Sempervivum forum: Georgia semp grower has questions!

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Name: Jackie
Lake Lanier, GA (Heat Zone 7) (Zone 7b)
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GenXNEGeorgia
Jun 10, 2017 6:11 PM CST
Hi there!

We have a few sempervivum and have started to see the little babies go crazy. My fiance loves them but I don't know what kind of medium to plant them in.

As you can see, they're still in their original pots in our screened in, Southern-facing porch and seem to be doing quite well, so maybe we should leave them as-is... ?

Also, when we want to propagate the babies, do we use the same medium?

Thanks in advance!!

Thumb of 2017-06-11/GenXNEGeorgia/af1045

Thumb of 2017-06-11/GenXNEGeorgia/6ff642

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. — Gertrude Jekyll
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 10, 2017 6:32 PM CST

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Hi there Jackie, glad to meet your. And excited that you are interested in Sempervivum.
1. what kind of medium to plant them in? You will want a mix that will drain quickly. A good potting mix with extra coarse sand added would work well. I use this one for container growing: http://foxfarmfertilizer.com/i... You will want to use lots of sand and chicken grit with this one, as it has quite a bit of natural fertilizer in it. You don't want to feed semps a lot of fertilizer. After planting you can add a nice thick layer of small gravel or chicken grit under the leaves to keep them up off the soil.

2. Southern-facing porch and seem to be doing quite well, so maybe we should leave them as-is... ? As long as they are looking healthy that will work. If they become etiolated you will know they need more sunlight. The offsets in your first photo are beginning to look etiolated. The second photo looks great. They will soon need more room.

3. Yes, you can use the same above planting mix for the offsets. Just don't over water them.
Name: Jo Ann
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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ricos
Jun 11, 2017 4:18 AM CST
Welcome Jackie Welcome!
There are as many soil mixes for semps as there are people who grow them but I would ditto Lynn's advice and add that drainage is the most important thing. Pumice, pea gravel, bird grit (from the farm store) will all work. Even pearlite will work but it does not provide any nutrients or trace minerals for the plants .Don't forget to keep the name tag Whistling
Name: Jackie
Lake Lanier, GA (Heat Zone 7) (Zone 7b)
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GenXNEGeorgia
Jun 14, 2017 6:09 PM CST
Thank you all for your comments and advice. We will leave these happy plants the way they are...if we re-pot them, is there a good time of year to do it?
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. — Gertrude Jekyll
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 14, 2017 6:25 PM CST
Hi Jackie, for my growing area, I prefer to get semps, if that is what I will buy, in early Spring, when conditions are still cool so I can repot them nicely and give them time to acclimate in my area. They are alpine succulents so they really do not enjoy that much our very dry, hot temps during the warmer months. So when seasons change like now going into summer, I reposition them in part shade.

But when it is Fall to Spring, they endure winter outdoors, making sure their media is very well draining.

So as to your area, I do not know what your prevailing temps are right now. We all got varying growing conditions, here we are heading to heat wave conditions..not the best time to repot anything anymore.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 14, 2017 9:13 PM CST

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I agree with tarev. As early in spring as you can plant. It gives them lots of time to establish.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jun 15, 2017 11:59 AM CST
I'm not disagreeing but I find semps to be pretty easy in terms of transplanting, just keep them in shade after transplanting, if in the ground I use anything to shade them (larger rocks, pieces of pottery, anything water proof) after a few weeks and they look settled I'll remove the shade item. In your area it sounds like they'll do best in part shade anyway Smiling I tip my hat to you.

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Jun 15, 2017 12:34 PM CST
Greg's care really illustrates that just (trans)planting isn't enough for most semps, there's got to be a little extra precaution and follow-up care to help insure a successful transition. You all are lucky (or experts) if you can plant and not worry afterwards about whether a plant will take to new conditions. Just my two cents...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 15, 2017 12:53 PM CST
Hi Jackie, as for medium to be used, since we have varying growing locations, it may be slightly different, we all have our preferences.

For mine, I use cacti mix and I add lots of pumice or perlite, to really make it well draining. For top dressing, I also use chicken grit (insoluble crushed granite), or aquarium gravel. The top dressing helps during watering time so the soil is not displaced. I don't add sand to any of my succulents here, I find it compacts my media in the long run.

I only do container gardening too, so for semps I go for wide and shallow containers. Then making seasonal changes in positioning these plants. Our warm months are too long, too hot and very dry, so I have to move it in part shade. We have no rain for about 6 to 7 months here, so it is a real challenge. They are alpine succulents so they enjoy cooler conditions as in Greg's and Lynn's growing area. It perks up nicely again in late Fall to Spring, when we finally cool down and get some rain. So the importance of very good drainage is paramount. Our winters are quite mild, no snow, so it stays outdoors. When the cooler season is here, by then the trees here goes deciduous and light levels are getting short too as we approach winter, so I position them now to more sun, south facing if possible. It is cool anyways, they can finally handle it better.

They are such fun plants to grow..just some tweaks in growing them, learning along the way from year to year. So enjoy! Big Grin
Name: Jackie
Lake Lanier, GA (Heat Zone 7) (Zone 7b)
☺ I love flowers!! ☺
Daylilies Dahlias Hibiscus Bee Lover Cut Flowers Lilies
Garden Photography
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GenXNEGeorgia
Jun 17, 2017 8:31 PM CST
Thanks everyone so much for all of your advice! I will keep them in the pot for now since they are happy happy happy and we'll replant them in the Spring Big Grin
Thank You!
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. — Gertrude Jekyll

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