Do you want to grow your own unique garden? If so, why not introduce some Sempervivum (Sempervivum Hybridum) into your garden! Commonly referred to as “hens and chicks,” these drought tolerant groundcover plants are perfect for container gardens. Not only can they be grown from seed, but these resilient plants can also be propagated by cutting off small rosettes. So, let’s get started and learn how to grow and care for hens and chicks!
Propagating Hens and Chicks for Home Gardening
Propagating hens and chicks is a simple process that can be done at home. The best way to do this is by using a sharp, clean knife to cut off a small rosette from the parent plant. Make sure to cut through the edge of the rosette and set it aside in a dry place for several days so that it has time to form a callus or healed end.
Once the callus has formed, the rosette can be carefully planted in a new pot or location.
Propagation by Seed
For those who prefer to leave their hens and chicks to grow unattended, no propagation is necessary. Hens and chicks are easy-care plants that require very little maintenance and thrive with minimal attention. However, they can still be propagated in order to increase the number of plants.
To do this, it is possible to collect the seeds from their seed heads. The easiest way to do this is by following these steps:
- Cut off the seed head
- Place it in a paper bag (avoid plastic or rubber containers as these materials can cause the seeds to rot over time)
- Wait for the seeds to fall off the head and collect them from the bag
Even after cutting off a rosette or seed head, hens and chicks will continue to bloom. Once the seeds are collected, they can be sown in a cactus mix that has been misted until evenly damp. The seeds should then be kept in a warm room until they start to grow.
Protecting Hens and Chicks from Winter Weather
After the seeds are sown and the plants have grown, it is essential to protect them during the winter months. Hens and chicks that are winter hardy to zone 4b and growing in the ground can survive winter. However, perennials grown in containers will need extra care during cold weather as their roots can die after being exposed to cold temperatures. Here are some tips to protect your hens and chicks during winter:
- Standard pots can be buried for added insulation.
- If there is a risk of frost, it is better to move them indoors or cover them with mulch or straw for added protection.
For those who wish to bring their hens and chicks inside, it is possible to grow them indoors or outdoors. They are great container plants, in fact. When growing hens and chicks indoors, it is important to remember that they need plenty of light and should be watered regularly. In summer, outdoor succulents such as hens and chicks are best watered in the morning so the roots can soak up some of the moisture before the heat of the day sets in. The best time to water succulents in winter is also in the morning.
Growing Sempervivum Hybridum Seeds
- Sempervivum Hybridum seeds are small, round, and black in color.
- They produce foliage that ranges from shades of green, gray, and even reddish.
- When sowing the seeds, it is important to keep them evenly damp but not overly wet as this can cause them to rot over time.
- After sowing the seeds in a cactus mix misted until evenly damp, they should be kept in a warm room until they start to grow.
|Small, round, and black|
Note: It is important to keep the seeds evenly damp but not overly wet to prevent rotting. After sowing, keep them in a warm room until they start to grow.
sempervivum hybridum, also known as hens and chicks, is an easy to care for plant that is drought tolerant and can be grown indoors or outdoors. You can grow your own variety in online nurseries, or cut the seedhead and put it in a paper bag. You can also separate the offsets from the hen plant, or use a sharp, clean knife to cut off a small rosette for propagation. Whether you choose to grow this unique plant or give it as a gift to a friend, hens and chicks are sure to add a special touch to any garden.