Sempervivum heuffelii (Jovibarba heuffelii)

Sempervivum heuffelii

Last updated on August 11th, 2022 at 11:59 am

Jovibarba heuffelii, commonly known as heuffel’s houseleek, jovibarba heuffelii, beard of Jupiter, or beard of Jove, is an attractive perennial succulent that makes an excellent addition to any succulent collection.

Native to the mountains of the Western Alps, Jovibarba heuffelii only grows in the rocky cliffs and crags above 2,000 meters of elevation, which makes growing it indoors a challenge if you live at lower elevations. It grows well in pots, however, as long as they are large and have adequate drainage.

Jovibarba heuffelii is an odd succulent that can be grown indoors or out but prefers cold and moist winters with full sun exposure during the rest of the year. It can tolerate drought conditions but will not grow as large as it could in more moderate climates.

This plant does have some special care requirements, however, that makes it much harder to grow than most other succulents.

Sempervivum heuffelii, also known as Hen and Chicks or Houseleeks, comes from the Crassulaceae family of succulents and flowers. They were introduced to England in the late 1700s by an English gardener named John Heuffel who tended the grounds of the Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau’s castle at Heidelberg, Germany.

Origin and distribution

Sempervivum heuffelii is an Alpine species native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, including France, Italy, and Spain. This succulent plant typically grows in rocky areas at high elevations and can withstand exposure to temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Jovibarba heuffelii are also commonly called beard of Jove or beard of Jupiter due to their resemblance to a beard. These hardy plants prefer full sun and should be planted outdoors in well-drained soil.

A beard of Jove will grow quickly if given adequate sunlight, but it’s important to note that direct sunlight may cause its leaves to turn brown or bronze. As long as it receives enough light for photosynthesis, your beard of Jove will thrive indoors year-round.

Sempervivum heuffelii propagation

Sempervivum heuffelii

Sempervivum heuffelii is easy to propagate, as long as you have some time on your hands.

If you’re looking for a succulent that will grow slowly but steadily, then look no further! This beauty is ideal for even beginners who are just getting started in gardening.

Sempervivum heuffelii or The Beard of Jupiter is a succulent, so it needs to be propagated via cuttings. To do so, take 6-inch stems and remove any leaves and flower buds on them. Then, put those stems in a glass of water until roots begin to grow at the base of your cuttings.

Sempervivum Grammens (Hen And Chicks Grammens)

After they’ve grown their roots, transplant your sempervivums into pots with well-draining soil. Water regularly, but not too much; overwatering can cause rot.

You can also propagate jovibarbas by division. Just like all plants, sempervivums need sunlight for photosynthesis to occur. However, if you want to keep your plant healthy indoors year-round, you’ll need artificial light sources like fluorescent bulbs or compact florescent bulbs.

As far as temperature goes, keep your plant somewhere between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during its active growing season, and somewhere between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit during its dormant period in winter.

The best part about sempervivums is that they look great when displayed in hanging baskets! It may seem counterintuitive to place a plant that likes shade outdoors in direct sunlight, but hang your basket from an overhang outside or near a south-facing window and you should have no problem keeping it alive through most of the summer. The light will even help give it more color!

Sempervivum heuffelii care information

Sempervivum heuffelii


Jovibarba heuffelii, commonly known as houghton’s hen and chicks or bearded Jovibarba, is a perennial flowering plant native to South Africa. It is a succulent evergreen that grows best in areas with hot summers. Jovibarba heuffelii requires plenty of sun and well-drained soil in order to thrive. The plant thrives in both sandy and loamy soils but does not do well in poorly drained areas that are overly moist.

Light requirement

Sempervivum heuffelii need full sun, and at least six hours of light a day. They prefer indirect light in winter and semi-shade in summer. If you’re growing them indoors, place them near a south-facing window with bright but indirect sunlight.

If you have enough space outdoors, consider planting your sempervivums in an area that gets both morning and afternoon sun, you can also try moving them around to find their ideal spot.

Soil/potting mix

Sempervivum prefers soil with a pH of 6.1 to 7.5, which can be achieved by mixing sand or perlite into your potting mix. If you’re planting in a rock garden, make sure to choose one that mimics these conditions as closely as possible. In addition, it likes well-drained soil and lots of sun.

Sempervivum Arachnoideum Care "Cobweb Houseleek"


Always keep your Sempervivum heuffelii moist, but never waterlogged. It is ideal to use a well-draining potting soil and make sure your container has excellent drainage. You will want to water them lightly every few days in warm weather and more frequently when in bloom or during winter months when they are less active, but do not let them dry out completely between watering.

Be careful not to overwater as it can cause root rot and kill it if left unchecked. If you have overwatered, allow it to dry out some before watering again. If you have underwatered, increase the frequency of watering until the plant recovers.


Sempervivum heuffelii is a slow-growing species, so it’s not necessary to fertilize your plants. Simply use an all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer applied once per month when watering. Most sempervivums prefer slightly acidic soil, though they can survive in a range of growing conditions.

Always use caution and dilute any chemicals or fertilizers before using them on succulents, especially if you are using something other than what is suggested on the label.


Sempervivum heuffelii require 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50-60 degrees at night. It is best to keep these succulents outside in the summer months, but if your home or office is too warm, they can also be kept inside.

You can put them on a window sill or give them indirect light. However, if you do decide to bring them indoors, make sure to provide enough sunlight in your space so they don’t lose their color and stay healthy.


Sempervivum heuffelii is a succulent plant and requires lots of moisture, but also needs to be kept in very well-drained soil. The key is to find a happy medium, not so dry that they shrivel up or so wet that they rot. Place them in a spot with some humidity, such as near an open window or on top of a radiator, but make sure not to overwater them.

The ideal humidity range is between 50 and 70 percent. You can measure your own home’s humidity by using a hygrometer, which you can purchase at any hardware store. If you live in an area with low humidity, such as a desert or arid climate, consider placing your plants on top of a pebble tray filled with water.

Sempervivum Pacific Blue Ice Succulent Care


Once Sempervivum heuffelii has rooted and sprouted new leaves, begin to trim back long stalks by half. Continue trimming, making sure you don’t leave too little growth to support each plant. If a stalk grows back in a short or weak way, you should remove it completely.

Over time they will fill in nicely and resemble a bushy beard of Jupiter! It is normal for Sempervivum heuffelii plants to produce runners with smaller plants on them; these can be removed once established.

If you notice that one is not thriving, you can cut it off at its base. The plant may go into shock for a few days but will grow back quickly if cared for properly. Be careful not to break off any of your leafy tips when pruning your plants; just pinch off any unwanted growth at ground level and let them do their thing!

When to repot

Sempervivum heuffelii

Sempervivums, sometimes referred to as hen and chicks, require repotting every year. During its first season, repot your Sempervivum into a larger container with fresh potting soil. In subsequent years, move it to a slightly larger pot each time you repot it until it reaches a 4-inch diameter pot size.

The best time to do so is in springtime when growth begins and in early summer when you notice your plant getting crowded in its pot. If you don’t want to repot your Sempervivum every year, then use an extra-large pot for it in its first season. This will allow for root growth without crowding later on.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Sempervivum heuffelii plants are rosette-forming succulents that grow in clumps. They are usually evergreen and many have thick, waxy leaves. In late summer through fall they should be given a long dormancy period so they can build up energy reserves for winter. This can be done by withholding water until new growth ceases and then withholding water throughout winter.

During their dormant period, they need little light or none at all. The best place to store them is an unheated garage or basement where temperatures will remain stable but not freeze.

If you cannot provide these conditions, consider storing them in a pot with vermiculite or perlite and keep them somewhere cool but not freezing such as an unheated attic or closet with no light at all.

Sempervivum Rosularia Platyphylla Succulent

Sempervivum heuffelii flower & fragrance

Jovibarba heuffelii is most often used in rock gardens or gravel beds. It grows from rosettes of fleshy, succulent leaves and produces deep-pink or white flowers throughout summer. The sempervivum flower is a tiny cup-shaped bloom with 5 petals and numerous stamens.

Growth rate

This succulent is a slow grower, with a growth rate of about an inch per year. They do not require much water or nutrients and will live many years if properly cared for.


Do not handle jovibarba heuffelii with bare hands, since it is highly toxic. If your skin comes in contact with sempervivum heuffelii, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly. If you do come into contact with jovibarba, see a doctor right away. Keep people and pets away from jovibarba to keep them safe and healthy as well.

USDA hardiness zones

Sempervivum heuffelii thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. While it can survive colder temperatures, it will not thrive or bloom at these temperatures. If you live in a zone that is too cold for Sempervivum heuffelii, consider growing other succulents such as Echeveria or Crassula instead.

Pests and diseases

While jovibarba have been known to suffer from red spider mites, aphids, and powdery mildew, there are many techniques to prevent these threats. Jovibarba is tolerant of many light conditions as long as it’s not in direct sunlight for most of the day.

Keeping them moderately moist will also help to deter pests. If you do notice signs of infestation, remove infested leaves or stems immediately, clean up your potted plants and avoid overwatering.


Sempervivum heuffelii, also known as hen and chicks, are one of the most beautiful types of succulents. They are versatile plants that can be grown indoors in a pot on a windowsill and kept dry during winter, or outdoors in a rock garden under suitable conditions. Sempervivum heuffelii is exceptionally easy to grow, with only minimal care requirements necessary for survival indoors.