Sempervivum (sem-per-VIV-um)(Hens and Chicks, Houseleeks) are very popular cold hardy and drought tolerant succulents. They have many different textures and forms: from velvety, wooly, satins, fringed, to tufted, and spidery webs. Some are large (up to 4" or more in diameter), others are tiny (only 1/4" diameter ). Most produce tight clumps that form interesting mounds.
There is a wide range in color from a range of greens to silver-blues to the darkest of purple, to delicate pinks. Most of the varieties show their best color in the spring and again in the fall. There are also many forms, from rosettes, tight balls (rollers), artichoke look-a-likes, and some that have the appearance of stones.
Sempervivum will produce multiple “baby chicks” per growing season. Some of the cultivars are more prolific than others but you can usually count on at least four chicks per season. You can leave them attached to the mother hen to fill in your garden planting, or you can remove the chicks and start a new planting elsewhere. Zone 5-10.
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