Sempervivum: How Fast Do they Spread

davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))June 5, 2008

I saw some at a Lowes of Home Depot and am interested in buying one and using them as ground cover. How fast do they spread?

A neighbor gave me a clump of sedum last year (around July), and right now I estimate that they have spread about 10x. By the end of the season, they will probably have spreaded 20x. Is sempervivum as fast?


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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

From the link below: "Propagation: Sempervivums reproduce vegetatively by offsetting around the base of the rosette, often forming a dense cushion. Each offset will develop roots of its own and become independent of the parent plant as the connecting stolon withers. Some Sempervivums produce offsets on the end of long stolons and these root down at a distance from the parent plant, rather than producing a dense clump.

Offsets can be removed when root development has begun and grown on separately as a method of propagation. This method preserves the characteristics of a named cultivar, which will not come true from seed. The stolon should be cut off just below the base of the offset to encourage roots to develop from the base of the rosette."

Here is a link that might be useful: The Sempervivum Page

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 1:46PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

RE: Sorry, I posted the above follow-up to the wrong thread. It doesn't answer OPs question. The link probably does however.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 1:50PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

In my experience with a few cultivars of Sempervivum, they are not nearly as fast as some other succulents to bulk up. They seem to be much more seasonal about when they want to send out new runners. It may just be that I split them up too soon when I planted them out,(late spring here in California), and the offsets needed to bulk up with new roots before they were inclined to offset. It has been over a year since I planted them, and they haven't done much at all. Then again, maybe it is because I don't fertilize them, as compared to how they were being grown at the nursery.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:38AM
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Not so fast, and nothing like Sedum.
I grow in pots. If I put 2 or 3 offsets in an 8 inch circumference pot and wait about 3 years the pot will be wall-to-wall full. I've got a few full pots right now.
I've never tried to grow these out in the yard. My soil is not conducive to the sharp drainage they thrive with. I have seen gardens where they are grown in holes and crevices of large boulders or rock formations.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:55AM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

Thanks to all who replied! I went ahead and bought one, or one that has 8 babies already! :-)

I have a couple of questions:

The center of the plant have some cob-web like strings - visible in the 2nd picture. Are those cob webs that I should clean off or are they part of the plant?

Is the plant hardy enough for zone 5 to 6a?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:47PM
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Yikes! Those are NOT cobwebs. Part of the plant.
These are alpine plants that live on mountains in Europe, so they can take cold. Where I live they sit out all year on the deck. We hardly ever go below 20 degrees, but that doesn't bother them. Not sure of the lower limits. The coloration is brilliant in Winter. Look best with some shade protection from the heat of Summer. Not sure if they like humid. Best with excellent drainage, like little shards of granite or chipped rock in the soil. Experiment. Read up. Have fun.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 7:36PM
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sambal(z8 Seattle WA)

Hi Dave. My sedums far out run my semps. I build my outdoor semp/sedum gardens on top of soil which I have added rocks to in order to help with the drainage. It is kind of fun builing 'little landscapes' for them. However, this spring, the sedums are literally covering some of them, so I will have some moving to do once it decides to quit raining. I have the cobweb semp. which I think is pictured in the Semp. page listed above. At present it has tons of little babies on stolens radiating out from it. None of them has ever died due to climatic conditions, but one golden sedum has a tendency to die out and then come back. I also plant some of the semps in clay pots that I bury up to the neck and place some of the larger sedums below. The color changes throughout the seasons are amazing. One of my best winter plants. I think, even if you put this one semp. in a pot on a porch, to see what it does, you will be hooked!
Have a great week. SAM

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 6:55PM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

Hey, Sam. Didn't know you were here and were into sedum and sempervivum too. I am new to gardening and fascinated by growth and propagation of plants. They are so much fun!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:38AM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

Also, I wonder if sedum and semper make good indoor plant.

I know for other leafy plants, if they don't get enough light, they will become leggy, but sedum and semper don't have leaves like other plants, so I suppose they can't even get leggy.

So are they good for indoor?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:42AM
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I am Yardman of Michigan. I planted some sempervivum last Fall and this Spring they just took off, probable 3X the original plant. I have them on a sandy loamy hillside with great drainage with about 14 other cold hardy cactii and succulents. By far, these are one of my favorite. They almost turn a reddish purple green in late winter and the older plants keep that color. They seem to be thriving in this HOT HOT HUMID Tropical weather of late. I think we got nearly 5 inches locally the other day, and they still look great.

I kept them uncovered last winter and we got down to 1 deg F for 2 nights in a row with no damage whatsoever.

I hope this helps. Where in Michigan are you. I am in the North Burbs of Detroit.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:30AM
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davemichigan(zone 6a (SE Michigan))

Hi Yardman, thanks for the info, and nice to "meet" you. I have new beds, and the soil is clayish, so I will probably have to amend it to make it more loamy.

I live in Canton now, but over the years I have lived in Ann Arbor, Northville, Farmington Hills, Madision Heights, and Rochester Hills. Where do you live?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:31AM
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I live in NW Troy. Still w/out power. 21 lines down in our 1 sq. mi area.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 3:58PM
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I have some semps growing in my kitchen window right now, they were split off of my sister's Mama plant. I may keep a couple inside, but most of them are going outside as soon as I get a planter for them. They seem to be okay so far (it's been about a month), couldn't say for long term.

Also, I couldn't help but laugh when you asked about the cobwebs, I had accidentally left a Semp my aunt gave me at my Mom's house until a couple of days ago. When my Mom asked this morning if I had taken it (she, I dunno, thought that it had gotten fed up waiting and left, perhaps?), she thanked me for taking it, saying the spiderweb on it was giving her the heeby-jeebies. I told her that was part of the plant, that it was called a Sempervivum arachnoideum, because it looked like it had a spider web on it, and SHE DIDN"T BELIEVE ME! It took me ten minute to convince her, and I think she still has doubts. Hopefully my sister will be able to fully convince her that our plants have not been infested by spiders! :-)

Good luck with your semps, I love mine. Any plant with a Latin name that means "always living" is my kind of plant!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 2:21AM
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I don't know if it's just me, but the arachnoid versions seem to grow faster than the other varieties, and the jovibarbas reproduce the slowest.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 3:50PM
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