Sempervivum tectorum

Scientific name: Sempervivum tectorum


Common names: “Common houseleek” “hens and chicks”

Plant Type: Evergreen perennial succulent


Zone: 3-8

Light: Full sun

Exposure: Sheltered, protect from excessive winter wet

Soil: Moderately fertile sand or loam, tolerates poorer soil

Moisture: Well drained – dry , drought tolerant


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Plant Size: H 6-12″ W 6-18″, vigorous

Leaf and Stem shape: Rosettes of succulent, thick glabrous leaves sometimes purple-tipped

Flower: stalks rise from the hen, topped with cymes of red-purple flowers

Maintenance: Low, easy to establish a colony, best time to divide and transplant is in the spring,  rosettes die after bloom and should be removed from the garden at that time

Landscape use: Green roof, groundcovers, rock gardens, containers, edging

Propagate: By offset division

Pests & Disease: Stem and root rot if grown in a puddle, vine weevil

*Deer tolerant

Comments: According to folklore these plants growing on a cottage will protect it from fires, leaves can be juiced and used with aloe vera to tree sunburns, young shoots and chubby leaves of this succulent are edible raw, they are crunchy and similar to cucumbers in taste but in large doses they can be purgative and upset the stomach so take it easy if trying it for the first time


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