Sempervivum forum: Harvesting chicks, how early is too early?

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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
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
May 3, 2018 12:37 PM CST
While attempting coir removal from MCG plants, it was near impossible not to damage (break) the stolons holding premature chicks. I figured I might as well see if they'll root even though underdeveloped.

LEFT: Pacific Blue Ice, with plump little chicks forming on hot pink stolons. If they were picked at this state, would they have less of a chance to root? I'm going to leave them attached, but curious about this point.
RIGHT: top left is 'Bagdad', top right 'Kramer's Spinrad', lower right calcareum 'Fire Dragon', and the pots with premature chicks from each, knocked off while removing coir.

Thumb of 2018-05-03/AntMan01/24b482 Thumb of 2018-05-03/AntMan01/db697e
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
[Last edited by AntMan01 - May 22, 2018 11:37 AM (+)]
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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 3, 2018 1:36 PM CST

Moderator

You can give it a try Mark and see how it does. The stolon might supply some food for the immature offset until it can develop roots.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 3, 2018 7:50 PM CST
Mark, I've had the best success with this by nearly covering the offset with grit, and keeping it shaded. Especially now that temps are going up so quickly 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
May 3, 2018 8:28 PM CST
gg5 said:Mark, I've had the best success with this by nearly covering the offset with grit, and keeping it shaded. Especially now that temps are going up so quickly Thumbs up


Thanks Greg, I will move the 3 pots of immature chicks to an open shaded location. Will report back later how it goes.
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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 22, 2018 11:28 AM CST
I'm doing more experimentation harvesting young chicks, now that hens are really pushing out the chicks. Detaching them while young and potting them up, will hopefully give me a headstart increasing the new mail-order plants, to plant out a larger colony. I'm learning a few things as I do this.

Two views of young chicks of 'Seminole', was surprised to see that many already had young roots searching for ground, tapping into the grit mulch.
Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/e40510 Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/20c98e

LEFT: chicks on 'Gingerbread Boy'
RIGHT: happy to find 5 chicks on 'Positively Glowing.
Notice in these photos where the roots start, interesting that roots do come from the scale-like cauline leaves on the stolon. I've been trimming back excess stolon length, don't think the full length is needed.
Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/5c1f25 Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/cade80

I'm thinking the best way to plant the chick/stolons is more or less horizontally (actually, slighty sloped uphill, put a bit of soil over the stolons then add the grit mulch layer. I use straight twigs or popsicle sticks as dividers between cultivars
LEFT: chick pot-up in progress
RIGHT: chick flat #1 is done, clockwise from lower left: 11 Killer, 5 Positively Glowing (I misplaced one chick, but found it and added it in after taking the photo), 7 Thunder, 8 Seminole ,
Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/c2fdf1 Thumb of 2018-05-22/AntMan01/bb4aa6

LEFT: chick flat #2, clockwise from lower left: 7 Pacific Blue Ice, 10 Dreamcatcher, 6 Bitter Chocolate,
6 Gingerbread Boy, 2 Rocknoll Rosette
RIGHT: closer view of 3 chick cultivars
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Some semp cultivars like 'Aross' chick so prolifically, there's no need to separately harvest them.
LEFT: 'Aross', so fuzzy and little tufts at leaf tips, a small explosion of growth and color.
RIGHT: 'Aross' on right-hand side, pink-hued 'Irazou' to the left of Aross.
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Going to do several more of these chick flats Smiling
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
[Last edited by AntMan01 - May 22, 2018 11:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
May 22, 2018 1:11 PM CST
Looks great Mark! Irazu is also a good grower! Hurray!

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 22, 2018 5:06 PM CST

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Great way to increase production Mark. The original rosette might even produce another crop since the early ones are taken off.
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 3, 2018 3:04 PM CST
Following up on my first message from exactly 1 month ago, tiny premature chicks salvaged on "Bagdad', calcareum 'Fire Dragon', and 'Kramer's Spinrad', all have done well, plumped up and increased in size, giving a gentle tug they are firmly rooted on their own.
Thumb of 2018-06-03/AntMan01/27cd72

While I was puttering about, I plucked 4 chicks on mature 'Butterbur' rosettes, just in case they decide to flower, and potted them up...they had the usual white adventive hair roots looking to touch ground.
LEFT: 'Butterbur" chicks, many much smaller chicks are forming too.
RIGHT: 'Butterbur" chicks potted up. Supposed to rain next two days, will be good for the chicks.
Thumb of 2018-06-03/AntMan01/d149ea Thumb of 2018-06-03/AntMan01/d50d22

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
Jun 3, 2018 4:17 PM CST

Moderator

Love seeing how the experiment is working out Mark.
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 5, 2018 6:37 PM CST
Getting interesting results with the early harvesting of chicks. When I potted up my Pans order exactly 1 month ago, I potted 'Edge of Night' and left five chicks on it, and potted 10 chicks (about same size) into a separate pot. Today, June 5, 2018, I plucked off those five chicks that I left on the plant a month ago and potted them up, these chicks were hanging out in the air putting out aerial roots unable to grab hold of soil.

LEFT: original 5 chicks on 'Edge of Night', left attached for one month, then potted up today
RIGHT: 10 chicks potted up 1 month ago, fully rooted and developing strong growing rosettes.
Thumb of 2018-06-06/AntMan01/6fd4eb Thumb of 2018-06-06/AntMan01/40d773

Results: chicks remaining on the plants (pot on left) are far behind and still need to root in; they're much smaller compared to the early harvested chicks in the pot on the right.

My overall impression, chicks harvested very early (at immature size) are ready and willing to take root and grow on, a good acceleration technique. One can cut the chick's "apron strings" (stolons) early on, forcing independent root development and earlier rosette development, rather than spend time hanging out "in the air" in a slow motion stasis, attempting to reach ground with aerial roots.

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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
Jun 5, 2018 6:47 PM CST
Thumbs up Good test for what many of us already assumed, or having also tried. Now it will be interesting to see how young can an offset be viable off parent plant Smiling I've done this on some very small offsets and if you take care, they will do fine Thumbs up I tip my hat to you.

Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Photo Contest Winner 2018 Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Greenhouse
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springcolor
Jun 5, 2018 6:49 PM CST
Good info, I always thought if too small they would die if cut from the mother plant
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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
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jun 5, 2018 6:55 PM CST
springcolor said:Good info, I always thought if too small they would die if cut from the mother plant


I will try some of the smallest/youngest chicks I can find, and see how they do, will report back. Smiling
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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
Jun 5, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Julia I've had some offsets fall off while transporting and transplanting - and have planted them, however I usually plant them deep into the top dressing so they are shaded! I tip my hat to you.
Yes Mark do please keep us updated! I tip my hat to you.

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
Jun 5, 2018 7:28 PM CST

Moderator

I recently planted some very tiny (pale and very immature) offsets that fell off of the rosettes when packaging them for shipment. Way to tiny to put into the bag. So far so good. They are alive and some even look like they are growing.
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
Jun 5, 2018 7:44 PM CST
This one (ABBA) has a lot of little babes. Should I remove them and pot them up?

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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
Jun 5, 2018 7:46 PM CST

Moderator

If you are working at having a nice colony I would just leave them. But, you can take a few off and test the theory. Smiling
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 5, 2018 8:05 PM CST
I agree with Lynn. My experiment was simply to test a theory, and when re-establishing a personal collection of semps I was looking to accelerate the numbers of each variety from the few that are sent via mail-order. I'm also interested in chicks as insurance against losses from hens flowering and dying.

Some plants are so free with chicks, there really isn't much need to pull off chicks early, only perhaps to pot up some to give away to friends, or have available to trade. By the way Karen, 'Abba' looks very nice, somehow it's missing from my want list, so I added it Smiling
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
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
Jun 5, 2018 8:10 PM CST
Sorry about the horrible top dressing on that one. It was in an earth box, and I used a white rock to top dress. Then when it was watered, it all turned icky brown. I now have some chicken grit to use but haven't done it yet.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Jun 5, 2018 9:07 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1728709 (19)
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 5, 2018 8:33 PM CST
Today was the first day I could go out in the garden after my recent surgery, but only light work allowed (puttering), so I potted up a bunch of semp chicks. Here are some that I worked on.

One concern is getting chicks on large mature hens for which I do not yet have any chicks. Pleased to spot one chick on a large single mature hen of 'Fame':
LEFT: top view of 'Fame', chick peaking out by label.
RIGHT: pulling off dried basal leaves, 3 more unseen chicks were found.
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LEFT: happy to pot up 4 'Fame' immature chicks
RIGHT: chicks potted up, compared to size of hen
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LEFT: 'Neptune' is another large mature hen I received without chicks, top view. The rosette looked like it might want to flower.
RIGHT: relieved to discover today the formation of chicks tight inside the mother rosette
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LEFT & RIGHT: close-in views of chicks developing tight amongst the leaves, one actually has a very short length of stolon sufficient to detach the chick at this point.
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One of the last semp orders I received this spring was from the Semp Patch (aka Goldfinch4), and already chicks are forming. I'm so taken with green 'Grand Mere', looking like a green rose, I was pleased to find 7 chicks just poking out from the two hens, the chicks as plump and cute as the mama. US dime added for scale.

LEFT: chicks of 'Grand Mere'
RIGHT: view with chicks and two Hens, love the rose shape rosettes with deep eye.
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'Grand Mere' chicks potted up:
Thumb of 2018-06-06/AntMan01/48b63a

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
I use #2 chicken grit to feed my hens & chicks :-)
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Jun 5, 2018 8:40 PM (+)]
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