Hen and Chicks, Houseleek, Live Forever
This succulent is a hybrid introduced in 1979 by Ed Skrocki (1930-2010) of Ohio, United States. The parentage is unknown.
Sempervivum 'Unicorn' is a small succulent that makes a large vigorous clump of rosettes of downy olive-green leaves that flush rosy-pink shading to red tips in the summer heat. The rosettes grow up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter, producing offsets in long pink stolons to form a dense clump. Individual rosettes are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.
Flowers are star-shaped with pink petals with darker stripes and appear in clusters on a stout, densely leafy stalk in summer. The rosette dies after flowering but produces many offsets that continue to grow.
USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8a: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 15 °F (−9.4 °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 clustered 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. 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Sempervivum.
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