Sempervivum Care

Sempervivum care involves the practices required to successfully grow and maintain Sempervivum plants, which are hardy, succulent perennials often used in rock gardens. They are known for their rosette shapes and ability to thrive in poor soils with minimal watering. Proper care includes ensuring adequate light, water, soil quality, and temperature, while considering humidity, fertilization, and potential growth issues. Understanding these factors helps keep Sempervivums healthy and vibrant.

Scientific Classification

Sempervivum, also known as ‘houseleeks’, belongs to a group in the plant kingdom. This group has its own special ‘name tag’ that scientists use. Each part of the name tag tells us more about the plant. Here’s how scientists classify Sempervivum:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Angiosperms
  • Class: Eudicots
  • Order: Saxifragales
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Sempervivum

Each level on the name tag is like a folder on a computer. It helps us find exactly where the plant fits in the big world of plants. Now, let’s learn how to take good care of our Sempervivum friend.


Sempervivum, also known as ‘houseleeks’, need plenty of light. They thrive in bright conditions where they can get at least six hours of sunlight daily. When indoors, place them near a window that gets lots of sun.

If your plants don’t get enough light, they may start to stretch out. The leaves can also lose their vibrant color. It’s important to give them the light they need to stay compact and colorful.


Sempervivum plants need water to grow, but they don’t like too much. These plants store water in their leaves, which helps them survive dry periods. Water your Sempervivum when the soil feels dry to the touch. Only water the soil, not the leaves.

Don’t water your Sempervivum too often. Overwatering can cause root rot, which is bad for the plant. Let the soil dry out completely before you water again. This can mean watering less often than once a week, especially in winter.


Sempervivum, also known as ‘hens and chicks’, grows best in well-draining soil. You want to avoid soil that stays wet for a long time. This can cause the roots to rot. The best soil for these plants is a mix of potting soil with sand or perlite. This helps water drain fast.

If planting outdoors, choose a spot in the ground that doesn’t collect water. You might need to make a raised bed or use gravel to improve drainage. For pots, make sure there are holes at the bottom. This lets extra water escape. Always check the soil feels dry before you water again.


Sempervivum plants are hardy. This means they can survive in colder temperatures. They do well when the temperature drops. But, these plants can also handle some warmth.

In the summer, Sempervivum can tolerate heat. But, they prefer not to be too hot. They like it best when temperatures are moderate. In winter, they can survive even if it gets below freezing. They are strong plants that can handle different weather.


Humidity means how much water is in the air. For Sempervivum plants, also known as “hen and chicks”, they prefer dry air. They come from dry areas and are used to less humidity.

These plants don’t like when air is too wet. If the air is too damp around them, they can rot. Keep them in a place where the air can stay dry, like a room with good airflow. This helps them stay healthy and happy.


Fertilizer for Sempervivum, or ‘hens and chicks’, supplies nutrients to help them grow. These plants do not need much fertilizer. They are used to growing in harsh conditions with few nutrients.

You can feed your Sempervivum with a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer. It is best to do this in spring when the growing season starts. Use the fertilizer at a quarter strength and only once a month. This is enough to support their growth without harm.

Size & Growth Rate

Sempervivum, commonly known as houseleeks, grow slowly. They don’t get very big. Most types of Sempervivum have rosettes that reach up to four inches across. These plants stay close to the ground, usually not more than three inches tall.

The rate at which Sempervivum grows depends on the conditions they are in. Under the right light, water, and temperature, they can spread out by producing offsets (baby plants). These offsets form on stolons, which are like little branches. They effectively make a mat of rosettes over time.

Common Issues

Sempervivum plants, also known as ‘hens and chicks,’ can face several issues. Pests like aphids and mealybugs may attack them. These insects suck the sap from your plants. You might see sticky leaves or cotton-like substances on your plants when this happens.

Root rot is another problem that occurs if the soil stays wet for too long. The roots will look brown and feel mushy instead of white and firm. Overwatering is the main cause of root rot. Make sure your Sempervivum does not sit in waterlogged soil.


Sempervivum plants, often called ‘hens and chicks’, are not poisonous. They are safe to have around pets and humans. If a pet nibbles on a leaf, it should be fine. But if an animal eats a lot of the plant, it might still get a tummy ache.

Even though they are not toxic, it’s best to keep Sempervivum out of reach. Eating any plant can cause vomiting in pets. Always watch your pets around plants. If you think your pet ate too much of any plant, call a vet.

Pro Tips

Caring for your Sempervivum is easier with these helpful hints. Stick to these simple guidelines for a happy, healthy plant. Here are some proven tips:

  • Rotate your Sempervivum pot frequently. This ensures each side gets enough light.
  • Remove any dead leaves at the base to keep your plant looking clean and healthy.
  • If you move your plant outside in summer, do it gradually. This helps your Sempervivum adjust to the change.
  • During the growing season, in spring and summer, water more frequently to encourage growth.
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