Did I just kill my semps?

0nametaken0January 11, 2014

Hi guys, the temps finally went above freezing for two days in my balcony since, I dont know, at least a month so theyve not gotten water since.

One of my semp has turned white, dunno what it is. This is before the watering, I think.

Last night I watered them, it was 1c so it could be the plants were at the freezing mark. It was dark so I couldnt see, just watered them nicely. I wanted to water asap because it takes a while to dry out. Its almost at the freezing mark right now.

So I watered them and this morning many of them are just...flat. What the heck happened? They look soggy too. Did I make a mistake?

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0nametaken0

Heres the possible water damage.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:06PM
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0nametaken0

And another one.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Mine are outdoor all Winter with moist roots....those in-ground and those in pots.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 9:25PM
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cactusmcharris

Watering them when you shouldn't (and in winter you shouldn't when they're outside) is a mistake - these plants aren't growing much/at all now, therefore no watering. Plus you run into the fact that the temps will drop below freezing and there's water to freeze the plants, which have no snow-pack to protect them. Don't water until it's warmer (about 10F or so regularly), about 3 months maybe from now.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:12PM
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0nametaken0

hmm alrite. Mine are in the balcony and I have not watered them since fall. So I thought with 2 days of above freezing teamps, they should be fine.

But no one knows why they are like this. I hope someone does can reply here.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:33PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jeff, I assume that info doesn't apply to my zone? Not terribly cold here, only a couple weeks in the low 20F's....but no snow-cover, either. Soil constantly moist. Are my plants that much more active and, thus, able to survive with the cold and wet?

Josh

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:34PM
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cactusmcharris

J,

Yes and yes, I'd guess - it sounds colder where the OP is than where you are, and since my only experience. The 'not terribly cold' is the operative thing for you, pardner. It warmed up here too, today, with sun and 7C! Alas, winter will be with us for another two months at least.

j

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:32AM
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unprofessional(5)

Leave them out in the cold and don't touch them. Mine have seen -15f and been frozen solid in ice and not missed a beat.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:11AM
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unprofessional(5)

Leave them out in the cold and don't touch them. Mine have seen -15f and been frozen solid in ice and not missed a beat.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:23AM
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0nametaken0

Ok, I learned my lesson. Dont water them for the whole of winter. But could anyone tell or even make an educated guess if they are still fine? or am I the only one experimenting and showing results for the rest? I hope they do fine. I have no idea why one of them went white though. Ive never seen a white semp.

This post was edited by NameTaken on Sun, Jan 12, 14 at 13:40

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:29AM
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rina_

I am same place as NameTaken, have lots of semps outside in ground & in all kinds of pots: ceramic, terracotta, concrete, wood, even in a "wire basket' kind thingie with only soil that was around root balls when I took them out of ground (there were too many in that spot). Leave them where they are all the time, they get covered with snow if any, I don't do anything at all. They are just fine comes spring. Most are hardy to zone 3 (maybe less?)
Only thing to make sure of if in container, that the potting mix is well drained.
I posted few photos before, don't want to post same unless you want to see (you can search 'rina semps' & few post with photos will come up).

Rina

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:51PM
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0nametaken0

Hi Rina, yes we live kind of close by. I wish someday I can visit you and perhaps expand my collection of plants that are hardy to our zone. I love your collection as well, Ive seen many of your pics.

Im struggling with my succulents that are indoors, mealey bugs destroyed majority of my succs and its been a very bad start for me. My semps are my babies, I love how I can just leave them in my balcony year round and not worry. My pots are all excellent draining, thats not a problem. Ive been watering them all summer and I made my own soil mix. Its just that a few days ago one of my semp was white, I have no idea what that means. After after watering they all went flat. I dont know what that means as well. I was hoping someone could tell me from experience. So far, Im the only one whos made the mistake.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 2:02PM
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brodyjames_gw

Hi NameTaken, the green pot still looks ok, but it does look to me like your semps in the black and white pots are goners. I could be wrong, of course, but the leaves look soggy and drooped to me. By white, do you mean the little plant in the black pot? He looks brown to me, and dead. I know you meant well by watering, but please, resist that urge! If they were being kept indoors, watering would have been fine, but outdoors in a pot in winter...... :(

Nancy

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 8:14PM
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sanfrancisucculent

NameTaken: mealies are some of the easiest succulent critters to deal with. If the infestation is light you can dab them with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip. If it's heavier you can use an insecticide spray, and if really heavy there are systemic pesticides (pays to be careful with these outside, but if they're indoors in pots doesn't sound like you'll be killing anything you don't want to...)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:05PM
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0nametaken0

Nancy, I meant the guy in the green pot. He looks more white than brown. I have no idea how he died. I didnt water before. Its in my balcony so at the very most a few flakes fell on the semps, which is not enough to kill.

Thanks everyone for the response. It really sucks this had to happen. Exactly a year ago, I got them from a nursery and they were all pups, no roots either. Some grew exponentially, as seen in the pots. This really sucks, I guess during spring Ill be replacing them with whatever other semps I have.

Mealy bugs killed almost all of my succulents I had in a very large container. I noticed it when I brought the container in. Every leaf I touched just fell. It was all hidden under the foliage. I worked really hard, sprayed alcohol, soap and insecticide but it was too late. Just about everything died and shriveled away.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 12:19PM
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brodyjames_gw

NameTaken,

The one positioned at the bottom of the picture? That would be Sempervivum arachnoidium or cobweb leek. It gets covered in white web-like hairs, hence cobweb and arach---- (arachnids being spiders, spiders make webs.....) :) Totally normal and, actually, my favorite semp.

Nancy

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 9:34PM
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0nametaken0

Hi Nancy, yes the bottom one in the first pic. I love the cobweb but if you look at its outer ring, its all whitish brown. There is no hair there, atleast Ill have a closer look tomorrow. I think its either dead or something is terribly wrong with it.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:41PM
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cahac(6)

NameTaken,
Was the water you used Warm or Hot.?!! Looks like the Cobweb is scalded. then frozen.. anyhow for time being leave them alone. they may survive on their own or not. in the spring you can tell. What's done is done. I am in Va my Temp range goes from zone 3 to 10 sometimes. My semps are outside in containers from foam cups to 5 gal. pots and potting trays. been covered with a ft or more of ice and snow. Not sure what i will have then but email me in the spring, i can get a doz or more decent size named plants in a medium flat rate box if interested but do ring my "Bell" I'm getting old and forgetful
cliff

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 9:53AM
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0nametaken0

Thank you Cliff for the offer. I would love that. Ive been looking into increasing my zone 5 plant collection more. Im really interested in prickly pear, heard its very hardy.

The water was cool, because I knew I was watering them around 1c weather. I guess even then it was too warm for them. But I think the cobweb was already like that before I watered them. So Im not sure what happened, cob web is the only one that looks like that. My other semps still are green but flat. Im going to be leaving them alone till spring, then I will see which ones to throw out and keep.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:09AM
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cahac(6)

N.T.
if you get Prickly Pear, make sure you get the Eastern Variety, They are hardy on up into Canada and flowers are yellow,orange and red colors, I don't have any of them right now, but should be able to find in the spring. I do have 1 that is the spineless eatable variety a friend sent me from Texas but it gets really big. I have left it outside in a pot exposed to all the elements for 2 years now and so far its ok but we haven't had a prolonged deep freeze cold for a couple of years now. if you want a start of that also let me know.and take a look at my trade list and see if there are some you don't want. i do have some others i can let you have instead
cliff

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 7:23PM
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0nametaken0

Thanks Cliff, I will keep your name and list in mind. I might contact you soon as well.

I searched for what the Eastern C. is and its called Opuntia humifusa. Its actually native to Southern Ontario as well but endangered. I will look around. I usually prefer to support the hobbyists who generally give out better plants and I can usually buy more than one variety to make shipping worth it. At least this happens with aquatic plants (I have a forest of my own in terms of aquarium plants that I sell, buy and trade with people).

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 8:56PM
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