2017 11:24 PM CST
which ever one is further south...but now I'm thinking I'm totally wrong??
He's in the desert somewhere! Sticking tongue out

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
May 9, 2017 4:46 PM CST

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Waiting to see your photos Ryan. Living where you are I think the semps would need more protection for the sun during the hot weather. Your sun is pretty intense. You can also water by putting ice cubes on the soil surface in the evening. That will cool the roots as the ice melts, and will water slowly.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 9, 2017 5:02 PM CST
Hello Planthoarder, sorry to hear about your plants, but to me as long as there is still some green left and the crown of the plant is still doing okay, there is hope for it. Just got to adjust your watering regimen and later remove any dried out leaves.

Temps of 50F overnight and 70F daytime, is not that bad really, just depends how fast the water drains out, what time of the day you watered, and how did you water it, like did you water it with the water splashing and staying on the leaves while the sun is hotly bearing down on it or just around the plant, directly to the soil?

Also, it does help to position the plants in part sun/shade especially if it gets too hot and dry in your place...sorry I forgot where you are located.

With my semps, when the heat wave last week was in the forecast, I quickly repositioned them to more shade, it is just too blanket hot and dry. But I watered them early in the day, directly on the soil. My containers are not too big either so I know it will drain fast and watering it early allows cool down to the roots, so it endures the rest of the day. I don't water them directly on their crowns, since I am using our tap water, and it seems they don't like it that way, but the roots are okay with it. It is nicer if it is rain water which sadly I don't have, the plants enjoy the light rains.

Also semps here in my area, typically goes somewhat semi-dormant once the drier and hotter summer conditions comes about. Still got to be mindful of watering, since it is not consuming a lot either, it is going to wait for the temperatures to go back to the cooler levels it prefers.

Hopefully you can upload photos so we can see how your semps look like.
[Last edited by tarev - May 10, 2017 9:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Paul
southern California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California Herbs
cahdg6891
May 9, 2017 9:20 PM CST
I live in the Antelope Valley, a short drive outside of Palmdale. Coyotes, creosote bushes, Joshua trees, local internet company, dirt road, no street lights... the works Hilarious! Yep I use 50% shade cloth to protect mine from the sun when the temperatures start going up. I move my plant racks to the edge of my patio where they get full sun until the early afternoon or so and only take off the shade cloth if I am going to water or move them. They go dormant in heat and get plenty of sunlight early in the day so they can survive the deeper shade for the rest of the day no problem. In the past before I started using shade cloth I would use some old bed sheets to shield them while I was gone for the day. Not terribly attractive but it did the job. My closest neighbors could probably look over into my backyard and wonder why on earth I never took my laundry in. Rolling on the floor laughing

Late January to late May I water them once or twice a week and they grow pretty fast, then about mid May I start tapering off on water and don't water them very often or give them very much to drink in the summer, only if they are visibly drying out or we have a few days of cooler temperatures. I usually water them at dusk when the winds come up so they dry out quickly and don't have water sitting on them all night long. They are dormant a lot in my climate, they grow really well January to May then go summer dormant until mid or late August, then grow for a few weeks before going back to sleep for the winter. You will want to watch them though, because some semps will go for months with barely any water while others will start to wilt or die under the same conditions.

For your ones with thin leaves, I would hold back on water unless you start seeing the tips of the leaves begin to dry up or they start looking wrinkled and pruny. Sometimes with sempervivum it's hard to tell if they are thirsty or telling you they have had enough. I had two echeverias last year that did the same thing, the leaves became thin like that and refused to plump back up until the weather cooled off and the roots woke up and started drinking again.
[Last edited by cahdg6891 - May 9, 2017 9:30 PM (+)]
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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
May 9, 2017 10:44 PM CST
Thanks Paul, so I wasn't completely in left field! D'Oh! (in terms of where you live)
Thumbs up

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
May 9, 2017 11:00 PM CST
cahdg6891 said:... You will want to watch them though, because some semps will go for months with barely any water while others will start to wilt or die under the same conditions...


This is an important thing that Paul said regarding how just because they are all semps doesn't mean there's a hard rule about watering or sun exposure or seasonal coloring that applies to ALL semps on the whole. One really needs to observe their semps and determine what differences there may be among them that may call for slightly different methods or schedule of care and exposure. For example, I find some types and sizes of semps etiolate sooner from lack of prolonged sunlight than others. I find these to also lean sooner towards the sunlight .
Name: Paul
southern California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California Herbs
cahdg6891
May 31, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Ryan, how have your little guys been faring now that it's been a few more weeks and the temperatures have gone up?

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