Is Sempervivum A Succulent

Sempervivum plants, often called “common houseleeks” or “hens-and-chicks,” are tough succulents with thick, multicolored leaves that can withstand freezing temperatures. You may learn how to propagate these lovely rosette-shaped succulents, whether you want to grow them as a home plant or in your garden.

Chicks and hens are they succulent?

Sempervivum tectorum, a succulent plant, is indigenous to Europe and Africa. These plants, sometimes known as houseleeks, have rosette-like leaves in concentric rings that resemble artichokes. Plants called “hens and chicks” come in green, red, blue, purple, and copper hues.

The hens and chicks plant is so named because it reproduces by sending off offsets (chicks) that encircle the mother plant (hen). Hens and chicks are excellent groundcover plants since they are low-growing perennials that keep close to the ground while self-replicating.

How is Sempervivum cared for?

In order to grow resilient succulents, the soil must be regularly allowed to dry out in addition to being watered. Based on geography and cultivar, water requirements will always vary, but it is far simpler to resuscitate succulents that are being under-watered than it is to save ones that are starting to rot. If you keep in mind the following guidelines, hardy succulents are fortunately fairly forgiving plants:

  • Use containers with drainage holes and plant in sandy, well-draining soil.
  • Before watering, wait until the soil is completely dry.
  • Make extra effort to water deeply and infrequently.
  • Regularly check the soil and plants for symptoms of over- or under-watering, and make adjustments as necessary.

How much do I need to water?

It depends, but aiming to mimic their natural habitat is the aim of the game. As alpine inhabitants, hardy succulents thrive in environments that closely resemble those of their native mountains. Hardy succulents require roughly 0.5″ to 1.0″ of water (including precipitation) once a week to look their best during the hottest, driest parts of their summer growing season, just as they do while growing in the wild where they receive regular rainfall. The optimal times to water are early in the day or late at night to minimize water loss through evaporation and avoid having water beads reflect the midday sun and burn the leaves. Hardy succulents can also withstand intense heat and sunlight thanks to this.

Does it matter what they’re planted in?

Mountaintop Sempervivum and Sedum can withstand strong gusts and quickly drying rocky soil. And they really enjoy it this way! As they expand deeply in search of water, succulents have the opportunity to create vast, strong root systems throughout drought cycles. To keep air pockets around the roots of your succulents, use a raised bed with grittier, well-draining soil. A drainage hole and materials like terracotta and hyper-tufa will hasten the drying of your soil for container plants. With the best of intentions, gardeners who maintain their soil consistently moist risk having decaying leaves and inadequate root growth. To keep leaves drier, use a top dressing or mulch 3/16″ grit gravel. Succulents in thick soil or low-lying beds that receive too much water will display distress symptoms like mushy, transparent leaves. Avoid overwatering at all costs because it is impossible to revive succulents after the roots have perished.

Is it possible to water too little?

Sedum and Sempervivum mature plants can be rejuvenated. Give your succulents a few weeks to adapt before gradually increasing the depth and frequency of your waterings if you notice overdrying symptoms like crispy, wrinkled, or bendable leaves. For both creeping ground cover and tall border varieties of Sedum, you can water up to twice a week to aid in the establishment of roots in new plants and promote quicker growth.

Do I need to water in winter?

less than that. Hardy adult succulents that have been planted in the ground may typically survive the winter without further water from you. Climate, succulent age, soil type, and planting location all affect how much water they need over the winter. Young hardy succulents or plants in containers, for instance, may require a small amount of hydration to survive the winter.

Snow-covered Sempervivum and Sedum enjoy their wintertime together. The snow keeps the dormant plants from decaying in standing water because they no longer require as much moisture to flourish. Clear rain covers placed over plants in the ground are a useful solution for gardeners in areas with cold, rainy winters but little snow to stop decay. To allow sufficient airflow to keep the plants dry, keep the cover at least a foot above them. This is crucial for the webbed, tufted, and velvety kinds in particular because they have a propensity to retain water on their leaves. Move hardy Sedum and Sempervivum plants in containers to a protected area to reduce exposure. Check out our comprehensive guide on Succulents in Winter for more details.

Sedum and Sempervivum. But don’t worry; now that you understand how wild succulents develop and have a general understanding of the signs of inappropriate watering, you’re prepared to handle any watering problems!

What size may Sempervivums reach?

These quickly expanding plants don’t get very big because they are primarily used as groundcovers (or roof covers).

Within a few months, they develop from tiny, dime-sized plantlets (Sempervivum arenaria) to fully developed plants (Sempervivum magnificum), ranging in size from one inch to eight inches wide and as tall (depending on the variety).

Do Sempervivums require direct sunlight?

A collector’s dream are plants that require a lot of care to thrive, like orchids, but maintaining them requires a lot of time and effort due to their fussiness and unique requirements. Sempervivum provides distinctive form and beauty without requiring any work for us lazily inclined gardeners. Consider cultivating these succulent plants on a vertical wall, a rockery, or even on driftwood. The sole requirements for sempervivum growth are adequate drainage and sunlight.

You claim that your garden has a hot, dry area with rocky or grippy soil that is low in fertility. What should you sow? This sounds like ideal growing conditions for sempervivum. These adorable little alpine succulents not only endure in conditions that would kill most other plants, but they also grow and bloom readily.

Rosettes from Sempervivum come in a variety of colors. They are low-growing and tolerant of most soil types, but they like full sun and a soil that drains well. Pink, red, or occasionally yellow blooms in the shape of stars are produced by several of the types. The sharp leaves have green, crimson, purple, or even gossamer-fine hairs encircling them. These plants are exceptional in a wide range of circumstances due to their extreme diversity in form, size, and color.

How often should sempervivums be watered?

Typically, watering your Sempervivum should only be done when the potting mix is fully dry. You can water your plant as long as the top inch of soil feels dry, even if the soil is still somewhat damp at a deeper level.

It’s important to remember that the soil dries out at various speeds depending on the season. The frequency of watering is also influenced by the type of soil being used, drainage holes, and other factors.

If your succulent is grown in sandy soil, you should think about watering it twice per week, and if it is in clay soil, you should think about watering it once per week. However, as the plant goes into dormancy and no development occurs throughout the winter, no irrigation is required.

If your plant grows in sandy soil, simply water once a week in the spring and fall. Otherwise, neither of these two seasons need any watering.

Your succulent’s topsoil could dry out in a day during the summer. It does not imply that you must water it every day. The plant will have absorbed enough moisture in this situation to withstand the heat for three to four days.

In addition, the soil at the bottom of the growing container will still have adequate moisture to support the survival of your plant. Remember that if you overwater your plant, root rot problems could cause you to lose it quickly.

The season of the year when Sempervivum grows most actively is spring. As a result, it requires a lot of water at this time. It only has to be watered a minimum of once every week to be healthy.

When the sun is strong and there is no rain at the end of spring, you might think about increasing the frequency of watering. Your plant will remain active and healthy as a result.

How come my Sempervivum is getting so tall?

Sempervivums stretch when little sunlight reaches them, which ironically causes the plant to grow more quickly. The succulent starts to slant toward the source of light, which is the first thing you notice. When it reaches a greater height and has more room between the leaves, it will then continue to grow by stretching. The absence of chlorophyll will also cause the leaves to shrink and lighten in color.

The plant first appears healthy and will carry on growing. However, if this condition persists for a long period, its health may deteriorate and, if a cure is not provided, it could pass away in a few months.

Succulent IdentificationWhy It Matters

When you adore succulents, it becomes crucial to know their names at some time. The correct identification of succulents, as I have discussed before, can actually mean the difference between life and death! Despite having quite diverse traits, many varieties of succulents may have the same common name or a comparable look. Their ability to weather the winter makes a difference sometimes. A misidentification of a succulent could result in plants that have died from the cold. Some succulents, though, are poisonous to kids and dogs. Pets and young children can safely consume Sedum morganianum, however Euphorbia myrsinites is extremely hazardous. To protect your family and plants, take care to understand how to identify the types of succulents you have.

Recognizing Different Types of Succulents

A succulent plant is any plant that holds water in its leaves, stems, or roots. The appearances of many types vary greatly from one another. Succulent varieties can, however, seem quite alike. Two genera that are frequently mistaken for one another are Echeveria and Sempervivum. Hens and chicks is the popular name for both. Each plant forms a substantial rosette, giving them a similar appearance. They replicate similarly, each creating offsets. The young succulents that emerge at the base and spread out next to the main rosette are known as succulent offsets. But while the other perishes with just one freeze, the first survives at temperatures much below zero.

You will eventually be able to identify more varieties of succulents solely by appearance. Even if you are now unable to distinguish between a Sempervivum and an Echeveria, if you keep looking and looking for the differences, eventually you will be able to. Sounds strange, I realize. However, just as you are aware of your own child, even when they are surrounded by other children, Or perhaps you are only familiar with your own cat. One skill we all have is the ability to notice subtle differences. Simply said, we employ this expertise in a variety of ways. Perhaps you can identify the differences between 1960s muscle vehicles. I can distinguish between wolves and coyotes. Some people can easily tell a Cabernet from a different vintage apart, or they can recognize different bird species by their cries. Succulent identification only requires practice.

In the image above, there is one obvious difference between Sempervivum and Echeveria. Do you see how the sempervivum’s leaf border is covered in a plethora of tiny hairs? Those hairs are ciliates. A ring of minute hairs called ciliate (SILL-ee-uht) hairs extends along the… They gather dew for the plant in its desert environment. Sempervivum has few echeveriado, but these ciliate hairs. Most likely, your plant is not an Echeveria if the margins are covered in microscopic hairs. (The leaves of fuzzy echeveria are covered in fine hairs.)

Identifying SucculentsNote Characteristics

Another frequent query in identifying succulents is how to differentiate between Aeonium and Echeveria. Additionally, certain Aeonium feature ciliate hairs. The stems of Aeonium and Echeveria, however, are another difference. Echeveria rosettes generally develop close to the soil surface, like Sempervivum. However, aeonium develops long, branching, woody stems with rosettes at each terminal.

Look for the details to tell apart various succulent varieties. As we’ve seen, some types have smooth leaves while others have ciliate hairs along the leaf margins. Observe the leaf thickness as well. The leaves of Echeveria are generally thicker than those of Sempervivum or Aeonium, but not as thick as those of Graptopetalum. Here are a few plant traits to consider when determining whether a plant is a succulent:

Sempervivum grows outdoors or indoors.

  • Care Difficulty: Extremely Simple
  • Even while sempervivums are often grown outside, you can still grow one indoors with great success. To prevent pests or plant death, choose a pest-free, healthy specimen from a garden center or online retailer; those with a healthy “crown” and base are preferred. The optimum time to buy sempervivums is in the spring or summer, when the plant has acclimatized to the hotter weather and is prepared to be placed in your conservatory or south-facing window.
  • A bright area with several hours of sunlight each day must be provided. They will display signs of overeating and soil mold if maintained in the deep shade or more than 50 cm from a window. Non-heated conservatories, greenhouses, or porches are allowed all year round because they are hardy.
  • Use a fertilizer with a “Cactus” or “Houseplant” label every two to three months.
  • Every three years, repot in the spring using the next-sized pot and a Cactus & Succulent potting mix. The tiny offshoots that will grow at the crown’s base are the ideal candidates for propagation at this time. For further details, scroll down under “Propagation”!

Can sempervivum be left outside?

Sempervivums are typically planted in containers, but because they can survive with very little compost, you can also grow them in bricks, driftwood, and tufa rock. Sempervivums thrive in vertical walls, gravel gardens, and rockeries that face south. They thrive in a bright, outdoor location with a compost that is well-drained and has been supplemented with sharp horticultural grit for drainage. Grit applied to the compost’s surface will prohibit the leaves from becoming wet from mud, which will stop them from going bad.

Sempervivums don’t require feeding, but they do benefit from being repotted into slow-release fertilizer-containing compost each year.

In David Hurrion’s No Fuss Guide to Propagating House Leeks, learn how to develop new sempervivums from old ones: