Grouping Succulent

jasminemingFebruary 27, 2014

I went to Home Depot last weekend to buy ceiling fans and brought these babies home (Hen�s N Chicks Mahogany, Echeveria Dondo, Jade Gollum, Mini Pine Tree). They are so cute and I immediately fall in love. Right now I put them on a south facing window. My plan is to plant all together in the same container, and here are my concerns:

1. Do they have different requirement for water and light that will prohibit grouping them together?
2. I�m going to plant them in a Corelle bowl or a Corningware container. As they don�t have drainage hole, I�m going to put a layer of pebbles or marbles under the soil for drainage. Is this enough to drain excess water?
3. The Hens N Chicks has flowers now. I read that after blooming the plant will die. Does that mean I�m going to lose it soon?

Thank you for your advice in advance!

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Hi Jasmine, I'm going to address your questions in order. Hopefully, someone will chime in with a bit more in depth explanations.

1. The jade plant and "pine tree" should be potted separately because they will out grow your proposed pot and will crowd/cover the other two plants as they grow.

2. You NEED a pot with a drainage hole. Pebbles/rocks/marbles/etc. do not help drain water away from roots. This is a misconception that still haunts the potted plant growing community to this day. No ifs, ands or buts, a drainage hole is a must!

3.The echeveria has the flowers and will not die. The "hen" you have there will produce both offsets (chicks) and a flower stalk, and yes, the hen will die after blooming, but that is why she produced the chicks! Also, she most likely will not do well indoors. Hens and chicks are alpine plants and can take the winter weather that zone 5 has. It's best to plant her outdoors somewhere, but be sure to acclimate her to the sun first. The others can be grown successfully as houseplants.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nancy is quite correct.

And allow me to emphatically agree that pebbles are not drainage, nor will they improve drainage. It is technically possible to manage a container such as you describe, but it will be a lot of work and probably won't produce the results that you desire.

Nancy's comments are spot on regarding the Echeveria and the Sempervivum (Hen n' Chicks), as well.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:55PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Take the pot to a glass company & tell them you'd like a half inch hole in the dish. If they charge more than $8-10, they're robbing you. They'll have a diamond core drill & they'll put a little water in the dish as a coolant - should take about 5 minutes.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 7:02PM
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Some Sempervivums make good houseplants. The rugged outdoor types will live but don't bloom if kept indoors. The pot of arachnoideum here has grown solid, but the only time it bloomed was 2 years ago after the heater in the greenhouse failed. Cool blooms. The ones outside rotted, so they remain here but not a favorite plant.

The Crassula tetragona grows somewhat lanky, and after it blooms it falls apart. Lots of opportunities for new ones, but the original plants get to look like home made sin.

I too want to emphasize a drainage hole. The plants shown are pretty tolerant of less than perfect conditions, but without a drainage hole, every watering is potentially fatal to something.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Thank you for the advices! Sounds like I need to do some shopping for the right containers. Just borrowed two books on succulent in containers from the library and canâÂÂt wait to read this weekend.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Your "Hens and Chicks" 'Mahogany' is actually an echeveria, not a sempervivum.

It's your 'Dondo,' not 'Mahogany,' that's blooming.

Echeverias are sometimes called Hens and Chicks; yours is not a Sempervivum and will not die after blooming. Your echeverias are not hardy like semps and should stay indoors in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:52AM
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tapla - good tip on the drilling at a glass shop. thx! :)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:32PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You can also buy a diamond core drill from Home Depot for just a few bucks & drill your own holes. We sell them, but the ones we sell are industrial grade and quite a bit more expensive than the ones you can get at hardware stores. Copy paste to your browser to see what they look like:

If you need help with how to best use them so the life of the bit is prolonged, let me know.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 5:51PM
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