Growing Hens And Chicks

Growing Hens And Chicks

Hens and chicks belong to the Sempervivum succulent group and can be grown indoors or out, in either cool or hot temperatures, depending on climate conditions. Houseleeks or “hens and chicks”, commonly referred to as houseleeks, produce numerous babies as their flowers form rosettes with multiple leaves producing numerous babies at one time – hence their common name! An ideal location for cultivating this easy care garden scheme should include houseleeks alongside sedum and sprawling rock cress plants for optimal success!

Hens and Chicks Plants

Hens and Chicks plants are an alpine perennial with incredible tolerance for poor soils and unfriendly conditions, including insignificant containers like those found indoors. A mother plant connects directly to its chicks via an underground runner; chicks may reach as small as a dime while their mother can reach up to the size of a small plate – these potted specimens make ideal interior or exterior container plants in both interior and exterior settings! Hens and chicks make perfect container plants both inside or outside your home!

How to Grow Hens and Chicks

Cultivating hens and chicks is easy. These plants can be found easily at most nurseries, require full sun, well drained soil with even drainage, minimal fertilization needs and infrequent watering requirements. As succulents, hens and chick plants require minimal water. A fun project involves learning how to propagate offsets of these succulents. Once established, their chicks can be gently removed from their mother plant and placed in new locations. Hens and chicks require very little soil to grow successfully and can even thrive in rock crevasses. Their ideal temperature range lies between 65 and 75 degrees F (18-24 C). 


When temperatures vary considerably either upward or downward, their plants become semi-dormant and may stop growing altogether. Potted plants can be kept in clay pots with either cactus or succulent mix or you can create your own with two parts topsoil, two parts sand and one part perlite. Potted plants require more fertilizer than their counterparts planted outdoors. Liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength should be watered regularly throughout the spring and summer irrigation seasons, along with growing hens and chicks from seed. Online nurseries carry an incredible variety of varieties that you can find with seeding your own; doing this could result in many unique forms for yourself and your friends! Seed is planted into a cacti mix and misted until evenly damp, before being stored in a warm room until germination occurs. 


Once germinated, some fine gravel should be sprinkled around to help conserve moisture, with any seedlings needing misting every few days and being placed in direct sunlight for optimal growth. Plant chicks once they reach an inch (2.5 cm). Hens and chicks plants require little care: after four to six years the mother plant should be removed before its flowers produce fruit that needs to be pulled off when mature; divide chicks off their mother plant at least every two years to prevent overcrowding.

Ciara Konhaus

I’m Ciara and I’m a gardener and agricultural educator in zone 6b. I’ve farmed and gardened all over the Appalachian mountains and love to empower people with the tools they need to start their own gardens.