Oddity Hens and Chicks, Hens and Chicks, Oddity Houseleek, Houseleek, Trumpeter
Sempervivum tectorum 'Oddity'
Sempervivum 'Oddity', also known as Sempervivum tectorum 'Oddity', is an unusual succulent that creates a mat of small rosettes that continue to spread. Leaves are blue-green with purple tips and have recurved to form upright, hollow, pointed pipes. Rosettes grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Flowers are star-shaped, reddish-purple, and held in flat cymes on the terminal ends of hairy upright stems. Rosettes die after flowering but are replaced by new rosettes on lateral runners.
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, 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.
This succulent is a hybrid developed by American succulent plant enthusiast Sandy McPherson, and it was introduced to gardeners in 1977. It won the 1978 Bronze Rosette Award for the best new variety.
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