Tuesday 7 October 2014

Update on the sempervivums in the alpine rockery

The alpine section of the rockery has been planted up for a few months now, so time for an update on how the plants have been doing.  It should probably be re-named the sempervivum bed as that is pretty much all that is planted in it currently.

Semps should be fairly easy, but you never know with a new rockery and location, especially when known how hot, shaded, or dry it was going to be.  In the end it was a hot, dry summer, and the rockery is extremely quick draining.  So this should show which varieties cope best in drier locations.

First up semp virgil.

 This was the fastest grower at the old house, so I expected the same here

It has filled out and formed very tight rosettes, but not spread as much as expected.  It has gone more lilac in colour, instead of the dark purple, but still a pretty plant and hopefully will have filled that space come next year.

Many of the plants seem to have done the same

Semp 'Packardian' in June
Semp 'Packardian' in September
Sempervivum 'Red Devil' in June
Sempervivum 'Red Devil' in September
Some on the other hand have struggles to cope with the heat and lack of water. This is Sempervivum 'Apple Blossom' back in June.

I expected it to form a nice big clump, instead the rosettes shrunk right back and left a fairly ugly clump.

Sempervivum 'Rosie' did exactly the same, here back in June.

Then in September, only the main rosette seems to have suffered this time.

Then are those that have done well and started to bulk up. Sempervivum 'Lavendar and Old Lace' back in June

Then in September, both parent and pups have done well. It hasn't held it's colour though and back to a pail green.

Others that have done well, Sempervivum 'Engles' back in June

And here in September, the parent has not grown much, but the offsets have put on a fair amount of growth.

Sempervivum Othello, one of the biggest varieties and suppose to hold it's colour well.

Then in September, lots of growth, but gone a disappointing green. 

The real surprise has been sempervivum 'Titania' shown below in June

The main plant flowered last year so it was only offsets being planted and here they are in September.  Not only lots of growth but how good do they look. Not a single sign of stress, the colours have got stronger.

No guessing which is my favourite sempervivum now. It is so much happy than at the last house, I can see what all the fuss is about.

And I'm sorry Loree and others who don't like labels, they are on view so I know which plant is which in photos, but are out of sight the rest of the time and will be removed come spring once I have got plant locations sorted in my files..


  1. Labels are sometimes a necessary evil, I understand. At least you can identify which sempervivum is which, me? Not so much.

  2. Wow, so many semps! I wish I could grow them but the dreaded mealybug gets them every time... wonder why some of yours are doing better than others?

    1. I would guess some cope with heat better than others, that area does get baked and it may not be perfect for some forms.