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Sempervivum 'Silver King'

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Scientific Name

Sempervivum 'Silver King'

Common Names

Hens and Chicks, Houseleek

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sempervivum

Description

Sempervivum 'Silver King' is one of many Sempervivum hybrids. It has symmetrical rosettes, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, of fleshy, silvery-tinged mint green leaves. The rosettes develop by short-stalked offsets into crowded, colorful, richly textured mats. The leaves often intensify in color in cold weather, their strong red-purple centers contrastingly boldly with frost and snow. In summer the older rosettes send out thick, erect stems bristling with scaly leaves and topped with clusters of small pink flowers. Rosettes die after flowering.

Photo via garden.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.

Parentage

Sempervivum 'Silver King' is a hybrid of unknown parentage.

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