Sempervivum forum: What time of year to sow

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 19, 2018 5:55 AM CST
I have two packets of old Sempervivum seeds. I had planned to sow them in flats after the last frost (i.e., this weekend) but I've read that several people do it in October or November. Should I wait to sow them? Just curious what your thoughts are. The seeds are old, so even if 0 sprout I won't be devastated but I would still like to have the best chance of success.
Keep going!
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
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valleylynn
Apr 19, 2018 10:40 AM CST

Moderator

Hi Jai.
You can still plant them. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy. And keep them protected from direct sun this time of the year.
How old are the seed? Have they been kept refrigerated? It will be interesting to see if they germinate for you.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 19, 2018 10:42 AM CST
One packet is at least 3 years old, but the other one I have no idea about.

I planned to sow them in a covered flat and just keep them on my north-facing back porch.

Does it make much difference if they're sown in spring verses fall? I had just assumed it wouldn't, I should have done more research!
Keep going!
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
Apr 19, 2018 10:46 AM CST

Moderator

Most of the breeders plant them in early spring. What is your weather like now? As long as you don't let them dry out it should work. Thumbs up
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 19, 2018 11:12 AM CST
Tonight and tomorrow we have freeze warnings. We've had snow storms and freeze warnings for the last six weeks, off and on, punctuated with a few 84º days. It's cycling pretty hard right now.
Keep going!
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
Apr 19, 2018 4:02 PM CST

Moderator

They should do fine since you will have them in a protected area.
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
Apr 19, 2018 8:49 PM CST
Hi Jai, wow that is some wild temp differences!! I'll be watching this thread to see if anything happens with your older seeds! Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.

Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Apr 19, 2018 8:57 PM CST
Because semps are such small seeds, I would wonder if they would still be viable after 3 years. No harm in planting them. They do like a little chill. I started mine outside in Oregon and we had some VERY cold weather (down to 22 F) and I'm having excellent (maybe TOO excellent) germination.

Remember these are germinating IN THE ALPS. They are pretty tough.

Kevin
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 20, 2018 5:46 AM CST
My climate is called sub-albine, actually. I'm at a very high elevation in WV (I forget the number of feet, I've only lived here two months).

I've heard that this kind of cycling is not normal, that it normally goes from the 30s to the 70s, but even that seems like a big difference day-to-day.

Regardless, I got the seeds sown last night and put them on my back porch. Now I'll wait a few weeks and update when/if I see green (assuming they're all green when they sprout and turn orange/red/purple later, right?)...
Keep going!
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Apr 20, 2018 8:03 AM CST
Yes they normally come up as a tiny pair of fat green cotyledons. A few lines of mine come up with red or purple cotyledons and those lines often give very dark seedlings.

Kevin
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 20, 2018 8:31 AM CST
Excellent info, thank you. How long do you keep yours covered/moist?
Keep going!
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Apr 20, 2018 10:02 AM CST
Never covered, constantly MOIST but NOT SOPPING. They have TINY roots when they germinate so they need moisture until they are transplanted into seedling beds. I still keep them moist through the first summer!

Kevin
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 20, 2018 10:12 AM CST
Okie doke, thank you. I have experience growing Stapelia, Lithops, Dinteranthus, and other South African succulents from seed. The Dinteranthus seeds are actually almost microscopic, about 1/10th the size of these Sempervivum seeds. So they're very tiny and will rot even faster I think

What feels "foreign" to me is growing succulents from seed outside in the cold. I know it's OK, but my instinct still tells me it's far too cold and wet. lol
Keep going!
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
Apr 21, 2018 12:08 AM CST
Jai that gets me sometimes too especially on the semps that look close to echevaria,
Smiling

Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 21, 2018 11:34 AM CST
I know. It's an odd kind of cognitive dissonance how you know something is X but still feel like it's Y.

Kind of reminds me of the weather right now. I know it's spring, but...it's cold. lol
Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 30, 2018 6:44 AM CST
A little bit of an update. Tomorrow is May Day and I have very tiny little green spots. I'm surprised they didn't bake to death because the temperature on the porch was 88º followed by 31º less than 24 hours later. I tried photographing them but they're too small. There were also only a few, so I don't know if either they haven't all sprouted yet or if it's just a low germination due to the seed being several years old, but some of them did sprout, so at least there's that.
Keep going!
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
Apr 30, 2018 10:08 AM CST

Moderator

In about a week or two you will probably have full germination. Occasionally there will be late germination. Be patient, and don't let them dry out.
Can't wait to see a photo of the babies. Hurray!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Jai_Ganesha
May 6, 2018 12:46 PM CST
Well, never mind. All my seedlings (and any unsprouted seeds) have been washed away, along with several other trays of plants. We had flash flooding today and I was at work and unable to get home in time.

My house is fine, it only reached the corner of my porch where they were all sitting. But it's going to rain for the next few days, so fingers crossed.

Now I'm pretty bummed.
Keep going!
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
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plantmanager
May 6, 2018 1:16 PM CST
Aw, sorry, Jai. It's a bummer when stuff like that happens. Thank goodness it didn't get into your house. Is there a way you could trench or make river beds so the water won't do that in the future?
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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
May 6, 2018 2:39 PM CST

Moderator

Sad
Oh no, I am so sorry Jai. But so thankful it didn't damage your house.

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