Need help learning how to care for Sempervivum

a_shau(San Francisco 8b)July 10, 2013

Hi, I recently got these from someone who lives in the Mission. I put them outside in my yard because I was advised that these are outdoor plants that thrive on neglect. I'm new to succulents so I have bunch of questions.

1. I think they started turning a little red/brown. Is that ok? (Here's what they looked like when I first got them: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/namegal/msg061943563722.html) The pots are about 6 inches in diameter.

2. I believe these are a kind of hen & chicks - sempervivum. When can I take the chicks off and plant them? Can I do that now or are they too small?

3. When I do that, should I plant them outside or inside? Right now in San Francisco, the days are sunny but don't go past 65 (although I feel it gets hot in the sun), and then half the week it's foggy and cold at night.

4. When I cut the chick off, should I let the end dry out or callous over, like with some other cacti before planting, or can I plant it in the soil right away?

5. When I cut the chick off, where should I cut it? closer to the baby's rosette, or closer to the hen's stem, so that it leaves a longer stem to then plant?

6. Lastly, where should I put this hen? Some sites say in full sun, some say in the shade. I have spots in my yard that get all sorts of light - bright morning and noon light; shade; noon and late afternoon sun. Which spot is the
best? Also, is the current swing in temperature between day and night ok for the plant?

Whew! In advance, thanks all for your help!

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norma_2006

I don't know if this information will help, they love cold weather. They don't mind the snow, be sure to plant in the shade, or put pine needles on top to protect them. They take a lot of grooming, really you should remove the dead leaves too many bugs love to hid in them, when they decay they may rot, My friend in Fresno, covered the plants with black paper and burlap bag and put them on a north side of the house or wall during the summer months, so what I saying is that they are summer dormant, and winter growers, they are a lot of work. repot the end of Oct. and divide, or take off all of the runners that are hanging down. Put them in a separate flat of soil, give them away or plant under a tree for ground cover the first of when it starts getting hot cover them with pine needles again and put flats or dark paper or burlap bags over them again and repeat this again when necessary, when you water, give them a good soaking, They should grow tightly and it okay for them to color up.That is the beautiful feature, orange, purple, red. burgundy etc. Most have lovely flowers as well. Let us know how you do and offer your extra ones in the exchanges, they do great in Strawberry pots, dishgardens, with Gasteria and large winter growers instead of ground ncovers of volcanic rocks. With too much sun they will bolt and not look well at all. I feel I am leaving something out it's been a long time since I've had to care for them. They would love New York, New Jersy, Canada
They love a forest, and will grow nicely in a cold rock garden. They can take over any pot of other plants. They grow very low to the soil. The rest of you please help me out here. Norma

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 4:09AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I grow a couple types in my yard, and they handle full Summer sun and hot temperatures no problem. They're blooming right now, in fact. They also handle our wet, cold Winters very well up here in northern California. Pluck the rosettes before they bloom, root them right in the ground or in a pot. I've done both, and currently have some rooted rosettes that I'll be transplanting to the yard.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 11:24AM
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ctreeteac(Zone 8b; rain-spewing Oregon)

I agree with and would make sure you understand the statement Rosemarie made on your original thread, because here I am seeing Aeoniums.

The small one in the pot near the stem is Crassula ovata. All the others are a type of Aeonium. Hard to say which species (flowers would help ID).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 1:06PM
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JoeCaudex

Agree with teatree. Definitely not sempervivum!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 1:13PM
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