Hen and Chicks, Houseleek, Live Forever
This succulent is a hybrid possibly created in the United States. It was named by Helen E. Payne in 1974. The breeder and parentage are unknown.
Sempervivum 'Westerlin' is a small, eye-catching succulent that forms large rosettes of red, sharply pointed leaves with green tips. The rosettes grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, producing offsets on very short stolons. The color of the leaves varies from season to season.
A short spike of pastel flowers appears in summer. The rosette dies after flowering.
USDA hardiness zone 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 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 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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