Sempervivum ×barbulatum Schott
Hen and Chicks, Houseleek
Sempervivum barbatulum, Sempervivum barbulatum, Sempervivum ×dolomiticum, Sempervivum ×hookeri
Sempervivum ×barbulatum is a succulent plant with a mat-forming habit. It has small rosettes of obovate, green leaves tipped with woolly hairs. The rosettes grow up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, producing offsets on short bare stems.
In summer, the mature rosettes produce an erect, up to 2 inches (5 cm) tall stalk clothed with rather larger similar leaves, bearing cymes of purplish-rose, many-stellate flowers.
Sempervivum ×barbulatum is a natural hybrid that results from a cross between Sempervivum arachnoideum and Sempervivum montanum. It is native to the Alps and the Pyrenees, Corsica, and Apennines, whenever the parents co-occur.
USDA hardiness zone 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 25 °F (−3.9 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Sempervivums 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 the plant has likely produced many offsets that will continue to grow by this time. 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 clustered 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.
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