Sempervivum forum: semp planter renovations

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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
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AntMan01
Apr 30, 2018 4:02 PM CST
Time for semp planter renovations in advance of planning for my new "Sempervivumry" (dedicated semp garden landscape area). The first one was easy, just a face lift, de-mossing, fresh mulch, couple minor semp relocations/adjustments.

Semp bowl planter No.1, moss was swallowing up heuff. 'Torrid Zone' and rosette size was shrinking. Flowering rosettes of 'Torrid Zone' left gaps. Note: semps in this planter (ciliosum, 'Nouveau Pastel', and 'Torrid Zone') are just starting to wake up from our seemingly endless winter-in-spring.
Before and after photos:
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/ce016f Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/ebfa26


Semp bowl planter #2 was a renovation, I started in the afternoon and ran out of daylight, waited through two days of rain, finished today although it was dang cold out there.

LEFT: the "before" view, once again moss is swallowing up semps and in particular heuff 'Gold Bug'. Rock work had settled and shrunk down in the bowl, rocks getting mossy, no stone mulch left, one cobby died a few years back (Yukon Snow) and Pacific Devils Food badly damaged by voles so potted them up for TLC in pots.
RIGHT: reconstruction in progress; alter rock work, remove lots of soil (I had used a surprisingly heavy soil, what was I thinking?), large patch of 'More Honey' mostly left in place, all other plants removed and cleaned up, fresh very lean soil to be used, runaway 'More Honey' rosettes move back into main patch area.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/0c1674 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/c6b5cf

Ran out of daylight, I lifted the block of moss-engulfed 'Gold Bug', decided it could wait for another day, sat their in the rain for next two days.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/9af1b4

Cleaning and dividing 'Gold Bug':

LEFT: cleaned and de-mossed the rosettes. Have approximately 20. Last year (2017) about 6-7 rosettes flowered, from what I'm seeing for each rosette that flowers and dies, it leaves behind two offsets.
RIGHT: pairs of small rosettes left behind after flowering rosettes die, can be divided.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/dbe9d9 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/a8df7c

LEFT: a couple rosettes were in early process of dividing into 3, decided it is too early to divide, these were potted up for dividing in the future.
RIGHT: side view of same rosette, showing it would be risky to divide.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/a66960 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/cfc1e5

LEFT: had a handful of damaged rosettes (voles in winter) that are resurrecting themselves.
RIGHT: had three pairs of small rosettes left behind after flowering, divided up 2 of 3 where each division had a major tap root, did not divide the one with only 1 tap root for the pair. I consulted Kevin's book about dividing heuffs, I did use rooting powder.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/c1e9a7 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/a463e6

Renovation Results:

LEFT: moved planter to a new (temporary) spot in full sun, was in part shade before. Planter was half sunken into an earth berm, it will be sitting up on a base of some sort, to showcase the hanging rosettes of 'More Honey', love that feature. Really liking the "pea pebble" stone mulch.
RIGHT: similar view but at a higher angle.
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/cf3a14 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/34d293

LEFT: added Semp. 'Silver Moon' (one of my recent arrivals)
RIGHT: another view further back, 'Gold Bug' above & a peek of dark red 'Brock' on left
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/d84fe4 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/0b58e1

LEFT: Overhead view of completed planter, 'More Honey' on left, pittonii bottom center, 'Brock' bottom right, 'Silver Moon; upper right, 'Gold Bug' top center.
RIGHT: closer view of 'More Honey' and its cascading habit
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/0a1729 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/9d82ad

LEFT: an oblique view of completed planter
RIGHT: an oblique view featuring 'Gold Bug'
Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/bdc573 Thumb of 2018-04-30/AntMan01/d81eaf

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Apr 30, 2018 5:00 PM (+)]
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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
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valleylynn
May 1, 2018 8:37 AM CST

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Very nice Mark. Love the way 'More Honey' drapes over the edge. What a difference from before and after.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
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pardalinum
May 1, 2018 9:23 AM CST
It just goes to show those long stolons are good for something. I picked up three long stoloned cultivars at PO. Plans are in process.
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 1, 2018 9:29 AM CST
Love your work, Mark! I do love the hanging semps.
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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 1, 2018 9:47 AM CST

Moderator

Connie, you are making me rethink the long stolon thing. I have a small planter that might do with a bit of long stolons. Hurray!
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
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tcstoehr
May 1, 2018 11:44 AM CST
While we're on the topic of renovation and moss removal, does anyone have any great ideas about in-place destruction of Irish Moss?

I tried an iron based, liquid moss killer that is meant for lawns. (Lilly Miller Moss Out) I mixed up a small batch into a hand held spray bottle. It did nothing at all.

I then tried a 50% vinegar solution in a spray bottle which is somewhat effective. The problem is you've got to cover every little bit of the moss or the remaining green portions continue to grow... like this picture below. I want to avoid spraying any of it on my succulent plants cuz it would kill those leaves too.

Thumb of 2018-05-01/tcstoehr/0cc019

I'm about ready to try painting a RoundUp solution on it, which would be useful in some other situations I can think of. I wonder if a partial painting of RoundUp would travel through the moss plant and kill the edges too?

Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
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plantmanager
May 1, 2018 12:04 PM CST
This is funny to me, Tim. I'd kill to have green moss like yours! I've even gone out into the forest in years past and brought some home for my terrariums. It would never live outside in our dry, dry climate. It's humid here when the humidity is 18! I'm trying to appreciate the dryness, but my preference would be for some good humidity and moss!
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
Bee Lover Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter
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tcstoehr
May 1, 2018 12:33 PM CST
Karen, I do have some areas that are plush with moss and I want it that way. All you have to do here is expose the soil and keep out the weeds. A carpet of moss will soon appear, like it or not.
[Last edited by tcstoehr - May 1, 2018 1:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
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plantmanager
May 1, 2018 12:54 PM CST
That sounds great, although my sister used to live in a place like that in WA. She also had moss on her house and all the walkways, so she spent a lot of time power washing. Is it that bad there?
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Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Butterflies Sempervivums Region: Pacific Northwest Vegetable Grower Cactus and Succulents Sedums
Bee Lover Region: Oregon Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry Cat Lover Composter
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tcstoehr
May 1, 2018 1:48 PM CST
plantmanager said:That sounds great, although my sister used to live in a place like that in WA. She also had moss on her house and all the walkways, so she spent a lot of time power washing. Is it that bad there?


Sighing! Indeed. Moss killer is required on the roof. The pebbled walkway out front also gets covered but I"m too lazy to take care of that. Then there's mildew which would cover the house if you don't specifically put mildewcide in the paint. Still, the garage door and roof gutters get blackened by the stuff. Oh yeah... there's also algae that will grow on shady surfaces that get occasionally moist. Good grief. Angry
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 1, 2018 2:17 PM CST

Moderator

Soon the hot dry season will arrive Tim and the moss will melt away.
Meanwhile don't apply the moss killer until there will be no rain for a day or two. Once the moss has died bread up the surface of the soil with a fork or something like that, just the surface. Moss doesn't like disturbed soil.
Name: Patty
Washington State (Zone 8b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Patty
May 3, 2018 3:16 PM CST
I'm with you Tim! That Irish miss is different, a weed and hard to control! Grumbling I usually do round up and pull by hand around plants. I've also thought about doing a brush application so let me know how it went if you do it.
Patty 🌺
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
May 12, 2018 2:06 PM CST
Light rain today, don't you all think semps are lovely in the rain, rain droplets pick up and amplify the colors. 'More Honey' starting to chick, let the new cascading stolons begin. Several views.

I have to say, this is a semp that drastically changes appearance through the season, beautiful when the rosettes fully open up, as they are now.
Thumb of 2018-05-12/AntMan01/537202

I wonder how far the stolons can cascade. I may end up propping up this large dish planter with a concrete block base, or something more aesthetic, to give it more height for cascading.
Thumb of 2018-05-12/AntMan01/42b256 Thumb of 2018-05-12/AntMan01/0889cb

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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 12, 2018 2:29 PM CST

Moderator

That really is a nice effect. I might have to think about how I might do that in one of my raised beds.
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jun 4, 2018 9:34 PM CST
Soon I will go to Home Depot and get some concrete blocks, need to raise this planter to see just how far Semp 'More Honey' rosettes are willing and able to cascade.

May 24, 2018
Thumb of 2018-06-05/AntMan01/d1ac78

June 3, 2018 (notice some flowering rosettes going vertical)
Thumb of 2018-06-05/AntMan01/0e1510

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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
Image
valleylynn
Jun 4, 2018 10:32 PM CST

Moderator

Wow, that is impressive Mark.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Lilies Sempervivums Sedums
Pollen collector I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Image
pardalinum
Jun 4, 2018 11:13 PM CST
Excellent hangage! Thumbs up
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jun 12, 2018 7:58 PM CST
Just an update, to use Connie's term, the "hangage" has increased, didn't want the chicks rooting when they're touching ground, so raised the planter with a concrete block.
Thumb of 2018-06-13/AntMan01/0b6d76

View of 'More Honey' flowering stem, with an odd looking chick on the right from that flower stem, flowering 'Brock' in the background.
Thumb of 2018-06-13/AntMan01/694fea

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)

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