Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Sempervivum Prone to Rot

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Mar 2, 2012 5:44 PM CST

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Most of my Sempervivum and Jovibarba do very well in our very wet winter and spring. But I do have a few that are not happy in these conditions.

This is a list of semps and heuffelii that some of us are having rot problems during the wet season.

S. 'Isella' is one of them. Such a shame, as this is a very large and gorgeous semp. It is distressing to see it struggle so this time of year. I think I just need to find it a home in a bit drier climate. It always ends up healthy by mid summer, but I have to clean all the rotted leaves from it.
Thumb of 2012-03-02/valleylynn/5315d1

Here is what it looked like last summer after coming out to the rot.
Thumb of 2012-03-02/valleylynn/a6b47a

J. heuff. 'Xanthoheuff' 5/5/2012
Thumb of 2012-05-27/valleylynn/ed2612

S. 'Pink Pearl'

S. 'Tordeu's Memory'

S. 'Cobweb Buttons'

S. 'Emerald Heart'
[Last edited by valleylynn - May 26, 2012 7:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Mar 3, 2012 9:51 AM CST

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Usually my 'Pink Pearl' really struggles in our winters. This winter I kept it in our unheated garage and it's looking great. If the snow ever melts I'll move it back outside.
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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
Mar 3, 2012 10:52 AM CST

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I might have to do that with the Isella. I just don't like have to baby sit them though. I'll have to go out and look at my Pink Pearl and see how she came through winter.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Mar 3, 2012 11:33 AM CST

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I don't care to plants that take "special care" either, but I'll make an exception for semps! Big Grin
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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
Mar 3, 2012 1:04 PM CST

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I just went out and took a photo of Pink Pearl. She is very happy in the raised bed. No rot this year. Hurray!


However, the one I put in a pot is not so happy. It's showing signs of rot. Tells me it needs fast draining soil (lots of chicken grit) and air circulation to stay healthy out doors during winter.
Think I will move Isella and give her faster draining soil in the middle of a bed, see if that works. Won't know until this time next year. Whistling

Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 17, 2012 11:17 PM CST
Lynn - Have you tried planting the ones that rot easily in a pot and tilting it sideways? I saw this picture of a Delosperma "Fire Spinner" growing in a plate tilted like this. Here is the photo that made me think of this. I made my mom a tower of pots by putting a pole in the ground and stacking the pots up on top of each other. They are all tilted at an angle. Her Sempervivums grow in them perfectly. I just told her not to ever touch them or water them. Now she grows them fine. It's like the photo at the bottom. I used plastic pots so mine wouldn't crack in the winter; however, they did bend slightly. I guess there is no perfect solution to anything. LOL.

Thumb of 2012-03-18/clintbrown/672eab

Thumb of 2012-03-18/clintbrown/5f1a3e
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 17, 2012 11:45 PM CST

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I love your stacked pots Clint, what a fun way to grow plants.

The few semp varieties I have rotting problems with are because they don't like my 3 months of rain. Sad
There are just a few that have this problem. The area they are in is very fast draining with a lot of sand an chicken grit.
I should probably put them in containers and place them under a roof during our rainy season. I have almost 400 varieties of sempervivum and Jovibarba, with only a very few that have this problem.
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Mar 18, 2012 12:08 AM CST
Wow. I didn't realize it rained so much there. You need some little umbrellas to stick in the ground over them!
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
Mar 18, 2012 9:51 AM CST

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Rolling on the floor laughing What a picture that makes in my mind. Big Grin
Sometime in April the rains start slacking off, then summer time we don't get rain, just drought. Good thing these plants carry their own water supply. Thumbs up
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Mar 18, 2012 11:05 AM CST
I've been impressed with how well some of my troublesome semps are doing in hypertufa pots compared to terracotta or plastic. The hypertufa is porous enough that water soaks through it quite well or it wicks it away so the roots don't stay wet. Whatever the reason, I'm making more hypertufa this year and moving more semps into it.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Mar 18, 2012 11:28 AM CST

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My semps that are in hypertufa pots generally come through our winters in great shape. Much better than some in the ground. In fact, just this morning I was looking at an area in my semp garden thinking I may just dig all those up and put them in tufa pots (back in the same garden, but probably on rocks).
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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
May 26, 2012 5:11 AM CST

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I've found that 'Tordeu's Memory' rots very easily. I've had this plant since 2010 and have only been able to keep one plant alive every year, I lost three of them this spring and it's been quite dry, except for that one day we had 6+ inches! Today it's going into a container where I can control moisture/drainage.
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
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clintbrown
May 26, 2012 6:30 AM CST
Those rock planters drain so well. I don't think they could rot in them either.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
May 26, 2012 7:44 AM CST

Moderator

Good point Cliff. Can you do a tutorial of your rock planter when you make it???? Big Grin
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twitcher
May 26, 2012 7:52 AM CST
Lynn or Chris, Can you compile a list of the rot prone plants mentioned in this thread and post them at the top, perhaps edit the first post, so there is an easy reference list of the problem ones? Keep all the discussions, but make it easy for us to check this thread to find the problem ones.

I'd also like to add 'Cobweb Buttons' to the list. I have problems off and on with it, but slowly building a population of them. I'm growing them "hard", e.g. in a place that gets lots of sun and dries out quickly. Can we add heuffelii Xanthoheuff?

Thanks

~t
Name: Kim
DC area (Zone 6b)
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twowee
May 26, 2012 8:42 AM CST
Out of 72 that I have together, S. Emerald Heart is the only one rotted.
Seattle WA. Zone 7
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Sherri
May 26, 2012 9:36 AM CST
Twitcher, do mean add Xanthoheuff in general to the site or to the rot prone guys?
I have been plotting my nursery purchase this year to get that one, have you had troubles with it?
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 26, 2012 11:57 AM CST

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Okay I can do that, I think it's a very good idea twit. I will do it when I get back from the post office.

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twitcher
May 26, 2012 4:18 PM CST
Yes to the "rot list". Xanthoheuff is a troublesome one for me. It was one of my first heuffelii. It did well for a couple of years and I divided it. I lost one of the two pots to rot, and have had to fuss with the other one from time to time. It is now permanently in the semp nursery in a spot where it does not get direct rain. I have to water it manually to avoid the rot. It's doing OK and I think I will be able to send you a division next year if you would like. It is light green in color, but for me does not do the bright yellow that you see in photos, at least so far.

I'll get you a pic in the near future.
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 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
May 26, 2012 7:16 PM CST

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I did have some rot problems with Xanthoheuff last spring, during our monsoon weather time. But his year it didn't do the rot thing. I went to get a photo just now and both of my batteries are dead. *Blush* Charging them now. Will try to get a photo tomorrow. In April is when it gets the really yellow color here. And it gets very yellow. Lovey dubby

April 2011
Thumb of 2012-05-27/valleylynn/a66dba

And here it is in June 2011
Thumb of 2012-05-27/valleylynn/b0a051

It is one of my very favorite heuffelii. So far it has greater bright yellow coloring than h. Gold Bug.

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