Sempervivum grandiflorum Haw.
Houseleek, Hens and Chicks
Sempervivum braunii, Sempervivum gaudinii, Sempervivum globiferum, Sempervivum wulfenii subsp. gaudinii
Sempervivum grandiflorum is a small hardy succulent that forms rosettes of green leaves tipped with red and covered with short soft hairs. The rosettes grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, freely producing offsets on spreading leafy stolons and forming a dense mat. The hairy leaves are almost sticky to the touch. The flowering stem is up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Flowers are star-shaped, 10- to 15 merous, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. They have yellowish petals with a basal purple spot and appear in clusters on a leafy, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall stalk in summer.
USDA hardiness zones 5a to 10a: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 35 °F (+1.7 °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, Hens 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, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.
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