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Do Succulents need to acclimate?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Patty S on November 19, 2005 03:29 PM
I'm making a living wreath out of Hen & Chicks & other Succulents. Some have been in planters indoors, & some were taken from a garden, outside. I'm wondering about how sensitive Succulents are to temperature changes.

I know that the wreath needs to remain laying down for a month or so before hanging, to allow the plants to establish roots. It seems logical that anything would root faster in a warm place, but I don't know if that's true... (especially for Succulents, as they seem to go by different "rules", altogether!)

* Should I set my wreath outside while the roots are getting started, or will the plants root faster indoors?

* Are Succulents hardy enough to go from warm to cold (or cold to warm) without being babied? (outside temps are 39-52F.)

* What about plant food/fertilizer? What, if anything, & how often?

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by cinta on November 20, 2005 11:14 AM
I would put them outside in a covered area. I am making a wreath also and I have it outside we have had temps down to 19 this week. The Semps are doing great the sedum is going to sleep. I am considering removing the Sedum because I want to use it outside as my winter interest plant. I am adding some berries from the bushes instead.

I do know the Semps will die if you keep it indoors vs outside.

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If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!!
by Patty S on November 21, 2005 07:57 AM
I don't know now, what I've got here!

Darn it, this gardening stuff can be pretty confusing! I've been told that I get way too carried away with details on most things anyway, & I'm beginning to agree with that, cuz my fixation about gardening world information is making me CRAZY!

I feel like Johnny 5, in the movie Short Circuit, in his quest for "more data"!! (I can really identify with him!) When I get my hands on a flower/plant, I go nuts & want to know its Common name, & the Botanical name, & how it got the name, & where & how it grows, & why it does what it does... etc. THAT'S RIDICULOUS... & gets really bad when I run into the walls that tell me there's over 2,000 varieties of the SAME PLANT! [scaredy] AGGGHHH! [Eek!] [Eek!]

Well anyway, I have a Master Gardener friend who wrote to me after I sent her a photo of my wreath & asked her the same questions that I opened this topic with... I also asked her if Hen & Chicks and Ice plants are the same thing. She answered, "I think what you've got here is not Sempervivum but Echeveria. (More tender than Sempervivum. and will put up a flowering stalk from the center of the rosette.) Ice plant, and here we run into trouble because the common name can apply to several different plants, is a tidy little succulent with triangular fleshy tubercules, those "leaves" which protrude from the stem.
This is a time of slow growth for almost everything from grass to ornamentals. I wouldn't advise you to bring the wreath indoors, though, unless you can put it in a place that's not too warm. I've successfully grown Sempervivums indoors, but it's usually a big shock to suddenly go tropical. I think there's a wide range of hardiness for Sempervivum but mostly I think they're somewhat tender. Probably wouldn't survive much of a freeze, but who knows? It's not as if we get that kind of weather here."

I thought my wreath had Hen & Chicks & a variety of other Succulents in it... but now I'm not sure what they are, other than "Succulents", & I should just leave it at that!! I'm trying to convince myself that all the detailed info about every plant I see isn't important, & that I should just take it easy on myself & ENJOY this new world I've stumbled across!

I won't have time for Senile Dementia as I grow old; I'm far to busy going flat-out insane... over what? FLOWERS!! [nutz] (What a way to go, huh?!)

Guess I should have registered here as "Patty 5"! (Matter of fact, I used to have that on my license plate!)

Here's how my wreath turned out:
Took me 4.5 hours to make this silly thing! (You'd be surprised at what I used for the base & top support... My total cost was $1.70!)

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by cinta on November 21, 2005 10:52 AM
It was not a waste of time it is very pretty.

The picture is not very clear but I think it is tender sucs also and not Sempervivum.

My weather is cold a lot of snow and I have lots of Semps. They are very hardy and are a alpine plants their growing conditions cold and dry to survive and multiply.

Since we are not sure I would keep them in bright light not full sun. I would mist it twice aweek so it does not dry out until it roots.

Now worst case keeping it inside...If you have hardy Sempervivum. The hardy Sempervivum usually bloom if indoors without the chill period then they die.

If you put it outside in the cold and you have tender sucs then the entire wreath will die immediately.

So I think inside is better.

I know how you feel about names I ignore names also I just check for hardiness. How cold are your winters. What is your zone ?

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If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!!
by Patty S on November 22, 2005 01:51 AM
Oh, I don't feel that it was a waste of time at all. I love it! In fact, I may just KEEP it! I made it for a silent auction that our Garden Club will be having on Dec 7, to benefit the local Kid's Christmas Fund. (It's set up so that kids can have $$ to buy gifts for their parents... nice idea, huh?)

My concern was not if the plants would survive... I've seen lots of Succulent wreaths, so I know they will. As I really really need those plants to set in some roots within the next few weeks, my main question was how to help them do that. Since plants (& most other things) can't do much production work when it's cold, my concern was whether or not I'd kill them by bringing them in where it's warmer so they could make roots faster... or more importantly, if it would be too hard on them once the wreath gets put outdoors suddenly, after being inside for 3 weeks.

I decided to put it on the workbench in the (unheated) garage & leave the fluorescent shop light on, which is mounted under the upper cabinets above the work bench. It might be a little warmer there than outside & it will, at least, get some light... more than it would outdoors, as it's been foggy or overcast (& I don't expect to see many rays of sunshine here until March). I'll check it to see if the plants are secure when it's time to sell it in a few weeks & if they act like they're not rooted, I'll just put a note on it, saying that it'll have to be a centerpiece on someone's front porch this year & shouldn't be hung up until roots set in better!

I like it so well, that I'm going to make another 1 today for my Mom, for Christmas. (instead of getting my seed list posted... kick me HARD!) She's living in a Retirement Community apartment & has a small balcony. It doesn't get any direct sun (but reflected bright sunlight), so she's always fussing that there are so few plants that do well for her. These would work there, I'm sure! (& this wreath is small... only 9.5" at the widest point... perfect size for her place!)

As far as I have been able to find out, I'm in a zone 8-9 microclimate ("microclimate - a local zone wherein the climate differs from the surrounding area.") We're in a little pocket within the Umpqua valley of the SW Oregon interior, & after living in Montana most of my life I would say that people don't bother with winter here! I still think that the mid-to-high 30's is cold, but it seldom freezes here... & when/if it does freeze or snow, I've only seen the duration of such conditions to be about 20 minutes! [thumb] I LOVE IT!

Now that I'm in an area where the growing season is long enough to get so much pleasure from gardening, I've gone nuts about flowers & plants, & am learning so much from people here on this site! [kissies] I want to find out more about Succulents, as we have very hot & dry summers & I think I'd like to try raising A BUNCH of them! Have you seen Jenn's Ice plant? ("hisgal2") Go take a look at it... Gorgeous! [flower]

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by catlover on November 22, 2005 01:59 AM
(You'd be surprised at what I used for the base & top support...
Don't leave us in suspense....what did you use for the base and top support??? [dunno]
[kitty] Catlover [kitty]

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by Patty S on November 22, 2005 02:42 AM
Sorry, Cat... if I told you that, I'd have to kill you!! [Big Grin] [tongue] [Big Grin]  - (I DO so entertain myself!!) [Razz]

Seriously now, I'd be HIJACKING my own topic if I posted my wreath "recipe" here, especially as long-winded as I seem to get, once I get started... then you gals would be posting those gentle reminders all over the place again! [lala] So, I'll be a good girl & post my answer over in 'Hobbies, Crafts and Creativity'. (Alrighty then?)
But not right now!  - ...I really need to shut this down & get something thawed out for dinner, vacuum, & then chissel off some of the spilled, dried, caked-on gunk from the glass shelves in the fridge... been trying to ignore it, as I've been busy (hanging out here... furthering my education!) but I can't put it off any longer, or my people might start refusing to eat here! (HEY! THERE'S AN IDEA!)
Will pencil it in to post my wreath secrets when I find my way back here! [thumb]

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by cinta on November 22, 2005 03:38 PM
OH rub it in that you live in perfect weather.LOL!!!

OK your weather is perfect for a mixed hardy and tender suc wreath. I have to decide if I want one for the "outside summer inside winter wreath" or "all year round wreath". The year round I use all hardy sucs and semps.

I get all my wreaths at the thrift shop for .50 People get give them away. I also like to do Birdhouses

I will post my Holiday Theme I am planting.

Over to Crafts I go.......

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If you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain!!

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