Sempervivum' Raspberry Ice'
Hen and Chicks, Houseleek, Live Forever
Sempervivum' Raspberry Ice' is a dense succulent perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It has small rosettes with dense, symmetrical, raspberry-red leaves that mature more purple-red. The rosettes are lightly cobwebbed with silver hairs. Its attractive, succulent, pointy leaves emerge light green in spring, turning burgundy in color with showy, violet variegation throughout the season. It features unusual clusters of pink, star-shaped flowers rising above the foliage in mid-summer.
USDA hardiness zone 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 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.
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