Informational Forum forum: Some notes about sempervivum

 
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Imagegoldfinch4
Oct 27, 2012 11:24 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Sempervivum, also known as “Hen and Chicks”, come in an amazing variety of colors, sizes, textures and forms. These characteristics are constantly changing throughout the growing season. The size and color of your plants will ultimately be determined by soil type, temperatures, moisture and amount of light. Since they go through so many changes during their life cycle, don't be surprised when you receive your plants if they don't look exactly like the pictures. In fact, you could have the same plant growing in different areas of your yard and they could look quite different from each other.

Sempervivum are generally hardy in zones 4-9, often as low as zone 3. To achieve the best specimens, give them plenty of room to grow.

They can survive for weeks without water if the weather isn’t extremely hot, they actually prefer poor soil as long as it drains well, and they basically need no special care. They’re hardy perennials that are happy under a blanket of snow without any additional protection or preparation for winter. They’re drought and heat tolerant, cold hardy, easy care, evergreen, fast growing, disease resistant, usually deer don’t bother them, they can be used for your greenroof and they provide multi-seasonal interest. What more could you ask for from a plant?

After several years the hen flowers and then dies (monocarpic plants). By then the many offsets will quickly fill in the area where the mother had previously been growing. Even though the flowers are small, they’re delicate and very pretty. The most common colored flower is pink, but they can have cream, white or light green flowers too.

The easiest way to kill these plants is by over watering, so the most important thing to keep in mind is good drainage. If you are planting in a container, make sure you have a porous potting mix for good drainage. If planting in the ground, you may need to amend your soil so that it drains well.

Also keep in mind that these are alpine plants and like bright light, but try to avoid a long period of full sun during the hottest part of the day. If the plant begins to stretch out (etoliation) you'll want to relocate it to a brighter area.


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Imagegoldfinch4
Feb 2, 2013 8:03 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
My potting mix isn't anything fancy but works well in all my containers:

4 parts Miracle Grow Potting Mix
4 parts local Growing Mix with Fir Bark
1-1/2 parts Chicken Grit


After the first year if they are still in a container, I will apply a small amount of slow release fertilize or water with a very diluted Miracle Grow/water solution.



[Last edited Sep 6, 2015 11:06 AM CST]
Quote | Post #946495 (2)
Imagetaters55
Mar 10, 2013 3:58 PM CST
Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
I just found this forum, and Iove all your polymer clay work! It is beautiful!
A Crafty Cubit
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean

Imagegoldfinch4
Mar 12, 2013 1:55 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Thank you Linda!
Imagewildflowers
Mar 15, 2013 1:41 PM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Hi Chris,

I have been trying to narrow down which semps to order but so far the list just got bigger! Hilarious!

All of your art and pots are very pretty too.

The whole site looks great!! Thumbs up
Imagegoldfinch4
Mar 17, 2013 6:04 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Hi Christine,

It sounds like you shop the same way I do - keep adding instead of making the list smaller! Hilarious! I'm glad you like the site! Thanks for the positive feedback.
emyhro4048
Apr 20, 2013 4:03 PM CST
Wow! Found your site while pinning semp. pics to my Pinterest account. One of the pics had a link which brought me to you. Well laid out, easy to navigate. Thanks and I will be back to do some purchasing.
Imagegoldfinch4
Apr 21, 2013 2:47 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Thank you emyhro4048. Looking forward to having you back again!
Imagewildflowers
Apr 22, 2013 11:21 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Emyhro, I just received my order from Chris and I am so very happy with everything! I give the Semp Patch a big thumbs up recommendation! Thumbs up

Chris, I'm still smiling about my order.

It was like getting a present in the mail, the package was all wrapped up and everything was packaged so well. The semps are in great condition and I love the bonus semp! Lovey dubby But, I also love the other products that I purchased, the cedar wood planter, the poly-clay planter and my little garden pal, Humphrey, a cute little frog! Love it all. I'll have to get pics soon.
Imagegoldfinch4
Apr 22, 2013 12:46 PM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Thanks Christine, glad you're happy with everything you ordered. And I'd love to see pictures too!
Imagetaters55
Apr 23, 2013 12:38 PM CST
Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
Waiting for pictures also!
A Crafty Cubit
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean

Imagewildflowers
May 4, 2013 11:16 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
I took a couple pics the other day. Hope I did okay putting my semps in their pots.
Thumb of 2013-05-04/wildflowers/74bbe0 Thumb of 2013-05-04/wildflowers/b6b300
Thumb of 2013-05-04/wildflowers/5cd31b Thumb of 2013-05-04/wildflowers/f3d409
Imagegoldfinch4
May 4, 2013 12:40 PM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
They look great Christine! Thanks for posting the pictures. The sedum in the cedar box look great with the semps. Hurray!
Imagewildflowers
May 4, 2013 2:49 PM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Thank you, Chris. I was hoping you would say so. Hilarious! I added the pics over on ATP recommendation too. Smiling
Imagetaters55
May 4, 2013 5:03 PM CST
Name: Linda Cartwright
Del Rio, Texas
Those look really nice Christine!
A Crafty Cubit
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. James Dean

Imagegoldfinch4
May 5, 2013 2:25 AM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Thanks for the nice review on ATP too Christine!
Imagewildflowers
May 5, 2013 11:17 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
Thank you, Linda Smiling

and you are very welcome, Chris. Smiling
dmurray407
May 13, 2013 11:44 AM CST
Chris, I love your "Cubit". I have a couple of questions before I go crazy ordering. I garden in zone 4, as well. My mom had some Sempervivums outside here in an above ground wooden planter (a planter box about 1 inch off the ground). They looked great all winter, the weather started to warm up for a few weeks and then got nasty again and now it looks like her plants are gone. My indoor garden space is at a premium during the winter months and I would love to be able to keep my Sempervivums out on my protected deck (I'm planning on putting them in a variety of dishes and containers). Do you keep your plants in above ground planters outside during the winter or is it just too cold? I'm curious about the wreaths and birdhouses as well.
Thanks!
Deb
Imagegoldfinch4
May 13, 2013 2:50 PM CST
Name: Chris
Wisconsin z4
Hi Deb,

Yes, I keep my plants outside all winter. The key to containers outside in our zone is good drainage - both with the potting mix and the container. The combination of cold and wet is hard on them. Outside on a protected deck sounds perfect. Most of mine stay outside, but I have some that I know are prone to rot in the spring, so I bring those containers into the unheated garage for the winter, and only give them about a cup of water once during the winter (preferable during a warm spell when it's above freezing) - and that's for a good sized container, maybe 18" diameter. Most of my other containers just get moved next to the house for the winter. My semps that are planted directly in the ground do great here too. This last winter was hard on them because we had 4 ice storms, and anything encased in ice for long periods can't breathe, including plants. My wreaths are just laid on the ground close to the house too. It's important that as soon as it starts warming up and melting in the spring, I move the containers and wreaths to a sunny area. I haven't tried to over winter a planted birdhouse yet, but I will be this coming winter. I intend to move that into the unheated garage for the winter as well. Sempervivum really don't do well as houseplants unless they're under grow lights, so I never bring mine inside.

If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help. Thanks, and look forward to talking to you again.

Chris

[Last edited Apr 5, 2016 6:38 AM CST]
Quote | Post #973955 (19)
dmurray407
May 13, 2013 4:37 PM CST
Thanks, Chris! One more question. You water the plants in the unheated garage once a month-do you water the ones outside as well? My garage is a little warmer than the outside but not much :)

I'm very excited to give this a try!

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