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Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Plant Picks: Hens-and-chicks

  • Compact hens-and-chicks do well with little watering.

    Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

    Compact hens-and-chicks do well with little watering.

WHAT: Hens-and-chicks, or houseleek, is a compact succulent that forms tight clusters of one inch wide rosettes that turn a deep blood-red in spring and hold the red coloring into early autumn. The tips of the leaves are covered with a fine white webbing that brightens this tiny succulent.
WHY PLANT IT: Houseleek is one of the showiest and easiest to grow of the hen-and-chicks. Little fertilizing is necessary for this plant to do well. It will tolerate drought but will look better with occasional watering during prolonged dry weather.
WHERE: Sempervivum grows best in full sun to light shade. Make sure that neighboring plants do not grow over this low perennial. They need a well-drained soil and grow best in sandy soil or poor rocky soils.
SIZE: This perennial may reach a foot in height and may spread to 6 feet wide.
Story tags » Gardening

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