Most Prolific Hens & Chicks Succulents


Succulents are the perfect option for low-maintenance landscaping, but some are quicker to spread and give you the colorful ground cover you're looking for. Which of the succulents here at Mountain Crest Gardens are the easiest to grow? Which are the most prolific? Below, we'll introduce you to 15 of our fastest growing succulents from two categories, Sempervivum and Sempervivum heuffelii.

Sempervivum chicks

Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) are hardy perennials that grow well outdoors in most regions. When left alone, they will send out stolons with new plants or 'chicks' that allow the group to spread as a dense mat. Alternatively, you can easily remove the chicks and replant them elsewhere. This colorful ground cover will grow prolifically in Hardiness Zone 5 and higher, surviving both periods of frost and drought. For the most growth and least work, plant your Hens and Chicks in a location that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Sempervivum heuffelii chicks

Sempervivum heuffelii are similar to other Sempervivum except for how they produce new chick. Instead of extending away from a mother rosette on stolons, chicks appear within the main rosette which must be cut apart if you wish to replant the offsets in a new location. Rich, year-round colors and a high tolerance for frost and drought make Sempervivum heuffelii ideal for a wide variety of gardens.

The following succulents represent a small slice of the beauty and variety of Sempervivum, and all are quick to fill empty spaces with mesmerizing colors and textures.

1. Sempervivum ‘Royanum’ stands out for its glowing, apple green color and contrasting maroon tips. With 6" to 8" diameter rosettes, 'Royanum' will quickly accent and brighten a planting bed.

2. Sempervivum ‘Red Beauty’ adds interest to any garden as it changes color, flushing from grey-green to red through the seasons. 'Red Beauty' can also develop watermarks that give the leaves a marbleized appearance.

3. Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Cebenese’ brings its distinctive cobweb texture to gardens and vertical plantings and blushes from green to red over the course of a year. It is one of the largest of the arachnoideums and will produce 8-10 chicks on long stolons.

4. Sempervivum ‘Saturn’ grows especially large with pointed leaves of grey-green with pink tips.

5. Sempervivum ‘Commander Hay’ puts on a show of changing colors through the year with leaves fringed by fine hairs.

6. Sempervivum calcareum ‘Fire Dragon’ will create an extensive mat of smaller rosettes. All calcareums are easy to cultivate, and the red tips of 'Fire Dragon' will add spark to your landscape.

7. Sempervivum tectorum ‘Sunset’ quickly grows into a bright accent or border for a garden, putting out many chicks that will continually surprise you with new colors.

8. Sempervivum ‘Pacific Blue Ice’ fills in beds and planters will striking rosettes of silvery blue.

9. Sempervivum ‘Jade Rose’ forms large rosettes with bright red centers and green variegation changing with the seasons.

10. Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ catches the eye with its one-of-a-kind, tubular leaf shape. Plant this green and purple oddity to fill a space with fun, unique shapes.

11. Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Bros’ is a rare plant and a favorite of succulent enthusiasts for its deep red coloring and bright green center.

12. Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Beacon Hill’ can transform a landscape with beautiful tones of dusty purple and pale green as it fills in to completely cover the ground.

13. Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Irene’ needs little attention, but brings colorful interest to a garden through the winter with large, burgundy rosettes.

14. Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Randolph’ quickly produces new offsets with furry, green leaves tipped in purple.

15. Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Sundancer’ brings a florescent green punch to a garden and illuminates in reddish gold tones through the summer months.

To learn more about these stunning Sempervivum and Heuffelii, check out Kevin Vaughn's new book, Sempervivum: A Gardener's Perspective on the Not-So-Humble Hens & Chicks.