Growing Hens and Chicks Plants in Gardens and Pots

Growing Hens and Chicks Plants in Gardens and Pots

Chicken and chick plants are great low-maintenance options for dry, sunny gardens. And there are so many interesting cultivars available in different shades, from chocolate brown to green to bright orange and yellow. The common name can be confusing until you grow them yourself and realize that it makes sense. A main rosette (mama hen) will eventually produce several plows or babies (the chicks!). Although I have never heard them mentioned by the locals, their other common name, the Latin name that you see on the plant labels of these popular succulents, is Sempervivum. They are members of the stonecrop family.

To get into the weeds a little, there are some varieties of Echeveria that are called chickens and chicks for the same reason. They are also part of the Crassulaceae family, but of a different genus from that of the Sempervivum plants, and produce these young plants around the main rosette. They also send a flower, but on a thinner stem. The sempervivums are native to Europe, Western Asia and Morocco. And there are several species-Sempervivum tectorum, Sempervivum calcareum, etc. Echeveria is native to parts of the United States and South America.

Where to plant chickens and chicks

Chickens and chicks are often included in the lists of xeriscaping plants due to their drought tolerance. They are also excellent ground cover plants, as they spread slowly over the soil. And this penchant for drier soils also makes chickens and chicks good choices for rockeries. Many species of chickens and chicks are resistant to Zone 3 areas where winter temperatures drop between -40°F and -30°F (-40°C to -34.4°C). Read the label of your plant carefully before planting it.

Choose a place directly exposed to the sun (a little partial shade is acceptable) and a very well drained soil. In fact, the soil does not need to be so good because the plants are not afraid of sandy soils. Since the chickens and chicks are low to the ground, you should make sure that they are in front of larger perennials so that you can see them shining in the garden.

Adding chicken and chick plants to a garden

In your planting site of loose, well-drained soil or soil composed more of gravel and gravel, you probably don’t even need a trowel to dig a hole because the root system will settle quite shallow in the soil. You will see when you take the plant out of its cell or container. You can probably scrape about three inches (8 cm) with your glove. Scoop up the soil around the plant to cover the roots and press gently. Water your new plant.

If you are lucky, your chickens and chicks will bloom. The only drawback is that the plant usually dies after flowering.

Planting chickens and chicks in pots

If you want to plant a container, choose one with excellent drainage made of terracotta or clay. Fill it with a potting soil formulated for cacti and succulents. It ensures good drainage thanks to ingredients such as sand, pumice, gravel and perlite. Too much moisture or potting soil that drains too slowly can lead to root rot. Let the soil dry completely between waterings. Plants can be watered about once a week. And avoid saturating the soil when watering.

Care for chickens and chicks plants

As mentioned, chickens and chicks are low-maintenance. Water them regularly until they are established. But be careful not to overwater. And the plants don’t really need fertilizers.

After the flowering is over, you can remove the flower stem with hand pruners. When the rosettes die, you can remove the dead and wilted leaves, but be very careful when doing this. The rosettes have very shallow roots, so I accidentally pulled out live rosettes while trying to remove the dead parts of the plant. If this happens, you can easily replant them even in a new location. But be careful if you carefully remove these dried leaves.

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