How to Grow Beautiful Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) Succulents
Mar 11, · Hens and chicks require very little soil and can be made to grow even in rock crevasses. The ideal temperature for hens and chicks is between 65 and 75 degrees F. ( C.). When temperatures zoom upwards or plummet down, the . It's hard to find a container that hens and chicks don't look good in. You can plant them in strawberry jars, clamshells, teacups or even using them as a top dressing with a larger plant works well. Because they are so drought tolerant, even the smallest container can .
If there was an award for cutest succulentit would undoubtedly go to hens and chicks. Native to southern Europe and northern Africa, the petite plant is beloved by gardeners around the world for its easygoing nature, gorgeous textures, and varied shapes. Hens and chicks is a common name for a variety of ground-hugging species of Sempervivum plants. You might also find them marketed under the names "houseleeks," "hens and chickens" or "hen widdies.
The mother plant the "hen" is connected to a series of smaller offset plants her "chicks" by a thin underground runner. While succulents have a reputation for being easy to care for, hens and chicks are how to grow hen and chicks hardy. Hens and chicks cihcks dormant in freezing temperatures, making them popular choices for those who live in temperate climates.
However, they also how to promote a group on facebook for free in flowerbeds and gow. Hens and groa prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. And while they prefer some space to sprawl, will generally make do with more crowded conditions.
The only true threat to hens and chicks? Too much water. Like many succulents, their delicate roots can rot when oversaturated. For this reason, it's important to use a lightweight, quick-draining potting soil formulated specifically for succulents. Concerned about the health of your hens and chicks? Examine their leaves. Swollen, mushy leaves mean your plant is receiving too much water. On the other hand, even succulents can be too dry.
Shriveled leaves uow a sign that your hens how to clean lcd television chicks need a drink. When grlw hen is near the end of her life cycle, she'll produce a flower. Some will grow for several years without flowering, while others chidks flower chifks.
Stressful conditions, such as jow or lack of sun, can cause the hen to prematurely flower and subsequently seed-essentially, she's decided to see if her seeds land chixks a better place to grow. However, the chicks will live on after the hen dies, producing their own babies after one season. The name SempervivumLatin for "forever alive," references the plant's ability to regenerate seemingly endlessly. Because of their unique structure, hens and chicks are extremely easy to propagate.
Chicks often have their own roots, so you can simply remove an offshoot and plant it elsewhere. If the chick is less mature, it can be treated as a stem cutting and propagated like a standard succulent clipping. Simply place the chick in shallow soil in a warm area indoors or out that receives partial sun; lightly mist the plantlet with water.
Within a couple weeks, your chick will sprout roots and can be properly planted. Feeling Inspired: Watch our handy video below on propagating succulents. By Monica Weymouth January chikcs, Save Pin ellipsis More. Comments Add Comment. Share options. Back to story Comment on this project Rate Review Comment on this story. Tell us what you think Thanks for adding your feedback. Close Login. All rights reserved. View image.
Hens and Chicks Varieties
A mixture of two parts sand, two parts topsoil, and one part perlite work well. For potted hens and chicks, you can use a cactus or succulent soil mix as well. Germination Time. The seeds require sunlight to germinate, which normally takes three weeks. Space Between Seedlings. Provide plenty of space for hens and chicks to spread naturally. Jul 24, · 1. If growing your Hens and Chicks in a container you should wait until it fills the container. If you are growing your Hens and Chicks in a garden you should wait years (until new pups have grown and your “old” plant begins to die”. 2. Wait until “young pups” begin emerging from your hens and chicks. May 17, · Hens and chicks propagation from offsets The very first way you should try to propagate Hens and chicks is by using offsets as this is most certainly the easiest method and has the highest success rate. To get started, you should wait for the springtime as this is the best time of the year to go through with Sempervivum propagation.
The plants grow with little soil, and the tough little things are very cold hardy. Hens and chicks is the common name of a few Sempervivum succulent plants. Most resemble unfurled roses, and they come in different colors, textures, and forms. Native to mountainous, stony areas, these succulents like most are hardy and drought-tolerant. Hens and chicks most often refers to S empervivum tectorum , which has light pink to almost red-purple colored leaves.
There are many other cultivars in the Sempervivum genus as well, such as:. When the yearly growing season begins, the hens spread underground roots that each produce at least four chicks.
The offsets—or chicks—can then be broken off and transplanted to a new location. There are many ways you can plant hens and chicks. You can buy a succulent from your local garden nursery and transplant it in a container, plant it in a rock garden or between stepping stones, or allow it to spread out as ground cover. Another option is to start the plant from seed, but this method is recommended for planting ground cover. If you want to grow hens and chicks indoors, a container is ideal. Window boxes and stone or concrete planters are low-maintenance options, but strawberry planters are another option if you want to continue dividing the offsets later.
Peat moss and clay pots are also excellent for fewer plants in a container. You can transplant a plant from your local garden nursery or take cuttings from an existing chick or offset from a parent plant and transplant them. All you must do is dig a shallow hole, just enough room for the roots to spread out.
Place the chick into the hole and fill the soil to the crown of the plant, gently compacting the soil down toward the roots. Lightly water the plant and allow them to further spread on their own. You can also opt to grow this succulent from seeds, which is ideal if you want to cover a large area. Many seed varieties are widely available for sale from online nurseries. If you want hens and chicks as ground cover, all you need to do is sprinkle the seeds on your topsoil. Then, just keep the seeds moist not wet until they sprout.
You can also plant the seeds in a container filled with cactus mix and gently mist the soil after planting. To protect the seeds, apply mulch and fine gravel after the plants start to sprout.
Hens and chicks are hardy in a wide range of zones, typically from 3 to Offer a full-sun location for hens and chicks, and possible part shade in the afternoon. The foliage will reach full color with plenty of bright sunlight.
If you live in a southern location, the plant benefits from partial shade from the harsh afternoon sun. Indoor hens and chicks grow best with at least hours of bright, indirect light daily. Sandy, poor soil is ideal, with a neutral pH of between 6. The crucial part is that the soil must drain well. A mixture of two parts sand, two parts topsoil, and one part perlite work well. For potted hens and chicks, you can use a cactus or succulent soil mix as well. Provide plenty of space for hens and chicks to spread naturally.
Small plants need four inches of space, while larger varieties require inches to form new rosettes. Hens and chicks are easy enough for beginners. Succulents require quick drainage, which makes them perfect when planted in a rock garden.
The soil should feel dry between watering. After transplanting hens and chicks, allow them to establish themselves completely for watering at all. If you live in a hot or dry area, you may also need to provide more frequent watering.
Watering often increases in the summer and reduces over winter. Ideal temperatures should remain between 65 and 75 degrees F, on average. Sempervivums are cold hardy in temperatures as low as degrees F, so they even grow throughout winter in states like Michigan and Colorado.
However, they become semi-dormant in colder temperatures and stop growing. Potted plants, however, tend to require fertilizer more than ground-planted options. Try a liquid fertilizer in the spring and summer, and make sure to dilute the solution by at least half.
If your hens produce dramatic flowers, however, they will die soon afterwards. Flowering is often a bad sign, so you might check for poor growing conditions where the mother hen was growing and prune back the blooms. Hens and chicks are overall disease resistant. The most common problem to growing these succulents comes from mishandling or environmental problems.
Wet conditions cause the leaves to droop and the plant will literally lift from the soil. Root rot and fungus issues are also common, especially in the winter. Too much sun can also lead to sunburn, which means the plants need protection from the afternoon sun. Sempervivums also seldom suffer from pest or insect trouble. Some varieties are attractive to rabbits and deer in the spring, but any damaged foliage tends to grow out on their own. Even if deer eat the foliage all the way to the crown, the sprout will come back.
Mealybugs and aphids are the most common pest to cause damage to Sempervivums , particularly if the plants were started inside or in a greenhouse or grow outside in a damp location. Beneficial insects should take care of the issue for you, but you can also remove the insects using insecticidal soap.
Try moving the plants to a sunnier area if the problem persists. When planted as ground cover, hens and chicks is stunning with Sedums. Other succulents have similar care guidelines, which make them ideal when selecting companion plants for outdoor gardens. Other succulents commonly grown with Sempervivum include:. Cushion plants are also drought-tolerant and sun-loving, making them excellent choices.
They come in great choices like:. Gardeners who enjoy pairing vibrant colors, textures, and shapes may choose to design stunning xeriscape or rock gardens. Perennial blooms that pair well with succulents in this setting include:.
Some companions are selected because both plants benefit from the relationship. They can be used to aid against heat or water. Dianthus , although a partial shade plant, also offers protection against the summer sun.
Plant them on the north or east for the best results. The mothers die after around years, and you must remove them.
You may also need to divide the chicks from the hens or mother plants every couple of years to prevent overcrowding. Otherwise, the plant may continue to spread as long as you allow. Brit Haines is an urban gardener who grows her own food in her spare time. She is also a book nerd and freelance writer who enjoys nature adventure. Check out her own blog at bewrit.
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