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Hens And Chicks

Sempervivum tectorum

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Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) at The Growing Place

Hens And Chicks

Hens And Chicks

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  4 inches

Flower Height:  8 inches

Spacing:  10 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Roof Houseleek, House Leek

Description:

This variety produces dense rosettes with symmetrical lime green leaves with dark red edges and a butter yellow cast near the center; ideal for rock gardens and containers

Ornamental Features

Hens And Chicks features unusual clusters of pink star-shaped flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive succulent pointy leaves remain lime green in color with distinctive dark red edges and tinges of buttery yellow throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Hens And Chicks is a dense herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Hens And Chicks is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Hens And Chicks will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity extending to 8 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hens And Chicks is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features