Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: help me save my cuties :(

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AnnaJ
Jul 4, 2017 5:40 AM CST
I was given 3 Sempervivums as a gift a few months ago, very small, super cute. I've been trying to take care of them, but I'm afraid I failed.
I have them in a glass bowl... terrible, I know :(. In the bowl I got a layer of sand, a layer of moss, activated carbon pallets, potting soil (sand and regular soil) and pebbles on top. I water them about once a week. I keep them in my west facing room, no direct sunlight unfortunatelly, but I have blue, red and violet led stripes right next to them.
What happened is that they grew a lot, but the leaves turned downwards and the plant lost a little bit of color. I removed the pebbles and checked the soil, it was dry enough and the roots are not rotting. I gently squeezed the leaves, they seem "fat", but not rotting. No parasites, as far as I can tell.
Any suggestion what went wrong? Why do my plants look so miserable? :(


Thumb of 2017-07-04/AnnaJ/af3bb7

Name: Brian
NW Pennsylvania (Zone 5b)
Bigtrout
Jul 4, 2017 7:17 AM CST
Its quite simple, they look etiolated, they are stretching for more light, as an alpine plant they need more light! A few led strips are not enough to substitute for the sun. I keep aquariums with some high tech lighting, and my best most expensive LED light still throws less light with plants 18 inches below it than there is outside in bright shade.
Id give them some outside time, not full sun at first, but maybe under roof on a bright porch for a few weeks until they get used to it and then move them to some sunshine, and plan an outdoor container, they need a cold period during winter to thrive as well.

AnnaJ
Jul 4, 2017 11:42 AM CST
Thank you for your advice. Keeping them outside is not an option, I live at an apartment complex. I don't want them to die, so I suppose I will try and give them to someone who can take better care of them. Sad
[Last edited by AnnaJ - Jul 4, 2017 11:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Jul 4, 2017 1:23 PM CST
Hi AnnaJ Welcome! Semps are really challenging indoors, I never had luck. When I thought they were doing better they'd nearly die, as soon as I brought them outside they perk up. I think there is moisture and wind that they need for survival
There are house plants for your conditions. I tip my hat to you.
You could also plant them somewhere on public property that you can watch them progress, you'd need to water them every now and then

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jul 4, 2017 1:42 PM CST
Hello AnnaJ, I have never been a fan of growing any of my succulents in containers without drain holes. If that were my plant, I would move it to a proper container with drain holes. In your present set-up, yes you do control watering, but the accumulated salts is not being flushed out either.

Alpine succulents like semps loves cooler conditions, so indoors it is really a challenge to grow them. Lots of bright light but cooler air around and good drainage is its ideal growing culture.


AnnaJ
Jul 4, 2017 3:43 PM CST
Thank you for the kind words.
I know my apartment isn't suitable for growing plants; picture huge windows, gorgeous sunsets, but minimal direct sunlight.
I didn't have any plants at all, till a friend gave me these three cuties saying they were forgiving and easy to care for.
Apparently that's not the case. It breaks my heart to see them suffer, but not much I could do about the light.
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
Jul 4, 2017 4:04 PM CST
You can still correct the container you are growing them in. As long as you are aware that there are still other factors that may contribute for it not thriving as expected.

There are other low light plants more ideal for indoor growing.
Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
Jul 4, 2017 4:11 PM CST
I have had some growing in my basement for about 6- 8 months that are doing ok mostly as a experiment I do have most of mine outside.
I use a florescent light basically standard shop light but with daylight bulbs in it however I have the light about 8 inches above the plant.
Also as stated above drain holes would help a lot if not at least a few inches of stones on the bottom .
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.

AnnaJ
Jul 4, 2017 4:35 PM CST
I took them over to a neighbor's place, her apartment gets plenty of light. She will keep them for two week'ish and maybe the plants like it there. Meanwhile I ordered a new container, I will give it a try and repot them when I bring them home.
Thank you again. :)
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
Jul 4, 2017 9:02 PM CST
I have a friend who grows two indoors, but they're so etiolated that they don't look much like semps. They're growing but oddly

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