GregC said:Mark, that'Red beauty" reminds of freeze damage which happened to my 'Blue Boy" this spring. look up my thread of freezing semps.
I thought of that too GregC, but my plants have never been exposed to freezing temps ever since the orders arrived approx. 2 weeks ago, and the 2nd potted plant of 'Red Beauty' right next to the sick plant looks fine, my guess it had some sort or wilt or virus that took it down quickly. I'm watching the rest of my new plants for any signs of distress.
Paleo: what you say makes sense. All the plants I ordered came from much milder climates, and growing in greenhouses, so I know that when they arrived in our much colder climate, I carry all the trays of semps into my basement early each evening before temperatures drop to freezing. Just got our updated extended weather forecast, night time temps at or below freezing predicted for next 5 days, so I shall keep up with moving trays into the basement each night for protection.
On the other hand, I want to limit the duration of time spent indoors; with a recent 2-day long freezing ice/snow/rain event, I had to kept the trays inside for 2 days, and the rosettes opened up considerably in those two days. Having these plants outdoors in cool breezy air, sunny or cloudy, makes the rosettes turgid (firm) and they're really looking great. Once we finally get to a point where it doesn't freeze every night, they'll be moved permanently outside, and once all danger of frost is past, they'll be planted permanently in landscape beds and large planters/troughs.
Partial view of semps in one of my trays, after this morning chilly rain/snow at 34F, few degrees above freezing, high temp today is 42F, they're looking good: columns left to right, Column 1: Apple Blossom, two Honigmond below (bottom one are chicks), Column 2: Zircon, Column 3: Dream Catcher.
Closer look at the melted-away 'Red Beauty', caudex and roots showed no sign of rot, but it was rotting from inside the rosette center.