Sempervivum montanum L.
Anomalous Houseleek, Mountain Houseleek
Sempervivum heterophyllum, Sempervivum hispidulum, Sempervivum tectorum subsp. montanum,
Sempervivum montanum is a small hardy succulent that forms tightly packed rosettes of green, densely hairy leaves. The rosettes grow up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, producing many offsets on slander, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long stolons. Leaves are thick, fleshy, lance-shaped, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and up to 0.12 inches (0.3 cm) wide. In early summer, clusters of reddish-purple, star-shaped flowers rise on leafy, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall stalks. The flowers are star-shaped and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
The specific epithet "montanum (MON-tah-num)" means "of or pertaining to mountains" and refers to the plant habitat in mountainous regions.
USDA hardiness zones 4a to 10b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °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, clustering 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.
Subspecies and Hybrids
- Back to genus Sempervivum
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