I thought Semps liked the winter?

Agostig(Zone 5b Ontario)December 3, 2004

Apparently mine doesn't.

It's outside right now in a shallow pot (about 3-4 inches deep), and it's definately not doing well. Most of the bottom leaves have turned brown and the top leaves look kind of wrinkled.

Is there another plant that looks like a Semp but isn't? Mine is a bright green and had small chicks on long runners that never rooted and still haven't now that it's outside.

I guess I shouldn't complain, it was like 2 dollars at a supermarket.

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They survive fine in both containers and in the ground in winter ( a lot colder than your zone 5). what they don't not like is 'damp' or improper drainage.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2004 at 6:46PM
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Agostig(Zone 5b Ontario)

Is there a way for me to fix that?
Should I cover it so they dont get hit with rain/snow?
But then it wouldn't get any sun...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 8:17AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

If you have them in 3" - 4" of soil add gravel to get good drainage. I have mine in 75% gravel 25% soil because we have very wet Fall weather. Some of my semps are growing on a stone wall no soil at all.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 1:20AM
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Here in the UK you soon find that there are a few Semps. that will not tolerate cold wet conditions whatever the mix of soil. These I put under cover in a garden frame but make sure that the lid is open so that there is plenty of moving air around the plants. All I'm interested in is keeping out worst of the winter wet.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 1:23PM
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i bought some online and they doing well in 20'f temp-, but some i bought at the HD are dying!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2004 at 6:43PM
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Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

My first post to the forum but let me add my experience with Semps....
We have dry/hot summers and wet winters and mine are all planted on the ground (which is sandy/gravelly and shallow), in rock crevices, etc. Nothing seems to kill them. Normally each fall and early winter the older outter leaves shrivel and dry-up...I either pull them out or let nature take care of it. The colder the temps get the darker purple my varieties tips get :)
I'm not sure which ones I have now but they multiply soooo fast...I can remove a chick, plant it elsewhere and that chick will me a mother of dozens by fall!

Cant wait to add more varieties next year...


    Bookmark   December 28, 2004 at 8:46PM
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madtripper(5/6 Guelph)

Are you sure you have Semps?

A number of garden centers in Ontario are selling Echivera and these are warm growing and will not over winter. These plants look similar, and are usually light gray and normally larger than most Semps - but these comparisons are just a rough gide.

Semps should do just fine in winter, unless very wet. I had some growing under the down spout in clay soil and they lived through many winters.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 11:08PM
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Mine are in various pots, sitting on a table on the deck, the table umbrella is down in the winter, up in the summer, and the table is exposed to the vagaries of weather.

We go down to low thirties occasionally, and this winter has been very, very wet.

But I must say the semps look very well. Their coloration is quite striking, I would say they look better now than in summer. They are quite firm and tight also.

My potting mix drains very well, being composed of miniature pieces of shale, gravel & slate, along with coarse potting soil amended with sand & perlite.

The mix in your containers is key. Replicate natural conditions as best you can & your semps will thrive.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2005 at 1:21PM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

Hello All;

One of the secrets I've found to growing these beauties here in Wisconsin is the potting mix. If I buy them locally I ALWAYS repot into a lighter, more gritty mix. Usually plants are grown here under cover for the winter and the locals use a standard potting mix with a bit more grit but it's never enough. I've lost too many just planting in with the original soil.

Another thing you might want to consider when mixing your own soils is to start with the sand and gravel and add the organic materials last. I usualy add just enough organic material so that it's just noticable in the mix but so that the gritty materials are still visible. Not sure if I described this correctly...easier to see it than to describe it.

Also overwintering pots should not be resting directly on a hard surface but should be elevated slightly so that the water in the lower half of the pot can drain freely during early thaws. Very important when planting in clay pots.

just my 2 cents worth;

zone 5...........ish

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 2:59PM
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