Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Likes sandy or gravelly soils. Tolerates poor soils. Needs sharp soil drainage to perform well. Tolerates some drought. Avoid overwatering. Plants are evergreen. Plants spread by offsets to form colonies. Individual rosettes die after bloom and should be removed from the garden at that time.
Watering and Feeding
Since hens & chicks is a succulent plant, it doesn’t need to be watered every day. The best way to water hen and chicks (or water any succulent plant) is to water it generously once, so much so the soil is completely soaked and the water starts to come out of the drainage hole (in case of a potted plant). Then leave the plant on its own and do not water again until the soil has completely dried out (it may take a week or even two depending on the climate). As a general rule, remember water requirements of succulent plants are highest in spring and summer when they are actively growing, and gradually reduce as the weather changes, reducing to a minimum in winter. While sempervivum tectorum can grow well even without fertilizing, experts suggest feeding it once with a controlled-release fertilizer at the start of every season. A liquid fertilizer, however, would need to be applied once a week, in diluted form. Use a fertilizer with lower nitrogen concentrations on young plants and balanced fertilizer, at 1/4th strength, to feed the mature houseleek plants.
Houseleek Pest or Diseases
A few varieties of houseleek plants can develop Endophyllum rust, a type of fungal disease. The plant can develop crown rot. However, both these problems develop due to overwatering or poorly drained. It is easily prevented by growing the plant in dry conditions. It is deer resistant.
Sempervivum Tectorum Uses
While the hens and chicks grow slowly in height, it readily spreads to about 3’ feet horizontally, making it a good choice as a ground cover. The plant is also grown in many areas for certain medicinal purposes and traditional beliefs. Sempervivum Tectorum is considered alpine or rock garden plants, because of their hardiness and for being drought tolerant. Tuck them into crevices and drape over walls for added privacy or beauty.3
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