Growing Pains: Sick Sempervivum

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Growing Pains

By valleylynn
January 1, 2010

A plant clinic for Sempervivum, Jovibarba and J. heuffelii. This is a companion article for the Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum.

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SableBlix
May 8, 2018 8:31 PM CST
I need help identifying whats wrong with my sempervivum. I recieved it at a plant trade a few weeks ago. The plant began to wilt and the base leaves look as if they are drying up from the the inside. The central rosette and chicks are fine. Please help!
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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 8, 2018 8:38 PM CST
Hi Sable, nice to meet you, and welcome to NGA the best plant website in the world.

It looks like the leaf damage might have been from damage while moving/transplanting. What kind of soil is it planted in? Hopefully fast draining.
Are you keeping it in full sun? What are your summer temps and humidity like. It would be helpful to know what part of the country/world you live in.

I notice the pretty glass pebbles used as a top dressing. Sometimes that can act like a magnifying glass and heat the soil and burn the leaves in full sun.

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SableBlix
May 8, 2018 8:56 PM CST
It is planted in fast draining cactus soil with some added perlite. I added the top dressing today in hopes to protect the soil from other problems. It gets full sun up until around 2pm then its in some shade. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico so Zone 7. It is already getting pretty hot by now, with almost no humidity. I've had the plant for two weeks and I only watered it once a few days ago. You think it could be a transplant shock?
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 8, 2018 9:27 PM CST
It very well could be transplant shock/damage in handling the plant. Also in New Mexico you may not be able to have your semp in direct sun, it could burn it.
Let me call Bev to help with this. She used to grow semps when she lived in NM.
@webesemps

It might also work better to use chicken grit #2 or small gravel instead of the glass pieces.
You are correct about having a rock mulch under the leaves to keep them from contact with the soil.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
May 8, 2018 9:39 PM CST
Sable, Lynn has given good advice. I think Albuquerque is 5000 ft in altitude and close to the sun so the full sun till 2 is probably a bit much. As your conditions are dry at that altitude, water thoroughly (deep watering till see water come out of drainage hole) which will be better than frequent small waterings.

Yes, the glass stones might be adding to the heat on the lower leaves (as it appears that is where the damage is) so a change to matte colored stones might be better.
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 8, 2018 10:24 PM CST
Thank you for the help Bev. Thumbs up

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