Sempervivum forum: Some newbie semp questions

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3
Views: 1841, Replies: 56 » Jump to the end
Central CT (Zone 6b)
Image
JesseInCT
Oct 31, 2018 1:29 PM CST
Hi All-

Are there any links or threads designed for those new to this awesome hobby? I'd like to better understand the various species of sempervivum and what their characteristics are. I just learned about the globiferum group yesterday and I am just so fascinated by these little plants. One question I want to learn about is how their growth varies- I really like smaller ones that grow together and stay low and almost mat -like. Here is one of Lynn's that is just so cool. I love how they are huddled together! Group hug
Thumb of 2018-10-31/JesseInCT/e8abf0

I saw something in one thread about a semp book that one member was working on. Is that out? I'm not sure if that is geared towards a beginner, but I'd love to find a resource to help me understand the main species that make up the genus.

I am still trying to decide on what I want to plant in between my flagstones next season. I think I will use some faro form right along the edge of the driveway, then tuck some small, low growing semps in there close to my retaining wall where I know they wont be run over. Crying I will definitely be getting some rollers for above in the bed, I really like Sempervivum globiferum ssp. hirtum var. prusianna.
Thumb of 2018-10-31/JesseInCT/e9e780

I am also eyeing Sempervivum arachnoideum var. bryoides & Green Wheel, and Forest Frost. It hasn't even snowed yet and I am already ready for spring to get back out there! Sad

Here is a NOID one of my mom's friend gave me that she didn't get around to planting this year. I planted this around labor day and it was all green when it went in the ground. Pretty cool to see it changing, and this isn't even a special, rare variety.
Thumb of 2018-10-31/JesseInCT/2b4e45

Glad to have this awesome resource!
Jesse


Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Oct 31, 2018 2:42 PM CST
Jesse, Welcome to sharing with us your interest in Sempervivums.

Here's the book someone may have been talking about. We've all just got this ourselves this Spring. Kevin Vaughn tries to address everything anybody interested in Semps would be wanting to know or should know or think they wouldn't have to know... Smiling
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0764355120/
Name: BigT
Central Illinois (Zone 5)
Sempervivums Sedums Cactus and Succulents Birds
Image
Bigtattoo
Oct 31, 2018 2:56 PM CST
Yep, you're hooked. Here's a link to the Semp data base hosted here at NGA. The book is by Kevin Vaughan "Sempervivum" he's also a regular contributor to the forum. His book would be a great addition, good from beginner to advanced. You've already located some fine semps. Be careful where you place rollers, they can spread pretty far when chicks roll away, they are neat though.

There are other references in the right hand column of the semp forum main page, several links there.

You're flagstones are perfect for a mixed succulent rock garden, semps, sedums, small ice plants, so many choices.
That's a real nice looking NOID.
NOID doesn't mean not pretty, just unknown cultivar, the name got lost somewhere along the way. Many of us have NOIDs that are highly prized favorites. I know I do.
My red heart NOID.
Thumb of 2018-10-31/Bigtattoo/6f84c7
Thumb of 2018-10-31/Bigtattoo/c3d358

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
Oct 31, 2018 5:08 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Jesse. Wow, I agree with BigT, looks like you are already hooked. Welcome to the group of semp lovers. Big Grin
Your flagstone area will be the talk of the town once colonies of semps and other hardy succulents are established. Love that photo.
'Hurricane' is such an interesting semp with it's webbing and seasonal color changes. Here it is in the spring. It makes nice neat colonies.
Central CT (Zone 6b)
Image
JesseInCT
Nov 1, 2018 8:03 AM CST
Thank you for the warm welcome! Big Grin

Kevin's book will go on my Christmas wish list along with a p-touch! Hilarious!

I found another good contender last night for the role of ultra low ground cover on the driveway side of my flagstones- Thymus Minus (Miniature Thyme) is very low and neat looking. I wonder how this would play with the semps, if they could co-exist happily, or if the thyme would want to overtake it.
Thumb of 2018-11-01/JesseInCT/62ff47

Does anyone use a grow light to propagate plants indoors? A small plant of miniature thyme cost $7.50 and I would need dozens. Wondering if I could buy one and turn it into a few dozen over the winter? I could also bask under the warm glow of LED light when it's 10 below zero outside. Rolling on the floor laughing

Finally, can anyone share some of their favorite tiny semp varieties? (1/2"-1" rosettes) Is the growth habit a function of the genetics of the cultivar or the cultural practices of how the offsets are handled? (or both).. I like the ones that form low, tight mats as opposed to the more mounding ones.

Sorry if I am a bit all over the place- I'm just excited.. Smiling

Name: BigT
Central Illinois (Zone 5)
Sempervivums Sedums Cactus and Succulents Birds
Image
Bigtattoo
Nov 1, 2018 9:33 AM CST
Hi Jesse, thyme would be a fine choice as a companion planting with your semps and sedums. It may require some maintenance to keep it in check and not let overgrow your succulents. There are other varieties of thyme that would play well too. Wooly thyme is attractive, (I believe Lynn grows wooly thyme with her semps) provides another color and texture for your beds. I would suggest growing your thyme from seed rather than trying to winter over plants. It grows readily and easily and you could produce many starter plugs in a matter of a few weeks, ready for planting. You can find packets of seeds (roughly 100 seeds per packet) for only a few dollars through Google. One packet would be enough to fill a plastic starter flat with the six pack tray inserts. If memory serves one flat would give 48 small plugs. You can purchase LED shop lights to start your seedlings. These are relatively inexpensive $15-25.00 and can be had through most home improvement centers. On the light package they should have a rating 5000 degrees kelvin, to 6500 degrees kelvin. I would recommend the 6500K although the 5000K will suffice, it's just a matter of lux or light intensity as well as color spectrum. Start your seeds roughly 6 weeks before your last frost date in spring. Thyme seeds can germinate in as little as 1-2 weeks and this gives several more weeks for your plants to put on some size before time to plant. As for you basking under the warm glow, I suggest a one lamp for your seedlings and another specifically for you. Hilarious!

Sempervivum 'arachnoideum' (cobweb houseleeks) cultivars tend to have the smaller size 1/2"-1" that you desire. Mounding versus mat like, most likely will be a matter of judicious removal of some chicks. Removing chicks with short stolons that are close the hen, and leaving only longer stolon chicks. This will give the chicks more room to mature without crowding the hen or each other. Confined space between your flagstones can also contribute to the mounding factor. This is the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure @valleylynn will be along. Lynn has much more knowledge and experience as to which semps would work best for you.

In the meantime, here's the link to the semp database. The 'arachnoideums' are right at the beginning, not that you should stop perusing and drooling there. I suggest a bib and a plastic cover for your keyboard to help keep things dry. I like to right click on a variety I want a closer look at and "open in a new tab" so as not to lose my place in the main list. Each cultivar you look at will have an "add to plant list" option in the left column. You can use this to start building your own plant list that you can access through your profile at any time. (The little blue icon in the upper right of any screen is your profile.)

Here's the link to different vendors that sell our beloved semps.
Mountain Crest Gardens https://mountaincrestgardens.c...
Perennial Obsessions https://perennialobsessions.co...
SMG http://www.smgsucculents.com/
The Sempervivum Patch https://cubits.org/TheSempervi...
Young's http://www.youngs-garden.com/
Name: Kevin Vaughn
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
JungleShadows
Nov 1, 2018 9:42 AM CST
Jesse,

Some thyme cultivars are too invasive to be paired with semps so I would stay away from that combination or you'll end up fighting to keep the thyme out of the semp clumps. Polly Bishop used thyme of several types in her garden but not near the semps.

All of the cobweb types are small but I think that would make for a really boring planting as you need some variety. Even if you venture into the tufted types, you'll get some more interesting color combinations. It looks as though you have two planting areas, one at the level of the driveway and one above. Because of the length and size of the beds, I think not having a few bigger ones in there would tend to make it look WAY to monochromatic/ mono-formic if you use only cobwebs. Definitely plant the upper area to larger cultivars and even mix a few in the bottom level.

Rome won't be built in a day and it will look sparse for a year or maybe two depending upon how densely you plant.

Kevin
Name: BigT
Central Illinois (Zone 5)
Sempervivums Sedums Cactus and Succulents Birds
Image
Bigtattoo
Nov 1, 2018 9:48 AM CST
Jesse, there you have it. You can't ask for a better source than the man himself, Kevin Vaughan.
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
Nov 1, 2018 9:50 AM CST

Moderator

Great questions Jesse. And wonderful suggestions from BigT and Kevin.
Let me think about this and get back to you when I get home from work later today. So many things already whirling around in my head. Hurray!
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
Image
gg5
Nov 1, 2018 9:55 AM CST
Hi Jesse, I like the 'roller' types too! They are the globiferums you were talking about. There are many different types of them I bought most of mine through SMG that BigT linked above,
once you are at SMG's website you would click on the right hand side 'Jovibarba Rollers' (these used to be in a separate genus called Jovibarba) Just looked on SMG's site and the first two options he has, (from Bulgaria and from Smeryuka) are great plants, differing slightly in color and size from each other
For me to get a matted planting, I just move the offsets around in the area that I want them and wait for them to root and grow! The offsets drop off of these types, very easily I tip my hat to you.

[Last edited by gg5 - Nov 1, 2018 10:00 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1847315 (10)
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals Composter
Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
cwhitt
Nov 1, 2018 11:15 AM CST
JesseInCT said:Does anyone use a grow light to propagate plants indoors? A small plant of miniature thyme cost $7.50 and I would need dozens. Wondering if I could buy one and turn it into a few dozen over the winter? I could also bask under the warm glow of LED light when it's 10 below zero outside. Rolling on the floor laughing

I use grow lights in my basement every winter. Have had good luck with them. Bought them from Amazon. The ones in the basement are the longer fluorescent tube type. I also have a single LED type grow light-bulb one in my office, which does not light up a big area, but I just use it for one single plant. If you plan to use it for multiple plants, I would get the tube lights if I were you.

Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
plantmanager
Nov 1, 2018 12:14 PM CST
The best lights are the LED tube lights with 6500K.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Central CT (Zone 6b)
Image
JesseInCT
Nov 5, 2018 8:47 AM CST
Thank you all for the suggestions! Great point on varying the sizes and textures, Kevin. What a great community you have here. I've been scouring the database and marking my favorites! Thank 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
Image
valleylynn
Nov 5, 2018 9:13 AM CST

Moderator

Jesse, love your avatar.
And don't forget, you are a big part in this community. Big Grin Hurray!
Central CT (Zone 6b)
Image
JesseInCT
Nov 16, 2018 8:29 AM CST
Well, winter arrived overnight. We got about a foot of snow and the semp and sedum garden is buried. Only the first snow and I am already ready for spring. Sighing!
Name: BigT
Central Illinois (Zone 5)
Sempervivums Sedums Cactus and Succulents Birds
Image
Bigtattoo
Nov 16, 2018 9:33 AM CST
I feel your pain Jesse. You received a lot more from that storm that I did. I still don't like winter though.
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
Nov 16, 2018 10:58 AM CST

Moderator

Spring is just around the corner. Hurray!
The older I get, the faster time goes. Rolling my eyes.

Stay safe, all that are experiencing winter weather now.
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
Image
gg5
Nov 17, 2018 3:36 PM CST
Wow Jesse that's a huge amount of snow!! Stay warm and safe everyone I tip my hat to you.

Central CT (Zone 6b)
Image
JesseInCT
Nov 30, 2018 8:29 AM CST
My Semp "Aglow" is looking pretty pitiful. Despite my best efforts to keep her feet dry, she is rotting. She was covered in snow for a week or so, then another week or so of melting snow. I guess just hope for the best and try to remove the dead leaves in the spring once it is good and dry? Obviously, much more chicken grit around the base of new ones next year..

In the back of my head when I was planting these I thought, "Man, a lot of pressure planting a 'Live Forever' plant." Hilarious! I knew I could find a way to kill it! D'Oh!


Thumb of 2018-11-30/JesseInCT/89c447

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Nov 30, 2018 10:56 AM CST
Jesse, I would be tempted now to remove those leaves underneath that give away easily with a tug from the tweezers. Don't pull hard. Starting with the bottommost leaves of both the mother and offsets. The room you've made from removing the leaves can then accommodate the chicken grit you can push under both the mother rosette and the offsets. I don't think doing it now would hurt anything but you at least are eliminating a number of soggy leaves that stay moist all winter which is threatening to the rosettes. Remember, be gentle.

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Sempervivum forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Natalie and is called "Mexican Evening Primrose"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.