Tenacious Little Plants Hang On

Back in 1992 Flagstaff and surrounding areas received heavier than usual winter snows. This was followed by rains which melted the snow too quickly. As all water sources swelled beyond capacity and began to overflow, some low lying areas experienced flooding.

At that time I had a local customer who had fallen in love with Sempervivums. She kept coming back for more till I believe she had nearly as many varieties as I had. Unfortunately, Lake Mary, the city’s reservoir, spilled over its dam and backed up into an area where homes were located. My customer’s house didn’t flood, but her Sempervivum beds did. She worried and stewed for the two or three days it took till she could see her plants again. Believe it or not her Semps lived through it–and prospered!

And the customer? She moved to Colorado and still collects her tough little Semps.

These plants which thrive in well drained soils were able to hang on until the flood waters drained away. Another customer used to refer to them as her Timex plants because they could “take a licking and keep on ticking”.

Pine trees in the background of a small lake with a pasture in the foreground.

Lake Mary, the local reservoir.

While I continue to advise against standing water and above all to plant where the roots have good drainage, it amazes me when I here stories like these. My further advice is “do not try this at home” if you can possibly avoid it.