The hen and chick plant (Sempervivum arachnoideum cv) is a popular succulent grown in rock gardens, containers and along perennial borders. They are little plants that resemble tiny artichokes. The plants easily spread by runners that form tiny plants around larger plants. The plants thrive in hot humid conditions or in severe winter weather. The plants can withstand temperatures that dip to below minus 5 degrees F.
Varieties And Region
More than 60 varieties of hen and chick plants are available. They are available in green, pink, yellow, red, purple and gray. The plants can spread to over three feet by one single plant. They are native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia, but now thrive in virtually every area of the United States.
A hen and chick plant requires well drained soil that contains a little bit of sand or gravel. The plant does not require a great deal of soil depth to thrive which makes them ideal when planted on roofs, logs, containers or hanging from the side of rock fences. They are often planted in the tiny gaps between concrete blocks to add interest to a walkway.
When grown in full sun, the plant's lovely colors are made more brilliant. The hen and chick plant can survive in shady conditions but its colors will suffer and the plant will simply appear green.
The hen and chick plant is drought hardy, which makes it an ideal plant for xeriscape gardening. Xeriscape gardening is the act of landscaping by planting plants that are require very little watering and can thrive on annual rainfall. The hen and chick is a succulent plant, which means it stores water in its fleshy leaves for drought. In the wintertime the hen and chick enters a dominant period and requires no watering to survive until spring.
Dividing and transplanting is relatively easy. The plant can be lifted from the soil and the smaller plants pulled gently away from the larger plants. Promptly transplant the baby plants to their new planting location and replace the parent plant to its original area.