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Cacti and Succulents: I cant grow sempervivum...

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kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
10:19 AM

Post #9188708

I've tried for well over 10 years. I kill every single one. They either rot or shrivel. I have about 10 pieces all over the yard trying again. The only one surviving (so far) is in an open terrarium in the house. The other terrarium one fell apart when I touched it yesterday. They are supposed to be fool proof according to everything I've ever read. It is DRIVING ME CRAZY. Is there a secret I do not know?

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 1, 2012
2:35 PM

Post #9188953

I live in Phoenix and I can not grow Sempervivum here. It is too hot especially at night in the summer. Is it really hot where you are?
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9188974

Yes it can get up to 110 at times... So far its been sticking around the 90's. Maybe that is my problem.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
2:58 PM

Post #9188979

I just rescued the bunch I put outside and potted them up and brought them indoors. They were in a part shade spot but butt even in the hour they had sun. It was only 90. When I stick them in deep shade they rot. The indoor ones, do I need to water them very often? I don't want to lose them.
DMersh
Perth
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

July 1, 2012
3:51 PM

Post #9189037

Sempervivums are basically alpine plants, they tend to do best under fairly cool conditions - many will thrive in the cool temperate climate we have the UK and are very hardy but its not surprising they do poorly in extreme heat, alpine habitats being very bright but quite cool mostly - SW USA is hardly a place of cool summers!

zone10

zone10
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

July 1, 2012
4:43 PM

Post #9189072

So THAT's why my semps struggle! Thanks for bringing this up Kinym.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
5:07 PM

Post #9189099

So cool AND Damp? Or are the more like an air plant there? I read they uses to be used on rooftops, so does that mean no soil? I tucked a few in a cut down tree in all shade, and I'll let you know how they do.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9189101

Nice autocorrect. They BURNED, not Butt. Ha!
DMersh
Perth
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

July 1, 2012
9:57 PM

Post #9189402

This shows a Sempervivum species in native habitat, rock crevices on a mountainside at about 6000ft:

http://stalikez.info/fsm/semp/site/img/pl_m/stog02.jpg
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 1, 2012
10:29 PM

Post #9189408

Wow that's beautiful. Yea, very different from any space I have around here.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

July 2, 2012
9:56 AM

Post #9189945

Don't feel bad, neither can I. I kept a small patch going for several years by watering a lot and covering with shade cloth for a few months in the summer but last years heat wave killed them all. No more of those for me.
C
amanzed
Los Angeles, CA
(Zone 10a)

July 2, 2012
2:09 PM

Post #9190270

They don't grow well at all in my CA Zone 10a. I've given up. We can grow a lot, but those are not worth my trouble here.

zone10

zone10
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10b)

July 2, 2012
2:24 PM

Post #9190298

Mine are hanging in there. They are in morning sun in a frost free area. I planted most about three years ago. They have several layers of dead leaves and are fodder for mealies, but for some reason they have not died. Go figure?
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

July 2, 2012
2:35 PM

Post #9190312

They are tough as nails in less heat. I grew them everywhere in zone 5.
C
amanzed
Los Angeles, CA
(Zone 10a)

July 2, 2012
4:18 PM

Post #9190436

I hear they do better closer to the coast. I'm in northeast L.A. 20 miles from the beach. I still get a little coastal mildness, but there is some inland heat here, too. Plus mealies galore. They seem to be endemic.
luciee
Hanceville, AL
(Zone 7a)

July 2, 2012
5:52 PM

Post #9190552

Dmersh, what are the 3 blue flowers in the picture? Luciee {;^)
DMersh
Perth
United Kingdom
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2012
2:08 AM

Post #9190836

I'm not sure, possibly some sort of Campanula.
luciee
Hanceville, AL
(Zone 7a)

July 3, 2012
6:32 AM

Post #9191035

Thanks! Luciee {;^)

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9192159

amanzed wrote:I hear they do better closer to the coast.


Yes. They do pretty well here with all manner of abuse and neglect. One of the easier succulents in this very mild climate, fun to propagate, nice color effects in the sun. They do suffer from mealies occasionally, but that's not a big deal if you catch it early.

Some succulents are very picky about temperature, even though they're adapted to drought. It's sort of counter-intuitive. And like Nancy says, nighttime heat is the deadliest kind, that has to do with the nocturnal activity of the plants. It seems like many members of the Crassulaceae (leafy rosette succulents like Semps for instance, or Echeverias) are sensitive to these extremes.

This message was edited Jul 3, 2012 7:10 PM
amanzed
Los Angeles, CA
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2012
8:35 PM

Post #9192187

Yeah, what you write makes perfect sense. Of the stonecrops this area seems good for Mexico and USA Southwest Crassulaceae: Pachyphytum, Graptopetalum, Echeveria, and Sedum from Mexico. Most of those I can pretty much just throw in any old pot with any old mix and water with a hose. (S Africa & Madagascar Crassula, Adromischus, Cotyledon & Tylecodon, too.) But alpines, it just doesn't seem ideal here, even though our hottest nights usually cool down to the 70s. Something about the average temperature during warm or hot weather, perhaps.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 5, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9193938

Great info. Seems just all wrong here for them here them. It drives me crazy that they are always for sale here too. Mine are surviving (though not thriving) inside... I think I may just give up once these die.
newtonsthirdlaw
Arlington, TX

July 5, 2012
10:50 AM

Post #9194023

Find some replacements. I would love to be able to grow aloe outside but its too cold here. Every area has some plants that are adapted to its climate.
As for what they sell, local nurseries frequently are loaded up with plants I grew in MI. I just laugh and shake my head at the thought of growing some of them in my heat and sun.
C
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 6, 2012
7:40 AM

Post #9195144

Yeah, here my aloes are growing like weeds. It's to the point that I'm realizing I can't keep all of the babies. It's still going to drive me crazy that I can't grow sempervivum. My Aunt who lived 45 min away grew them succesfully and they have a sentimental value to me. Bummer. Good thing, my indoors are still alive.

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


July 6, 2012
9:01 AM

Post #9195250

I learned the hard way, too... ordered a bunch of Sempervivums from Oregon and had a wonderful collection (see below)... got them in late fall.. .did great through winter, looked awesome in spring.. .but by August not a single survivor.

First shot is of my great collection (third photo is of the left-overs that did not fit in first pot). Second shot is of 'collection ' in August. Fourth shot is of Sempervivum tectorum, a species that actually does really well in this southern California inland climate (one of just a small handful, though)

Thumbnail by palmbob   Thumbnail by palmbob   Thumbnail by palmbob   Thumbnail by palmbob
Click an image for an enlarged view.

NancySLAZ

NancySLAZ
Sun Lakes, AZ
(Zone 9a)

July 6, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9195258

At least you have S. tectorum! It is beautiful. That red pot was gorgeous with all the semps. So frustrating that they don't make it in the heat.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 6, 2012
10:22 AM

Post #9195373

Those are beautiful! Maybe I'll give tectorum a try.

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