How to Take Care of a Sempervivum Plant


The sempervivum, also known as hens and chicks or houseleeks, is a perennial succulent plant, native to the mountains of central and southern Europe. Sempervivum varieties include plants with green, pink or red leaves. Grown in clumps or in rock gardens, they add a punch of color to a desert-themed garden. Sempervivum is very easy to grow and is hardy to Zones 6 to 11.

Step 1

Plant the sempervivum in a medium that contains at least 50 percent coarse sand.

Step 2

Place your plant in a sunny area in the garden.

Step 3

Water the plant only when the soil has completely dried out. The sempervivum does not tolerate damp conditions. In the winter, the plant requires very little water.

Step 4

Fertilize the sempervivum monthly during late spring and throughout summer. Use a liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength. There are specialized succulent fertilizers available at nurseries.

Step 5

Cut off the top half of a clear 2-liter soda bottle. Place this over the plant to protect it in the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Clear 2-liter soda bottle


  • Cactus and Succulent Society of America: Fertilizer
  • The Succulent Plant Page: Sempervivum
  • Colorado State University: Semps: Foolproof Garden Gems

Who Can Help

  • University of California at Davis: Gardening with Succulents
Keywords: how to care for sempervivum, hens and chicks, growing succulents, growing sempervivum

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.