Succulents are becoming more and more popular, and there are several varieties to try. Some are tropical and need to be protected in the winter, and some are permanent. One of the permanent perennial favorites is called Sempervivum, also called Hen and Chicks or Houseleeks.
In Latin, Sempervivum means “always living” and that’s what these succulents have potential to do. These plants rarely need our help; the quickest way to kill them is to kill them with kindness.
The common name of Hen and Chicks comes from how the mother plant, or “hen”, will make way for the young off-shoots, or “chicks”, around the sides. Occasionally breaking off a chick is a way to propagate a new plant for a different area.
As with most succulents, Sempervivum prefers sun and needs soil that drains well. Heavy clay and too much water can mean sure death for these succulents.
Hen and Chicks can look different with each variety. Some have bold spikes of colored foliage, while others will look like small leaves covered in webbing.
In order to have Sempervivum for many years, consider planting them in a decorative pot or a shallow planter. These aren’t the fastest growing perennials, so be patient, and remember that ignoring this plant could keep it happy for years to come.
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