Hens and chicks sempervivum care and propagation

Hens and Chicks Sempervivums care and propagation is easy. This succulent plant is one of the easiest indoor and outdoor plants to care for even for beginner plant owners. Sempervivums are herbaceous perennials native to Central Europe and North Africa. They do well in Hardy zones three through nine. The plant gets the name from having a main rosette which produces smaller rosettes all around it. It is also commonly referred to as Houseleek.

Hens and Chicks Sempervivums Care and Propagation

Common NamesHens and Chicks, Houseleek
Botanical NameSempervivum tectorum
LightFull sun – partial shade
Soil pHNeutral
Hardiness Zones3-9
ColorsGreen, copper, gold, red,

Hens and Chicks Soil Requirements

The succulents Hens and Chicks are hardy garden plants without any special soil requirements. They do very well in well-drained soils. Houseleeks can be grown successfully in the standard succulent mix.

The plants are used as ground cover plants as well as used extensively in rock gardens. The best pH for Hens and Chicks is neutral.

If you have an area in your yard or garden where nothing seems to grow, try Hens and Chicks. But they also make good container plants and can be grown in different sized pots as indoor house plants.

Types and varieties of Hens and Chicks

There are tons of different varieties of Hens and Chicks succulents. They have different shapes and colors. Although they are all rosette-forming, some are tighter while others are more open and looser.  

  • Gold Nugget – Gold color leaves with red tips
  • Big Blue – blue-green leaves
  • Bernstein – copper leaves
  • Black – green leaves with purple tips

These are just a few of the varieties that you can get. There are so many options and they are available in different colors including copper, blue, green, gold, red, and other color combos.

It’s important to note that the color of the succulents depends on among other factors the growing conditions. As an example, The Gold Nugget gets gold during Winter when the light is low indoors and then in the summertime, it’ll green-up.

Hens and Chicks Blooms

The succulents may or may not flower during the summer months. Most people grow Houseleeks for the leaves; however, they can flower. The blooms often appear about a year or two after establishment.

If the succulent flowers, the mother rosette dies after it produces the flower. When it dies, remove it and let the chicks fill in the open space.

Watering Hens and Chicks

Hens and Chicks Sempervivums care and propagation also includes providing them with sufficient water. When you’re growing Hens and Chicks, you’ll give them a dry period between waterings.  Let the surface soil become dry before watering again. The best practice is to check the top inches with your finger and make sure they are dry before watering.

Then thoroughly saturate the media and allow the excess water to drip down at the bottom. Continue that watering cycle of dryness followed by water.

Just like most other succulents, Houseleeks don’t like to sit in water. If you overwater them, the roots will rot and die.

Best Light For Hens and Chicks

Houseleeks do well in bright spots. For best results grow them in full sun to partial shade locations. Most of the varieties increase the color intensity when grown in full sun. Since the plant is hardy, it can tolerate bright and even full sunlight.

If you’re growing them in a really hot place and are in doubt, you can give them early morning and late afternoon Sun. In addition to filtered light throughout the rest of the day just to be safe.

Temperature For Hens and Chicks

Hens and Chicks can be grown successfully in areas between zones three through nine. Even people in zones ten and eleven still get very good results. The plants are cold-hardy and can survive low temperatures that most plants cannot.

Hens and Chicks Fertilizer

Fertilization is not an important part of Hens and Chicks Sempervivums care and propagation. The Hens and Chicks is a hardy succulent that will grow well in all types of soils even poor soils. If you’re growing the succulent in containers you can fertilize it during the summertime when they’re actively growing.

It’s important to note that over-fertilization can deter and discourage some of the bright colors that you get on the leaves. You can also fertilize a little bit during the summertime when you want to increase the size of the plant.

Propagating Houseleeks

Hens and Chicks propagation is easy. Each of the offsets can be separated and grown into an individual plant. The succulents produce many offsets so the amount of plants that can be grown is endless.

Simply separate the offset from the mother plant and stick them in a nursery pot filled with soil. The succulents establish their roots easily and will grow into beautiful plants in no time.

Immediately after transplanting, press down lightly to compact the soil. Also, give the new plant a good soak. Resume normal watering by allowing the plant to dry out.

If you are growing the plant in the garden, it will propagate on its own. The only time you need to transplant the offsets is when you want to establish new plants in different locations.

Propagating Hens and Chicks From Seeds

Hens and Chicks can also be propagated from seeds. The option of using seeds is only needed if you want to grow the plant in a large area or you want many plants. Sprinkle the seeds directly on the soil mix. Water it and keep the soil moist. Provided the seeds receive light, they should sprout in about three weeks. Mulch new plants to support their growth.

Repotting Sempervivums

When we report these succulents, we just want to take them out of the current pot. Repotting is necessary if the succulent has outgrown the current and needs more space to grow. Choose a pot that is 2-3 inches bigger.

Put a little soil a few inches at the bottom of the new pot. Then tuck the plant and add some soil on the sides. You can press down slightly to ensure that its upright and firm. Give the plant a good soak to make sure that its soil is settled and it’s ready to go forward.  

Houseleek Poisonous to Pets

Hens and Chicks’ succulents are not poisonous to cats or dogs. The plant doesn’t produce any toxic compounds or saponins. It is also safe for kids. The plant is used for its medicinal properties by some people.

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Hens and Chicks or Houseleeks are great succulents. You can grow them outdoor in yards and gardens and they will provide beautiful ground cover. You can also grow them in pots and containers as outdoor and indoor house plants.

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Hens and chicks sempervivums care and propagation



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