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Sempervivum montanum – Mountain Houseleek

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Scientific Name

Sempervivum montanum L.

Common Names

Mountain Houseleek

Synonyms

Sedum montanum, Sempervivum debile, Sempervivum monticolum

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae 
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sempervivum

Description

Sempervivum montanum is a hardy, small succulent with tight rosettes up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, crowded with mid-green colored fleshy leaves. Plants produce many offsetting rosettes that are held tightly crowded together. Clusters of reddish-purple, star-shaped flowers rise up on short, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall stalks in early summer.

Sempervivum montanum - Mountain Houseleek

Photo via monde-de-lupa.fr

How to Grow and Care

Sempervivum are not difficult to grow, provided they are not waterlogged and killed from excess watering. They can be easily grown outdoors and in containers, and they earned the name “Houseleeks” from their tendency to root on the roofs of houses. After the mother plant flowers, it will naturally die, but by this time, the plant has likely produced many offsets that will continue to grow. These are excellent for cold windows. Sempervivum earned their popular name “Hen and Chicks” from their growth habit. The mother plant, or hen, sends off numerous offsets, which will cluster around her base like chicks. These offsets can be easily repotted, or the plants can be left to form a clumping mat.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a succulent, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.

Origin

Native to the southern and central European mountains from the Carpathians to the Pyrenees.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Sempervivum montanum subsp. stiriacum

Links

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