Hens-and-chicks are also called houseleeks.
Succulent hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum spp.) produce rosettes of thick leaves that cluster together in colonies of both large and small plants. Foliage color varies depending on the variety, but many feature green interior leaves surrounded by a ring of red or darker green foliage. Each hen-and-chick rosette flowers approximately every four years, near the end of its life, but the plants are constantly producing new rosettes from the roots to replace those that fade. Hens-and-chicks grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 to 8, but you can grow them as houseplants everywhere.
Place potted plants in an area that receives full sunlight. Grow potted plants in a fast-draining cactus mix in a pot that contains at least one bottom drainage hole. Outdoors, plant hens-and-chicks in a sandy or rocky bed that drains quickly and receives full sun to part shade.
Water the plants only when the soil dries out completely. Water until moisture drips from the bottom of the pot and empty the pot's drip tray after the soil finishes draining, usually within 30 to 60 minutes. Garden plants rarely require watering.
Cut old rosettes of foliage from the plant after they produce a flower and die back naturally. Cut the rosettes off the plant at ground level with a clean, sharp knife.
Remove offsets, or small new plants, from the outside of a group of hens-and-chicks to propagate new plants. Cut the small offsets from the small plants just below the soil surface with a sharp knife. Plant the rosettes in a well-draining bed or pot of cactus soil immediately after removal. The offsets quickly set roots and grow into new plants.
Things You Will Need
- Pot with drip tray
- Cactus soil
- Hens-and-chicks resist most diseases and insect pests. They can suffer from root rot in poorly draining soils or if you over-water them.
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