Sempervivum Dormancy Period
I was wondering if you can shed light in growing sempervivums.
I have read that sempervivums go dormant in winter but can't find information on whether there is a need for them to go dormant in order to produce chicks in the growing season.
Most of the winter temperature in Florida is only at 40F with a day or two in the 30s.
Do they need a dormancy period and at what temperature? If so, is there a way to force them into dormancy if Florida winters are not enough? I am not sure if I should collect sempervivums at this point :(
I've never heard of the requirement of a cold period to trigger chick production - there is a school of thought that to germinate the seeds, they will need to be cold for a few weeks to break the dormancy.
In my experience, I haven't found this - but it does help to get them all germinated at the same time, which makes it easier to manage them, transplanting etc.
If they do require a cold period for chick formation, I wouldn't have any idea of length of time, actual temperature etc.
My thought is that it's really hard to give any kind of definitive answer to this, because of the variations of genetic differences; some strains produce chicks in huge quantities, others it's a struggle to get one or two.
One thing you could try, to give them some fake cold dormancy; get some blocks of ice or ice cubes and place those around the roots - without knowing more about which varieties you're growing, it's hard to say how much of this kind of treatment they would require, but even a week of daily cold periods could be all it takes.
I would think that your climate would tend to be more humid than what they prefer - always make sure they have enough air movement around them, a really well drained soil mix, and limited water, especially while you're getting a lot of rain.
Plant them in raised beds made of rocks, so they have that perfect drainage.
I don't think you should give up just yet - they're really easy to grow once you get a handle on their needs in your particular conditions.
Hope this helps,