Trying to Save Our Sempervivum: Succulent Garden

There were amazing sempervivums and sedums at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden plant sale. I decided I could create one a succulent dish gardens inspired by a Deborah Lee Baldwin’s new book: Succulent Container Gardens.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the other items I needed when I bought the plants.  It took me two weeks to get a  low terra cotta bowl, fast-draining succulent potting soil, and a bag of little rocks.

I went to put the stunning Sempervivum ‘Baronesse’ (hens and chicks), grown by Glover Perennials in Cutchogue, NY,  into the pot and I saw a few little flies and smelled rot. Oh no! This perfect plant with cobweb rosettes and red highlights was rotting from underneath! It was too wet and not getting enough light. I feel guilty for not being a better parent to these perfect plants.

I removed the rotting leaves, popped it in the pot with some spindly sedum (also in need of more hot sun!) and placed it a sunny and isolated spot on our roof. I don’t want the few flies to spread to my other pots! I hope a few days baking in the sun can nurse this plant back. I’d like to use it as the centerpiece for the patio table on our roof garden.

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One response to this post.

  1. The bowl has a hole for drainage, yes?

    Give it full sun. Let it dry out between waterings, which will also control the flies. You can add coarse sand or perlite to the potting mix to sharpen the drainage (most commercial succulent/cactus mixes retain too much moisture).

    Worst case, if you can’t save the parent plant, separate some leaves and root them in pure sand.

    Reply

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