Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 12:23 pm
Sempervivum tectorum are low growing evergreen succulent plants that look a little like rubbery roses. They are considered alpine or rock yard plants, because of their hardiness and their ability to resist drought. The original rosette, the ‘Hen’ produces little rosette offsets that are called ‘Chicks’.
The name Sempervivum is Latin for “live forever.” They do not really live forever, but because they create numerous ‘chicks’ or plantlets, they appear to last for life. Plus, they stay evergreen throughout the year, also in cold environments. Hens and Chicks are also tough, drought-resistant plants.
Leaves: Thick, fleshy pads arranged in 3 to 4-inch rosettes. The leaves are typically sharp, and some have purple pointers. There are selections with green leaves and shades of red.
Flowers: Fully grown plants produce an odd-looking thick flower stalk with star-shaped flowers at the tip of mauve-pink or red. The blossom stalk prolongs 8 to 12 inches prior to flowering. As soon as the plant flowers, the parent plant passes away.
How to Recognize a Sempervivum
Sempervivums come from the Crassula category, a group of succulents that has thousands of types (including its most renowned representative, the jade plant). It’s tricky to recognize a Crassula just by looking at it; with so many cultivars, dimensions can vary from tiny to tree-like, leaves can be pointed or rounded, and also growing behavior can vary from creeping to branching.
Sempervivums, however, are amongst the easiest Crassulas to recognize due to the fact that they often tend to grow in tight, low clumps and also are formed like rosettes.
Is Your Succulent a Sempervivum?
Sempervivums, which are a kind of succulents, is the subject today as we continue our objective to keep our succulents active and also delighted both indoors and outdoors.
The very first step to taking excellent care of a houseplant is to recognize it — and in our previous articles, we pledged to surpass the vague and mystical plant tags (” Succulent, Diverse”) that shops stick in plastic nursery pots. We can do better than that.
In previous articles, we started by diving into three subfamilies of the Crassulaceae plant family members (Crassulas, Kalanchoes, and Sedums). Today we’re diving even deeper– with a look at succulents that come from the Sempervivum category of Crassulas.
You might have a few lurking in your houseplant collection without even recognizing it. Below’s how to tell.
Above: Pointy leaves, limited rosette, sempervivum.
If your succulent is a sempervivum, it has:.
– Fleshy leaves, which might look either shiny or matte.
– A rosette form.
– A tendency to create clumps.
– Tiny, independent offsets that can be trimmed off and rooted.
– The ability to make it through frosts.
How to identify a Sempervivum
Indicators of a sempervivum: a rosette shape and a little offspring (called an offset).
Sempervivums come from the Crassula genus, a group of succulents that has hundreds of varieties (including its most famous rep, the jade plant). It’s tricky to determine a Crassula just by staring at it; with so many cultivars, a dimension can range from little to tree-like, leaves can be pointed or rounded, and growing habit can vary from creeping to branching.
Sempervivums, nevertheless, are among the easiest Crassulas to identify due to the fact that they have a tendency to grow in limited, low clumps and are shaped like rosettes. Read on for more hints.
How to Grow sempervivum
Soil: Hens and Chicks, as with a lot of succulents, need exceptional drainage. Poor, sandy soil would certainly be fine. You could work some peat right into heavier soil, to lighten it and improve drainage. Soil pH ought to be in the neutral range of 6.6 to 7.5
Hens and chicks can be grown from seeds, seedlings or by splitting offsets. Don’t grow your sempervivum too deeply. Dig a superficial opening and spread out the roots. Cover to the crown of the plant and tamp the soil carefully to ensure that the plant is firm in the ground. Water gently, but you do not really need to water freshly planted sempervivum daily, the method you would with non-succulents. Hens and Chicks (sempervivum) need to allow their roots to dry out between waterings.
Growing sempervivum from Seed:
Seeds can be sprinkled on a soil or gravel mix and kept reasonably damp till they sprout. Once they sprout, spray some great crushed rock around them as mulch. Seeds are generally started in pots and after that transferred to the yard as plants. You can begin your seeds in the fall and transplant them in the spring.
Sempervivum will certainly spread out by underground roots. Throughout the growing season, expect each plant multiplies itself by at last 4, by creating little counter plantlets all over the boundary of the ‘hen’. These are the ‘Chicks.’ The Chicks can be broken off and replanted in other places at any moment.
10 kinds of sempervivums to grow
1. Cobweb houseleek, Sempervivum arachnoideum.
Potentially one of the most popular sempervivums, the web houseleek births a network of white hairs at the leaf tips, which secure the plant against dehydration and intense sunlight. Sempervivum arachnoideum bears small pink flowers in the very early summer season.
2. Sempervivum ‘Engle’s’
Sempervivum ‘Engle’s’ has downy bronze-green leaves, which darken to nearly purple in wintertime.
3. Sempervivum marmoreum ‘Brunneifolium’
Sempervivum marmoreum ‘Brunneifolium’ has huge rosettes of triangular-shaped, silvery bronze leaves.
4. Sempervivum ‘Pippin’
Sempervivum ‘Pippin’ has huge rosettes of deep green, spatula-shaped leaves with dark purple tips.
5. Sempervivum ‘Pluto’
‘Pluto‘ is a beautiful houseleek, bearing big rosettes of deep green leaves with dark purple tips.
6. Sempervivum ‘Purple Dazzler’
Sempervivum ‘Purple Dazzler’ has bi-colored vegetation in mid-green and also dark purple, the color of which dims in the winter season.
7. Sempervivum ‘Terracotta Baby’
Terracotta Baby’ bears medium-sized rosettes of long, spoon-shaped leaves in remarkable dark red-burgundy. The coloration comes to be darker in the winter season and a brighter, intensely red in the summertime.
8. Sempervivum ‘Reinhard’
Sempervivum ‘Reinhard’ bears medium-sized, emerald green leaves with purple-black leaf tips. Pastel-pink flowers appear on brief stems in summer.
9. Sempervivum ‘Eddy’.
‘ Eddy’ bears striking red spoon-shaped leaves that dim in the direction of the center.
10. Sempervivum ‘Rita Jane’
‘ Rita Jane’ bears large rosettes of blue foliage with dark red tips.
Sempervivum care and maintenance
Sempervivum plants like well-draining garden compost with 25-50% sand or various other grit. They might grow in trays, in-ground, on woods, or in rock piles. Once grown, the plant doesn’t need additional care– most of the time.
Most of the sempervivum are frost hardy yet if you prefer to grow a range that is not, plant it in a pot or level and move indoors for the winter months.
Sempervivum is monocarpic, which indicates that once a rosette flowers, it passes away. Pull out the dead rosette and load the hole with abrasive dirt. The plant will quickly complete any kind of vacant place with offsets.
Note: If you want to understand how to grow this plant from seed, you first require to harvest it. When flowers are spent, a little, completely dry, seed-filled fruit is created. Get rid of these pods and also permit the fruit to dry completely before squashing and getting rid of the seeds. Cool or chill the seeds for 4 weeks before sowing.
Sempervivum or Echeveria?
Although echeverias and sempervivums share similar features (including their rosette shapes), there are some vital distinctions.
- How to tell if you have a sempervivum or an echeveria:.
Echeverias have plumper leaves than sempervivums, so their rosette shape is not as limited.
- Echeverias come from warmer environments and can not survive cold temperatures outdoors. Sempervivums are native to Europe and also can be made use of as seasonal ground covers in temperate climates (USDA growing zones 3 to 11).
- Echeverias’ offsets (also called chicks) grow below the leaves of the parent plant, while sempervivums rosettes grow farther away.
- When flowering, echeverias have long, slim stems topped by blooms. With sempervivums, on the other hand, the entire rosette grows up and creates a collection of tiny blossoms on the top. After blooming, the entire stalk dies.