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CULT: Companion Plants--Sempervivums?

From: GWhite & LRader <bentfork@navix.net>


    We also have sempervivums growing among irises.  In this case, the hens and
chicks are growing all along the side and top of a 3 ft tall rock retaining wall
along our driveway.  Also growing along the top of the wall (in an 18 inch bed)
are a number of SDBs and a few sedums thrown in.  All of these get along very
well.  A couple of varieties of sedum get a little piggish with the space
available, but there are many cultivars that are less aggressive and can be
easily controlled if they do crowd the irises.  The SDBs hold their own and some
of them will even crowd out the hens and chicks or force them  to grow up into
strange little mounds.  At any rate, once the SDBs get started, there doesn't
seem to be any problem with them competing.  Both sempervivums and sedums look
nice with SDBs also.  They make nice ground covers without overwhelming the
smaller irises.  We have several varieties of sempervivums.  I'm partial to the
spider-web ones (S. arachnoides), which are very well behaved anyway, and those
with red-tipped leaves.

Gary White
Lincoln, NE     zone 4/5 but you wouldn't know it this November, since we have
had several record-breaking temps.  Today it is 75F and tomorrow promises to be
even warmer.  Our problem is a severe lack of precipitation.  Its now been about
10 weeks since any significant rain.  I'm having trouble getting enough water to
all the Japanese, Siberian, Louisiana, I. versicolor, and other beardless irises
(not to mention daylilies, shrubs, etc) that we have spread around the place.

HIPSource@aol.com wrote:

> From: HIPSource@aol.com
> Greetings.
> Has anyone tried hens-and-chicks around the perimeter of the bearded iris
> bed? If so, did you run into any problems?
> I've got infant sempervivums of several kinds dripping off the edges of their
> pots and something must be done with the little wretches soonest ere they
> freeze. I can see that if one got a real heavy mat of the things going
> against the fans one might have some problems of the sort that one has with
> real heavy mats of things, but I'm thinking that they might be a whole lot of
> fun tucked in here and there next to the brick edging. They don't host
> ghastly iris-destroying diseases or secrete mysterious substances into the
> dirt or anything do they?
> Thanks.
> Anner Whitehead, Mid-Atlantic, Zone 7
> HIPSource@aol.com

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