The sempervivum red beauty plant, also known as hen and chicks or sempervivum tectorum red beauty, have become a popular houseplant in recent years due to its beautiful colors and ease of care. However, there are certain things you should know about how to care for your red beauty hens and chicks before taking one home with you.
As the name suggests, these succulents produce small plants that resemble baby chicks when they grow older and begin to flower. These miniature plants are so cute that it’s hard not to want to keep them as pets!
Shade lovers that don’t need a lot of water, red beauty hen and chicks are the perfect succulent for planting in rock gardens or on steep hillsides. Red beauty hens and chicks are deciduous, which means they lose their leaves during colder months, but grow them back again in spring.
In addition to being easy to grow, sempervivum red beauty plants also make wonderful houseplants and can even be grown as container plants on patios and decks during the summer months.
Origin and distribution
This is a member of a genus comprising some 200 species of succulent rosette-forming perennials native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The plants are monocarpic and self-sterile; i.e., they die after flowering once but offset themselves in that year’s summer to produce daughter rosettes which grow into mature plants and eventually reproduce by themselves.
Sempervivum red beauty was originally discovered on Mount Etna in Sicily by W. Smith, who brought it to England about 1820. It has since been found in other places on Mount Etna as well as in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.
In addition to its beauty, Sempervivum red beauty is prized for its hardiness, it has survived temperatures as low as −25°F (−32°C). Its flowers are red with yellow centers; it grows 3–4 inches tall by 4–6 inches wide.
Sempervivum red beauty propagation
Sempervivum red beauty, commonly known as hen and chicks or houseleeks, is a low-growing perennial succulent in the Crassulaceae family. The rosettes form a dense mat that fills up any space it is given with time.
If you are looking for an easy way to bring greenery into your life, Sempervivum red beauty propagation could be just what you’re looking for
If you live in a frost-free zone, propagating Sempervivum succulents is a fairly simple process. Just select healthy plants and cut off pieces of their roots using sharp pruning shears or a sterile knife.
Once you have a few inches of root on hand, plant them immediately in pots that contain rich soil that’s slightly damp but not soaking wet, water just enough so that soil is moist but not saturated. Remember to keep your hens and chicks indoors until they are well established; it takes roughly two weeks for new plants to show signs of life.
After that, feel free to bring them outside where they can be exposed to sunlight for about three hours per day.
Sempervivum red beauty care information
Place sempervivum red beauty in a well-drained container and allow them to dry out between waterings. They may go through periods of dormancy in winter, but they can still be watered every couple of weeks.
Use a 1/4 inch layer of gravel or sand at the bottom of your pot to improve drainage and prevent overwatering. Plants will also produce more flowers if they are not allowed to get too thirsty.
Sempervivum plants require medium to high light levels. If your plant is receiving inadequate light, you’ll see small, stunted rosettes of dead-looking leaves and stems.
Also, notice that as your Sempervivum starts to struggle with poor lighting conditions, it will begin to lose its dark green color and develop a lighter hue.
Sempervivum red beauty needs rich, well-draining soil. They appreciate a healthy dose of compost mixed into their potting mix. You can also add perlite or coarse sand to help improve drainage and aeration.
The addition of grit will help keep your Sempervivum red beauty clean as they grow through winter.
While sempervivum red beauty can go several weeks without water, they will appreciate a drink when you give it to them. If possible, water them at least once a week with spring or filtered water in warm weather and every two weeks in cooler weather.
It’s also best to water plants individually rather than watering all of them together; doing so allows each plant access to as much moisture as possible. It’s also important not to overwater your hens and chicks, if their soil is still wet after 24 hours, they probably have enough water for now.
Soil conditioners are not fertilizers, but they help to create a better growing environment for your succulents. Fertilizers, on the other hand, are something that you should consider using in conjunction with your soil conditioner.
Your choice of fertilizer will depend on what kind of plant you’re growing. If you have an indoor plant, use an indoor plant fertilizer. If you have an outdoor plant, use an outdoor plant fertilizer.
Sempervivum red beauty plants like cool temperatures, with nighttime temperatures in winter around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. For growing Sempervivum indoors, a temperature of between 60 and 65 degrees is best during most of the year.
The exception is during flowering in spring when temperatures should be increased to about 70 degrees for two weeks so that blossoms open fully. Lowering them again after flowering will promote root growth and ensure plentiful blooms next year.
Sempervivum red beauty, commonly known as hen and chicks or living stones, are succulent plants native to Northern Africa and Southern Europe. They thrive in a variety of indoor climates, from humid to arid conditions; however, they grow best in medium-to-high humidity environments.
The ideal humidity range is between 50 and 70 percent. Lower than that, and your hens and chicks will begin to wilt; higher than that, and they’ll begin to rot.
If you live in a dry climate, it’s a good idea to set up a humidifier in your house during the winter months, the low heat from a furnace or space heater will help keep your hens and chicks healthy.
It is best to prune sempervivum red beauty after they have finished blooming. Pruning out old plants or those that have died back naturally will open up space in your garden for new plants. Because of their ability to re-grow from their roots, it is not necessary to be too precise with your pruning.
Simply select which plants you want to remove and use a sharp pair of pruning shears to snip them out at the soil level. You can also take some cuttings if you would like to propagate more plants.
Make sure to keep any cuttings moist until they are planted into pots or directly into your garden.
When to repot
Sempervivum red beauty needs to be repotted during its dormant season. Anytime from late summer through early spring is a good time to repot Sempervivum red beauty. You can also wait until your plants are a little root bound in their current pots, but beware of overwatering; do not let them sit in soil that’s too wet, as they will begin to rot!
With Sempervivum red beauty, generally, it’s better to be slightly on the dry side than too soggy. If you have an abundance of plants and limited space, try dividing them into smaller clumps before potting.
This way you can still enjoy your favorite varieties while giving some new one’s room to grow. Make sure when you divide your plants that each piece has roots and at least one rosette attached so they don’t dry out too quickly or get eaten by snails or slugs.
If your hens and chicks are in full summer growth they may not need a period of dormancy to fully go dormant. If you live in an area that freezes, or if you have young plants then it is important to do a short period of dormancy.
This is best done in a closed paper bag inside your refrigerator with only very infrequent watering. Don’t overwater during dormancy as this can cause root rot and kill your plant outright.
Water once every two weeks at most. The length of time depends on your temperature but a good rule of thumb is 8 weeks at 40 degrees F, 6 weeks at 30 degrees F, and 4 weeks at 20 degrees F.
The colder you keep them, the longer they will stay dormant. Once winter ends remove from fridge and place in a cool location out of direct sunlight until green again (this could take up to 2 months). Once green, start watering normally again.
Sempervivum red beauty flower & fragrance
Red beauty sempervivums are known for their dark-red leaves and pink blooms. If you’re looking to add some color to your garden, these hardy succulents make a great addition to any rock garden or container display.
The growth rate of Sempervivum red beauty is slow, but once established it can survive in most conditions with little water. If you want to hasten its growth, be sure to fertilize regularly.
These plants are not toxic to cats or dogs, though they can cause an upset stomach if eaten. They may also cause skin irritation in pets who come into contact with them. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of a sempervivum plant, consult your veterinarian immediately.
USDA hardiness zones
Sempervivum red beauty thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. In colder climates, they can be grown as an annual. In warmer climates, they can be grown as a perennial, though you may need to provide them with some winter protection if temperatures drop below freezing.
They are very tolerant of shade and partial shade, so they can be planted under trees or shrubs where they will receive dappled sunlight throughout most of the day. They also prefer well-drained soil that is high in organic matter.
Pests, diseases, and problems
Sempervivum red beauty hen and chicks can survive with some pests, diseases, and problems. But, if these problems are found with your Sempervivum red beauty hen and chicks then you need to do something about it immediately.
The primary pest for sempervivums is slugs. The best method of control is slug bait. If there are very few slugs, you might not need any intervention at all. If there are quite a few, then use bait every two weeks during peak activity to suppress slug populations.
In addition to slugs, your Sempervivum red beauty can also be affected by aphids and mealybugs, both of which are easily controlled by dabbing them with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.
Sempervivum red beauty hens and chicks are very easy to grow. If you want to start a succulent garden, growing red beauty hens and chicks is a good place to start.
These are beautiful plants, so it’s important that you plant them in an area where they can be seen. It’s also important that you plant them in well-drained soil because these plants have no tap root system.