Would Someone ID My Sempervivum

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

The mother Hen in the center is 5 years old, almost 3" diameter and has produced lots of Chicks. Some are still attached and others are around her. As you can see from the photo, these are dark green with purple tips. Any help identifying is much appreciated.

Thanks everyone!

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Delhi, IA

There are soooo many semps., it is almost impossible to identify one of them. This time of year a lot of them are reddish on the tips. jam

(Zone 9b)

I have noticed how many there are too that all look so similar. I have one like yours that was named. I will look for it and it may be right. Your pot is looking so good!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I have 90+ different varieties of hybrid Sempervivum (hen and chicks), including the common type which I believe this one is. Called S. tectorum.

This variety is green and red tipped during spring. Turns darker during fall and winter. However, it also depends upon the growing situation and light source. I found this variety looks nice when grown with afternoon shade. It is hardy to zone 3 and needs no protection.

Here is mine, which is growing along my fence to keep out weeds. Yours may look a bit different since it is growing in a pot. In the garden, they grow to 6" wide .

Hold it!! I just re-read your post. If one is 5 years old, it is not a Sempervivum. They only live for 3 years. They bloom the 3rd year, then die to leave room for all the babies. I have grown Semps for many years---my addiction---and I am very familiar with their lifespan.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here is part of my collection of hybrid Semps. These are stock plants.

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Greensburg, PA

Very nice blomma. Perhaps I can ask a question? I too collect semps, and greatly expanded my collection last year. I'm noticing that many of the new additions did not survive my mild zone 5 winter. Any insight into what happened? My regulars had no problems. I'm wondering if some of the new additions just don't have the hardiness for here, although they were advertised as such.

Delhi, IA

I could kill the old standby every winter until I raised my bed and improved the drainage. I now have 50 pounds of chicken grit added to the spot and all goes well. How is your drainage?? Remember these fellows like good drainage.

(Zone 9b)

Such beautfiful colors there Blomma. I bet your bed looks so good. I esp like those pink ones!

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

I just got my first few plants in the past 2 weeks, can't wait to get them outside! I planted some in a big pot inside. A few are starting to throw a lot of runners!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

krowten
These genus of plants are really addictive. The more you have, the more you want.
As you new ones not surviving this winter, I need information before I can suggest the cause.
First, who did buy them from?
When did you buy them and plant them---spring, summer, fall, etc?.
How large were they when you received them (babies or mature plant)?.
What type of soil did you plant them in ?
Did they have live roots, or dried out roots?
What condition were they in when you received them?
Finally, can you give me the names of those that died.

A lot of questions, I know. However all are hardy in my zone 4 and I have never had any die over the winter. Unfortunately, there are some plants that look like Semps but are misslabeled and are not hardy to grow in the colder climates, the reason I ask from who you bought them from.

We have had a lot of snow in Wyoming this year and 20 below zero. Now expecting our 3rd round of snow. And another after that. In between storms, the snow melted and we had 60F degrees. My Semps are waking up and showing some colors, which won't bother them.

Here is S. 'Lilac Time' a beautiful chick that changes shades with the season. Just starting to show color. Photo taken March 21, 09. One of my favorites.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Darn! I forgot the photo

This message was edited Mar 29, 2009 5:19 PM

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here is the same variety with a seasonal change taken August 2008.

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Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

I just joined DG March 1st and have met so many helpful members like all of you whose knowledge far outweighs mine.

Kell, thanks for your compliment. I just used an old enamel bowl with a few rusted out holes in the bottom for "built-in" drainage. These little guys were seriously overcrowded in my clay strawberry pot that eventually cracked, either from Winter freeze and thaws or age, overcrowding...or a combination of all of these. At least now they can stretch out.

blooma, your Semps are gorgeous. I love my little plants, whatever they are, even if they've never bloomed. Any ideas what I actually have? They were on the North side of my house with hardly any sun year-round. Now in the bowl they're on my back porch with morning sun only. Should I move them to the front porch where they'll receive full indirect sun most of the day?

My local nursery has a few different ones I noticed last week. One has stripes, dramatic looking, and the owner said she'd like to trade me. I'm game!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

FruitOfTheWine
If you had stated that they were 3 years or less, I would say that it is S. tectorum. As far as where to grow them, since you are in the warmer part of the country, I would shade them from the hot afternoon sun. They do well with morning sun. Don't forget that plants in a container gets too hot in full sun. With sun beating down on a container, roots can cook. They can take full sun if planted in the ground.

Greensburg, PA

Blomma, I need to get outside and assess. Most that died were pups acquired as bare root pups from a couple different sources. However, before commenting on source, I want to do an inventory as that may indicate a pattern. Most were acquired during the summer months, July mostly. They are in a custom mix with high amounts of fired silica/clay for drainage. I have been growing semps for at least a decade, so I feel pretty confident that I can ID true semps. for the most part. You can check out my collection by looking at my journal. I got some real nice ones last year that I'm sure I will miss. I'll post names of lost vars down the road here, once I do the inventory. I'd like to hear from you your experiences with any of the varieties.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

krowten Just a quick note before I leave for work. Will get back to you tonight.

I went to your journal and noticed that I have quite a few that you have. One reason for loss may be that you received your pups in July bare root. Many go slightly dormant when it is hot. Because of this, it makes hard to get bare root plants established. One year, I ordered chicks twice. First time to be delivered end of May, the other was early July. I had trouble getting the July order established, even though I put them in my coldframe with light shade. The May order, I had no problems with. All were received with dry roots.

While looking at your varieties in your journal, I remembered that out of the July order, I did loose 2. Now when I purchase, I have them delivered end of May. I have grown chicks since the 80's in Wyoming and Nebraska. Both states have a dry climate with little rain.

You get lots of rain where you live. I used to live in NY and MA years ago so I am familiar with the climate. I didn't grow chicks there, though I tried the common S. tectorum but it rotted from too much rain. The main reason for loss on pups over the winter, I believe, is too much moisture for the small amount of roots established on bare root plants.

IF you can buy plants with live roots that are protected, you can plant them anytime.

Greensburg, PA

Blomma, I suspect you are right about the moisture. We get spells where the temp is around freezing, get a lot of rain that fills a pot, then freezes, then more rain so you get a block of ice. However, plants appeared to be growing well through the summer/ fall, which was why I wondered. I'm out of work for the last 6 months, so will not be able to replace them this year. The puzzling part is that the old timers are in the same conditions without the problem, including some pups transplanted for trading material and expansion. Of course, it might just be that they are old timers (for me) because they can handle the conditions.

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Here's the Semp my local nursery had that I bought today.
I added this same photo to the Plant Fies, I hope I put it in the right place.

The largest one at top center is about 2-1/2" diameter.
Interesting webbing looks and feels silky just like a real Spider's web.

I'll move these to another container and can't wait to see how long it takes before I see others.

The tag just said 'Sempervivum arachnoideum' with no specific name.
Blooma, you probably know what it is.

This is probably a common one, but I live in the boonies and just thought it was very interesting and different from the usual.

Kell, I saw your photo in the Plant Files, perhaps we have the same one?

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

krowtenOk, here are the ones I have that you have:
Violet Queen
Sassy Frass
Raspberry Ice
Antroviolaceum (Heimlich)
Silverine
Cebenese
Pacific Charm (new)
tomentosum
Glowing Ember
Red Flush
Ruby Heart. However I think yours is misslabeled. It is named for its ruby color center. See my photo taken in May. I have another called Ruby which matches yours better.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

FruitOfTheWine If it is what I think it may be, it isn't that common Semp. The problem trying to identify Semps is that many go through seasonal color changes. Also the light they receive and climate makes a difference. Therefore, the same plant grown in different areas and/or light situation may look different in color. The most colorful time for most chicks is May and June in my zone 4. I do have some that are the prettiest late summer. The word arachnoideum just mean that it is one of the varieties that have the webbing. It should have another name.

The closest match is one called S. Fiesta that I have. The photo was taken June 1st. In May, it was redder. It is growing in full sun.

You live in a much warmer climate. Why don't you plant it outside?

I forgot to add that Semps produces a tall flower stalk, usually in their 3rd season in late summer, with star-like flower in white or pink, depending on varieity. It is their mark of death. Once it blooms, it will die, to leave growing room for the babies. Nothing can be done to prevent its demise. I have tried. Even rooted the flower stalk, and got more flowers. I alway cut the flower stalk off because it is heavy and tend to lean over, sometimes uprooting the young chicks. Once the season is over, I cut the mother out to allow more room for her babies.

This message was edited Mar 30, 2009 10:53 PM

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Greensburg, PA

Blomma, My ruby heart came from Lowes with that label stuck in the pot. It being lowes, I did check to see that the labels matched the large number of others of the same name and appearance there. No guarantee, of course, but their growing conditions were not optimal - we need to see what they look like this year.

Central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Nice Semps everybody!
Krowten, I had the same problem with moisture this winter. One of my largest potted hens died after the rain-freeze-rain-freeze cycle. It was enclosed in a solid block of ice. All others in the ground are fine, and those potted but covered from rain are fine too, even the smallest babies. I wonder, if tilting the pot so that rain water wont sit there will help next time.

Greensburg, PA

I have to get out with my camera soon and get some pics. I saw some beautiful spring colors today among my semps, including some yellows, which surprised me.

Delhi, IA

blomma, Lilac Time is lovely. How large is it?

(Zone 9b)

FruitOfTheVine, yours looks like the red form. But I am new to these so do not believe one word I say. Oh I just read Blomma's post. Well here they call it red form. LOL.

Blomma, wow on Ruby Heart. It does have a ruby heart. LOL

I agree, Lilac Time is fantastic. And it is lilac!

Here is a semp pushing up its flower.

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(Zone 9b)

And in flower.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

jamlover Yes, it is beautiful and the color unusual in lilac shading. It changes with the season but never turns all green. A mature rosette grows 4" to 4-1/2" across.

krowten I may be wrong on the id and time will tell. All mine are purchased from a company that specialize in Sedum and Semps. As I mentioned before, the same variety may look different under different circumstances. I believe yours is also potted and that may make a difference. Keep an eye on the color in May and June and see if it gets the ruby heart.

All of you Semp lovers, why do you grow them potted? They are hardy to zone 3 and can take more moisture when planted in the ground than when they are in a pot. In the ground, the moisture drains away. I have clay soil that I changed to sandy clay with good drainage. I dug out all the soil to 6" and added a mixture of the clay sand and some humus. Mixed in a wheelbarrel, then poured it back. They are not fussy as to soil as long as it drains well and the top soil dries out in between watering to prevent rot.

CAPTION Here is S. 'Gay Jester' taken this March 21, 09 between snow storms.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

To prove my point on seasonal changes, here is the same variety taken May 11.2008.

Thanks God for digital cameras. I would go broke with film since I have over 600 photos of my varieties taken all season long to capture changes, with dates. I will do it again this year.

It is these changes that makes it so difficult to id them, especially since climate and light also plays a part.

This message was edited Mar 31, 2009 10:19 PM

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(Zone 9b)

The color changes sure keep them entertaining!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Kell They do have very pretty blooms. Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, it is a mark of death to the bloomer. Since the stalk isn't very tall, it must be a small growing variety. I cut off blooms on mine since some grow up to 12" on large variety and tend to lean over due to weight, sometimes uprooting the young chicks before they are fully rooted.

Another observation I have noticed is that some babies tend to cling to mama even while the mature hen is dying after blooming. They won't root until severed from the stolon, similar to that of a human baby not breathing until the imbiblical (spelling?) cord is cut.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Kell And addictive. I am a chickaholic.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

tommy How exciting for you. What varieties did you get? Any photos.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

The color changes are what make them so fun, entertaining as Kell said, like new plants with each change. I added many new ones last year and I now need to update their mugshots!
http://davesgarden.com/community/journals/vbc/Calif_Sue/70076/

Greensburg, PA

Blomma - can you share how you are boldng your text?

Calif_sue, I loved your pics. Much to my dismay, I lost my greenii. This one was not due to moisture. They just died, every one of them, but were in a sheltered location out of the snow and rain.

Anybody know if there will be a semp coop this spring? I missed last years and am hoping to be able to participate this year.

Below is a pic of some of mine. I have to grow them in pots as I do not have the ground space for them.

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Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

I purchased mine from Squaw Mountain and Edelweiss nurseries last fall and have picked up a few others here and there from local nurseries. This unknown one I got years ago and planted by my front door in unamended clay soil was so pretty with it's lavender tones and surprisingly tough despite that soil, I just had to have more but I am careful with the new ones and plant it looser draining soil.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

krowten Love your photo of the Semps. What interesting containers they are in. The center one is beautiful, along with the others. Names???

To bold text, you have to put the text inside brackets so computer can read it. I will do one step at a time:
<
b
>
then put in the text. At the end of the text you have end the bold with a slash, like so:
<
/
b
>
You have to put them in order shown on one line. The b goes inside brackets, and the slash to end bold goes before the b.

If you wanted to underline a text, you would replace the b with a U. For italic, replace the b with an I (the letter, not number)

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

California_Sue What a beauty. Love the way it is growing with the rocks.

I also get mine from Squaw Mountains. I have ordered from them since the 80's. I was disappointed in their plants last year. Their quality over the years have seeminly gone down. They have also limited their choices. I reorderd one variety that I already had and what they sent was not the same variety. Another I received was a small variety that bloomed during the summer, then ofcourse died. Luckily it had tiny babies that I managed to keep alive. It wasn't what I ordered since I don't buy small varieties. Only mideum and large.

The one above looks familiar. I will check my photos to see if I can id it for you.

Greensburg, PA

Blomma So what you are doing is passing "naked" HTML to the Dave's site. dah... I should have figured that out.

Below is a pic of S. 'Gazelle' from today. The centers are true yellow, with red highlights on the leaves. A striking semp from a last year purchase that made it through the winter. It did not look as nice as these do, last year when I had them from the vendor. The picture does not do it justice. I am very pleased with it.

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Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Blomma,
No idea which one's they are. Tag said assorted. A few of the big ones are throwing lots of pups! I put a few in a shallow clay bowl:



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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

krowten Hej, you did it!!! Naked, LOL! Simple, wasn't? Sure makes it easier to spot ones name when it is aimed for a particular reader.

Pretty, pretty, pretty and unique, your 'Gazelle'! Will be interesting to see how it will look in May and June, since they can change so drastically during the season. Also, their coloring and character don't show until it is a 1 year old. This one I don't have.

During the 80's when I had a commercial greenhouse and first started growing chicks in Nebraska, I had one named Jovibarba heuffelii 'Xanthoheuff'. It was pure yellow with pale green tips. Very unusual. I have slides of it but my scanner is having a tantrum so can't scan it. I have searched all over and can't find it.

Due to divorce, I ended my business and moved to WY, couldn't take my collections with me since I lived in an apartment until I bought a house 2 years later. Had to start all over collecting, the reason I don't have it any more. I want it, I want it---again!!

Here is an interesting variety S. 'Oddity' with tubular leaves.

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