I think I have a Sempervivum however it seems to behave differently

by J Smith
(S Korea)

Hi, I was given this plant 2 years ago, it was a sad looking thing, a rosette in the middle, two long droopy fronds, and two more rosettes dangling from them.

I repotted it, nowhere special, just a larger pot with no drainage in potting soil.

It seemed to thrive the rosettes were really tight and the leaves shiny and firm.

Just recently however, the leaves seem to have opened, changed color, and softened.

What is this and how should I be caring for it? I'd hate to kill it after watching it thrive for so long!!

Thank you,

Hi Jacquie, this is a not a Sempervivum; you can tell by the way the flowers are emerging; this looks more like some kind of Echeveria, which are a tender succulent.

First of all, these plants cannot survive for long without good drainage.

The roots will rot, even without being submerged. It's crucial that they have air in the soil.

They should never be allowed to sit in water; the soil should dry out almost completely between waterings.

So, you can do a couple of things.

Remove it from the pot, and gently shake the soil off it. Let it dry completely; I know it sounds cruel, but if there are damaged roots, they must callous to prevent the spread of rot.

In a week or so, you can repot it into a container that has a drain hole, and use some soil specifically made for cactus, or use potting soil mixed with gravel, pumice or large sand for added aggregate.

Hope that helps rejuvenate it,

See more about how to grow Echeveria here.

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Apr 24, 2013
If I split it will I kill it?
by: Anonymous

Thank you, I have actually had this as a house plant all winter and just sent it outside (its still coldish, having read a little more its probably not impressed with the cold!!).

It is the first time that it has grown stems/flowers and has tended to drop a leaf and re-root to spread....the new fronds were a shock to me.

My question is, when I re pot, and if I choose to split it, how would I go about dividing the plant up? ( I love this plant and would like to take a cutting back to the UK for my rockery...does it behave well with alpines?). Thanks again!

If you carefully cut or pull off a rosette, it will start to grow it's own roots.

It will most likely not be hardy in the UK, and keep in mind that it's important to do the proper paperwork to import and export plants between countries. You will need to do some research on the requirements, or even if it's allowed.

For more about rooting succulents, see my Succulent Propagation E-Book: Click on the link below:

Learn how to root your own succulents:

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