Hi everyone, I'm finally joining this forum after gleaning so much information from past posts.
I live in south Mississippi, with lots of heat, rain, and humidity; and my attempts at keeping succulents (mostly Echeveria and hybrids, as I love the rosette shape) have been sporadic and riddled with grief. I finally got the guts to place an MCG order for some Semps in the middle of May. On the 19th I received one each of
Sempervivum heuffelii 'Chocoleto'
Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Cebenese'
Sempervivum 'Purple Beauty'
Sempervivum 'Twilight Blues'
I potted them up on May 22 with way too much of their original soil, in some of the finer gravel from the driveway. They sit on our picnic table in the backyard, which generally gets part sun up until 11am, then full sun until 3pm, then part sun for the rest of the day (so about four hours full sun, in the hottest part of the day. Not ideal, I know, but with our trees it's the best I've got.)
May 29 I noticed some really bad looking leaves on Olivette and Chocoleto (adjascent to each other in the pot) and pulled them out; there was a leaf that looked infested with some sort of pest, which I now think was/is either mealybug or some other scale insect. We had several rainy, humid, not-very-sunny days in a row, and we've had ants making their way to and from the pot.
Anyhow I pulled the damaged leaves off the plant and got rid of as much soil as I could before sticking them back in the gravel. After researching further, I pulled everything out, dousing everything in 70% isopropyl alcohol and getting rid of even more of the original soil (the alcohol makes short work of that. Very handy.) and all dead/dying leaves, and replanted all of them in nothing but gravel.
I'm guessing it was May 31 that I saw Olivette had more gross-looking leaves (no photo, so no date reference), and on pulling it out I could see that the stem near the center of the rosette was blackened and rotten. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I cut the rosette off completely and started letting the top callus up indoors, and have been spraying the roots with water daily.
Everyone else has been getting a spray bath of 70% alcohol with a few drops of Dawn mixed in, once or twice a day.
Today (June 4) I stuck my shriveled Olivette back into the gravel and have fashioned a mini-tent to shade it from the full sun. I don't have high hopes for the poor thing, as it's quite shriveled looking, but there are a few roots that look plump and viable, so who knows.
Happily, Chocoleto is showing new growth today where I pulled out the one rosette center.
Sadly, Twilight Blues looks like it's preparing to flower...
What a roller coaster! and it's only been... a smidge over two weeks?
Aaaanyway. If you read this far, thank you! I could definitely use some pointers on what I've done right/wrong, any steps I can/should take immediately, or if I need to just leave the durned things alone.
I'm stressing way more over this than I should, but I've always loved the rosette succulents and would be thrilled to succeed in keeping these things alive long enough for them to multiply.
The newly planted semps.
Damage seen 5-28
The replanted container, 5-28.
The current state of affairs....
the remains of poor little Olivette.
Twilight Blues. It's gonna flower, isn't it?