Sempervivum marmoreum subsp. erythraeum (Velen.) B.J.M. Zonneveld
Houseleek, Hen and Chicks
Sempervivum erythraeum (basionym), Sempervivum ballii, Sempervivum cinerascens, Sempervivum leucanthum, Sempervivum marmoreum var. erythraeum, Sempervivum montanum var. erythraeum
Sempervivum marmoreum subsp. erythraeum is a perennial herb forming basal rosettes (up to 2.4 inches/6 cm) in diameter) of succulent leaves. The center of the plant is a vivid green with the lower and upper leaves tipped in a dark plum. Nice sharp contrast giving the plant a tidy appearance. Flowering stalks are erect, succulent, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, bearing red flowers with white margins. Each flower is up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zone 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 25 °F (−3.9 °C).
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.
Native to south-eastern Europe and central Europe.
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