I think I have a Sempervivum however it seems to behave differently
by J Smith
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!!
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.