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Sempervivum (hen and chicks)

Posted by madabouteu 7b - northern Alabam (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 20:40

OK, I give up. I have a local reputation for being knowledgable about succulents, but sempervivums I invariably kill. Oh, they do OK in the winter, but when summer comes, they always die. I know that some others keep them alive but I do not know the secret! I have tried keeping them dry, keeping them in the shade, and keeping them in the sun. What's the secret? I do use a fast draining soil.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sempervivum (hen and chicks)

You DO know that the 'hens' die not too long after flowering, right? All of those little ones are the next generation.

They've been happiest, for me, in full sun, and I grow them in our red clay. It does drain well, however, but I've not amended it with much of anything. Occasionally, I kidnap a few of the chicks to pot up in very gritty mix composed largely of granite chicken grit (or it might be turkey grit), Turface, and pine bark fines. Any that might be containerized stay near my back patio, which is sheltered from the hottest afternoon sun from about 4:00. They are SO cute in containers, aren't they?

Are you growing yours in the ground or in containers?

RE: Sempervivum (hen and chicks)

I am growing them in Fafard 3B mixed with lots of pea gravel. I now have crushed granite, sold as poultry grit, and next time I try them I will try using that with a handful of soil mixed in. No flowers yet - they don't live that long for me! Yeah, they look great in containers, especially strawberry pots, but who can find strawberry pots these days? BTW, here in Gadsden we have yellow clay, not the red clay you have in H'ville.

RE: Sempervivum (hen and chicks)

I grew one in the ground and it flourished and multiplied for several years before it gave up the ghost. It didn't get any attention and probably died from sheer neglect. ;-)

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