Hens and Chicks Plant: Characteristics, Propagation, Care, Culture and Medicinal Uses
Small succulent plants collectively known as “Hens and chicks” are so-called because they have expanded portions that can hold water. It is a member of the Crassulaceae flowering plant family, which is indigenous to southern Europe and northern Africa. The plants have leaves arranged in a rosette and grow close to the ground. Offsets are used for propagation. The primary plant is referred to as the “hen,” while the offspring are referred to as the “chicks.” The offspring begin as small buds on the mother plant and quickly sprout their roots, settling down close to the mother plant.
1. The House leek, also known as Sempervivum tectorum, is a native of the southern European Alps.
2. It is an evergreen, mat-forming succulent with 50–60 thick, glabrous leaves that can grow to be 1.5–3 inches long and occasionally have purple tips. Rosettes can be up to 4″ broad. Rosette foliage often reaches a height of 4″
3. By horizontal stems, the mother rosette (hen) spreads in all directions to create offsets (chicks).
4. As much as 12″ tall, green, pubescent, upright flowering stalks with cymes of red-purple flowers sprout from the hen during the summer. The plant is sometimes referred to as “hens and chicks” because once it blooms, the hen sets seed and dies, leaving the chicks to fill the void and spread.
5. The main reason plants are grown in gardens is for their eye-catching and distinctive leaves.
6. Sempervivum was originally grown on house roofs in Europe for a variety of purposes, such as preventing lightning and fire, stabilising slates, and providing emergency salad food (edible leaves acting as roof leeks) in the winter.
7. Hens-and-Chicks Sempervivum tectorum or S. arachnoideum, also known as hen and chicks, may grow both indoors and outdoors.
8. These indoor plants are entertaining and require little care, even growing when left unattended.
9. They are very enjoyable to collect because they come in a wide range of kinds with unique forms and hues.
Propagating Hens & Chicks:
We adore Hens and Chicks for their capacity to develop new plants that can be harvested and planted in other garden locations. If you see that your hens are hatching new chicks, you have two options: you may either leave them where they are or remove them and relocate them. They enjoy this. They will respond favourably to you doing this at any time of the year, in all likelihood.
How to take care of Hens and Chicks
Arrival: When the plants arrive, please remove them from the box as soon as possible and take away any shipping supplies that may have been around. Before replanting, give them some water and put them somewhere warm and sunny for a few days.
Planting Depth & Spacing: Dig a hole that is deep enough so that the entire plant can fit within without difficulty and that the top of your plant’s soil line sits flush with the top of the soil in the hole you just dug. Your plant’s soil line must stay below the soil line in the ground or container. To allow for the growth of new chicks, place plants 6″ apart, or group them closely together and move them once they start bearing fruit. They do not mind being frequently transferred.
Potted Plants: Ensure that the container has openings that will allow any extra water to drain. You are free to plant however many you like in any size container. As the baby hens and chicks mature, you can place them tightly together and remove some from the container.
Soil Preparation: Hens and chicks may survive in even the most unfavourable soil conditions. One necessity is that the soil drains extremely fast to prevent water from sitting around, especially during the winter when this may lead to decay.
Water: As soon as you take your plants out of the box, water them. Give them enough water so that the bottom of the pot begins to leak water and the soil appears damp. Then wait till they are totally dry before watering them once again.
Fertilizer: Use Roberta’s Bounty as fertiliser a few weeks after planting and then once or twice a month throughout the summer.
Flowers: In the second or third season, Hens and Chicks frequently flower, sending up stunning pink flower spikes. But when they flower, that indicates that their life cycle is through. After the flowers lose their aesthetic appeal, you should take those hens out of the garden. But don’t worry, new baby chickens will swiftly repopulate the space.
Indoor: Sow inside from January to March. Three to five seeds should be sown right in the finished pot. After planting, lightly cover the seed. Keep seedlings at a constant 21 °C. Between 3 and 6 days are needed for germination.
Outdoors: From July through August, direct planting is possible. The second year is when the plant will begin to bloom.
Where to Plant: Hens and chicks are native to rocky, mountainous areas all over the world. They, therefore, require extremely quick draining conditions to be content. For us, this implies that they thrive in regions of the garden where water doesn’t pool for an extended period, such as rock gardens, rock walls, slopes, and so forth.
Pet Considerations: Make sure your pets don’t eat any plants when it comes to pets.
Sempervivum, which means “live forever,” derives from how quickly they develop and spread. Whatever you choose to call them—semps, hens and chicks, or houseleeks—these succulents are beautiful plants. Hens and chicks are enjoyable and simple to raise. Sempervivum prefers cool evenings and requires a cold, dormant season to thrive. Zones 4–8 are best for cultivating them. Moving the plants inside a greenhouse or covering them during harsh winter weather may be advantageous in colder climates. Sandier soil with great drainage is ideal. The most crucial condition for Sempervivum is good drainage. Plant them in sandy soil, or improve the soil’s drainage by adding compost, potting soil, gravel, or vermiculite. Where other vegetation cannot grow, hens and chicks can. They thrive in areas with little soil, such as crevices in rock walls and gravel, but if water builds up, the plants will perish. The ideal pH range for soil is between 6.6 to 7.5, which is considered neutral. Low, Tolerant of Drought Water well right away after transplanting. The soil dries up between waterings after that period. Although the leaves of these succulent plants retain water, they still require water to survive droughts. They will need to be watered more regularly in the summer heat. Avoid crossing water. Check the soil drainage and reduce watering if you notice your plants are having trouble.
They can “live forever” because they have a large number of progeny. Depending on the kind, babies are produced in varying quantities and rates. Anytime throughout the spring/summer growing season, Sempervivum can be divided. The young chicks may be relocated or allowed to develop close to the mother hen. These bear children on runners. Simply remove the chicks and place them somewhere else. When the runner starts to wither is the ideal time to remove the pups. Offsets take root fast and only need to come into contact with the soil to begin growing. By using offsets to propagate, each cultivar’s traits are preserved. Sempervivum blooms yield seeds that typically result in plants that aren’t true to type. A chick born from a hen plant will start having babies of its own after just one season. Sempervivum plants typically only live for three years, giving them two productive years before passing away. Sempervivum has a tall centre stalk that blooms before the plant dies after three years and has generated several baby plants. The plant will not survive if the centre stalk is removed. It is a lot of joy to raise chickens and chicks, watch them develop, and watch them lay eggs. Due to seasonal changes in maturity, temperatures, sunlight exposure, and other factors, their colours fluctuate dramatically throughout the season. Give your plants adequate room to stretch out. They should have 6-8″ for large kinds and 4″ for little plants, ideally. Rosettes are beautifully made when there is enough room.
For many years, hen and chick leaves have been utilised as herbal treatments. Aloe vera can be replaced by freshly pressed leaves for wounds like mild severity burns, sores, and insect bites. There is evidence that certain antibacterial and antioxidant activities exist in leaf extracts. When long-term stressors, like soil dryness, are present, higher levels of antioxidant molecules are created.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do the Plant hens and chicks spread?
Question: Where is the best place to plant hens and chicks Plant?
Ans: Hens and chicks are native to rocky, mountainous areas all over the world. They, therefore, require extremely quick draining conditions to be content. For us, this implies that they thrive in regions of the garden where water doesn’t pool for an extended period, such as rock gardens, rock walls, slopes, and so forth.
Question: Do hens and chick Plants come back every year?
Question: How long do hen and chick plants last?
Ans: 3 Years
Question: Can hens and chicks Plant survive indoors?
Question: How big do hens and chick Plants get?
Ans: it is an evergreen, mat-forming succulent with 50–60 thick, glabrous leaves that can grow to be 1.5–3 inches long and occasionally have purple tips.
Question: How often do hens and chicks plant bloom?
Ans: only once in a lifetime
Question: Do hens and chick plants get flowers?
Ans: Are hen and chick plants poisonous?
Ans: In children and adults, hens and chicks are only minimally harmful.
Question: Are hens and Chickens plant poisonous to dogs?
Question: Do hens and chick plants have deep roots?