I have enough kids and animals vying for my attention. I don’t need one more thing making demands, so succulents are the perfect plant–they are virtually care free!
With the hot, dry weather in our mountainous region, succulents have become the rage. They are hardy and drought tolerant needing very little water, particularly in the drier winter months and are perfect for containers. If you grow them outdoors, they spread through crevices making them an excellent addition for rock gardens. If you keep them outdoors, it’s important to keep them dry in winter months either by covering them or bringing them indoors in containers. If they stay wet, the outer leaves will rot.
There are over 50 different species of Sempervivum and a myriad of cultivars. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors–they are star-shaped and typically pink, red, or even a pale yellow.
The succulent featured here is Sempervivum Tectorum commonly known as Hen-and-Chicks. The “hen” is the main plant and the “chicks” are the offspring, which start as tiny buds on the main plant and sprout their own roots sticking close to the “hen”. It is mat-forming and known more for it’s foliage than flower with very stiff, green rosettes edged in red.
Common Name: Hen-and-Chicks or Common Houseleek
Genus: Sempervivum (sem-per-VEE-vum)
Species: S. Tectorum
Category: Perennial, cacti, succulents
Foliage Color: Blue-green
Height: 6 inches (15cm)
Spacing: 3-6 inches (7-15cm) or 6-9 inches (15-22cm)
Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Summer
Soil: Well-drained soil; mostly sand to clay loam
Soil pH: 5.5 to 7.5.
Water: Dry to normal
Propagation Method: Dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms, or bulbs, including offsets.