Hens and Chicks: All You Need to Know About These Adorable Plant Pairs


Hens and Chicks, also known by their botanical name Sempervivum spp., are a type of succulent plant that are popular among gardeners for their unique characteristics and easy care. These small plants, also called Sempervivum, got their name because of the way they grow in clusters, resembling a mother hen and her chicks. They form rosettes with thick, fleshy leaves that come in a variety of colors, from green to maroon.

One of the reasons why Hens and Chicks are so popular is their ability to thrive in various conditions. They are commonly grown outdoors in containers, rock gardens, or as groundcover. They also make great indoor plants, adding a touch of nature to any room. Hens and Chicks are very easy to care for, as they require minimal watering and can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to shade.

This plant is well-suited to dry and arid environments, making it a perfect choice for those living in the southern parts of the country. They are also deer-resistant and have low toxicity, making them safe for pets.

To begin growing Hens and Chicks, start by finding a well-draining soil mix or use a succulent-specific soil. Place the plant in a sunny spot, preferably with afternoon shade in hot summer months. Water thoroughly after planting, and then allow the soil to dry between waterings. They are drought-tolerant and don’t need frequent watering.

Hens and Chicks produce offsets, also known as “chicks,” which can be easily propagated. Simply remove the offsets by gently pulling them away from the mother plant and plant them in a separate container or directly in the ground. The offsets will form new plants and eventually fill in the area, creating a stunning display of rosettes.

If you want to add some visual interest to your Hens and Chicks garden, consider using different varieties with contrasting colors and sizes. You can create a vertical garden by planting them in wall planters or hanging baskets, or use them as accents in rock gardens or fairy gardens. Hens and Chicks also look lovely when planted in pottery or terracotta pots.

In conclusion, Hens and Chicks are an amazing plant that can bring beauty and interest to your garden. With their unique rosette-shaped foliage and easy care, they are a popular choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners. Whether you choose to plant them indoors or outdoors, in containers or in the ground, Hens and Chicks will thrive and bring a touch of nature to any space.

Remember, Hens and Chicks are drought-tolerant and require minimal care. So sprinkle them in your garden and watch them grow!

Hens and Chicks Sempervivum spp

Hens and Chicks, scientifically known as Sempervivum spp, are a popular design element in gardens and pots. These succulent plants have been named Hens and Chicks because of their unique growth habit. The “hen” is the larger plant, often in a rosette shape, while the “chicks” are the smaller plants that grow around the hen.

Hens and Chicks are known for their ability to thrive in many different conditions. They are extremely drought-tolerant and can withstand long periods of time without water. Their thick, fleshy leaves and stems allow them to retain moisture, making them perfect for dry climates. They also have a high resistance to pests and diseases, making them a low-maintenance plant option.

When it comes to care, Hens and Chicks prefer well-draining soil and should be watered sparingly. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems, so it’s important to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. These plants also prefer bright sunlight, especially in the afternoon. In hotter climates, they may benefit from some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Hens and Chicks come in many different varieties, each with its own unique foliage and color. Some popular options include the jade green varieties, which have elongated leaves, and the sweethearts, which have rounder leaves. These plants can be used in various design ideas, whether as a focal point in a rock garden or as accents in a container garden.

One interesting feature of Hens and Chicks is their ability to reproduce. They can produce floral stalks with small blooms, and if pollinated, they can produce seeds. This gives the plant a chance to spread itself around, creating new hens and chicks in different locations. The chicks can also produce stolons, which are elongated stems that grow along the ground and create new plants.

In addition to their unique growth habit, Hens and Chicks also have some interesting names. For example, the “Artichoke” variety has leaves that resemble the artichoke plant, while the “Cobweb” variety has fine white hairs that cover the leaves, giving them a cobweb-like appearance. Their names can give some indication of their appearance and can be a fun way to choose different varieties for your garden.

If you’re interested in adding Hens and Chicks to your garden, they can be found at many garden centers or you can purchase them online. They are relatively easy to care for and can add a unique and eye-catching element to your landscape.

It’s important to note that while Hens and Chicks are generally safe for pets and humans, they can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. If you have pets or small children, it’s best to keep these plants out of reach to avoid any potential health problems.

Our favorite varieties

When it comes to Hens and Chicks, there is an endless array of beautiful and unique varieties to choose from. Whether you are a seasoned succulent lover or just starting out, there is a variety that will catch your eye and steal your heart. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Jade Rose: With its stunning green rosettes that turn shades of orange when exposed to sunlight, this variety is a classic favorite. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in containers.
  • Mauve Chicks: The deep mauve flowers of this variety add a pop of color to any garden or container. They are great for attracting pollinators and are also deer-resistant.
  • Stolons and Chicks: This unique variety has stolons that trail along the ground, creating a beautiful cascading effect. It is easy to propagate and fills in empty spaces quickly.
  • Underwatered Hens: If you tend to forget to water your plants, this variety is perfect for you. It is incredibly drought-tolerant and can survive long periods without water.
  • Quick Chicks: As the name suggests, this variety grows quickly and can spread to cover a large area. It is a great choice if you are looking for a groundcover or filler plant.

No matter which variety you choose, there are a few basics to keep in mind to ensure their well-being. Hens and Chicks prefer well-draining soil, so make sure to plant them in containers or areas with good drainage. They also love sunlight, so find a sunny location for them to thrive. Fertilizing is not necessary, as these plants are low-maintenance. Lastly, be mindful of their cold tolerance and water requirements depending on your specific climate and zone. With proper care and attention, your Hens and Chicks will flourish and bring joy to your garden.

For a complete guide on Hens and Chicks, including detailed care instructions, propagation methods, and common diseases to watch out for, check out our online resources. There, you can learn more about these fascinating plants and discover even more varieties to add to your collection.

Jade Rose Hens and Chicks

The Jade Rose Hens and Chicks is a shade-loving succulent that thrives in sunlight as well. Since these plants originate from Europe, they are well-adapted to growing in pots and containers. They are also great as a groundcover in the garden, giving a showy display of pinkish-green rosettes.

One of the most amazing characteristics of Jade Rose Hens and Chicks is their drought tolerance. They have thick succulent leaves that retain water, making them resistant to dry conditions. This makes them a perfect plant for those who are looking for low-maintenance options.

Propagation of Jade Rose Hens and Chicks is easy and can be done through division. Simply separate the chicks from the mother plant and replant them elsewhere. Pruning is not necessary for these plants, as they naturally form a compact and round shape. However, if you prefer a more tidy appearance, you can remove any misshapen or damaged leaves.

When it comes to planting Jade Rose Hens and Chicks, make sure to choose a well-draining soil. They prefer gritty soil that allows water to pass through easily. It is also important to water them sparingly, as overwatering can lead to root rot. Wait for the soil to dry completely between waterings.

Jade Rose Hens and Chicks are resistant to many diseases and pests, making them relatively easy to care for. They are also deer-resistant, which is an added advantage for those who live in areas with deer population.

The spacing between Jade Rose Hens and Chicks plants depends on the variety and the space available in your garden or container. Generally, a spacing of 6-12 inches is recommended to allow the plants enough room to grow and spread.

These plants are also known by various names such as “Sweethearts” or “Hen and Chickens.” They get their name from the way the chicks cluster around the mother plant, resembling a brood of chickens. The Jade Rose variety produces chicks with a pinkish-green skin, adding a touch of color to your garden.

In conclusion, Jade Rose Hens and Chicks are popular succulents that thrive in both shade and sunlight. They have amazing characteristics such as drought tolerance and resistance to diseases and pests. Whether planted indoors near a sunny window or outside in containers or the ground, they are sure to add beauty to any space.

✿ Read More About Cacti and Succulents.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.