Do Hens and Chicks Need Full Sun?


Many years ago, I started growing sempervivum, during which time I had a lot of experience on how to do it better. Today we’ll talk about how much sunlight Hens and Chicks needs, whether this plant can tolerate shade, and we’ll discuss a few other issues.

In general, Hens and Chicks needs full sun, but it can also grow in partial sun. The need for lighting depends on the variety and species of the plant, and from other factors.

Hens and Chicks Sun or Shade?

First of all, I have to define the terms, earlier I wrote about what is the full sun and what is half a shadow. But let’s briefly reiterate what is what.

When a plant grows in a place where there is no shade, and it receives 10-12 hours of direct sunlight, it is called the full sun. In winter, the number of hours of sunshine may decrease. Also, full sun can be called when sempervivum receives 8 hours of direct light.

With partial sun or half shade, let’s call the situation when the plants receive no more than 6 hours of direct sunlight. Also, they are shaded in the afternoon. Or, for example, they get sunlight only in the morning or evening.

The case when Hens and Chicks does not receive direct sunlight is generally called a full shade. Also, this term can be called a situation where the plant grows under the tree and gets the scattered sun.

Sempervivum light requirements

Below I give a table showing how much sun the different sempervivums need. The species also include varieties. Sempervivum hybrid consists of all varieties that do not belong to any species.

Name Full Sun Part Sun Full Shade
Sempervivum hybrid tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum tectorum tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum arachnoideum tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum globiferum tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum marmoreum tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum calcareum tolerate tolerate
Sempervivum heuffelii tolerate tolerate

The table shows that all Hens and Chicks can tolerate the sun and the partial sun. However, tolerating does not mean that these are the best conditions for growth. Some grow better in partial shade, some in full sun.

From the table, you can see that in the shadow, no sempervium will grow normally. Next, we will talk about what will happen to sempervivums if they grow in different types of lighting. Also, I will give some recommendations on what to do if you do not have the right conditions.

Full Sun

As I wrote above, all sempervivum can tolerate full sun, but not all of them are better conditions for growth.

Most of the light is needed by sempervivum with broad juicy leaves, the diameter of which exceeds 4 inches. Also, lots of sunshine need varieties with bright colors.

Sempervivum part sun
Sempervivum Shocking Pink which grows in partial sun

Take, for example, the Shocking Pink variety, in the first photo the plant grew in partial shade, it received not enough direct sunlight. As a result, the rosette has an elongated shape, and the leaves are drawn up, the color is less bright, the center of the plant has a green tint.

sempervivum full sun
Sempervivum Shocking Pink which grows in full sun

In the second picture, it is the same variety, but it grows in full sun. It receives 12 hours of direct sunlight. As you can see in the picture, the plant has a bright color, the number of leaves is larger, the leaves are horizontal. Also, the rosette shape is flatter and lusher.

Plants that are elongated in the partial sun should be planted in full sun.

Sempervivum sunburn

Another thing to say is when the sempervivum burns; unfortunately, this happens quite often. Let’s look at when this can happen, how to avoid it, and what to do if a plant burns.

The first time Hens and Chicks can burn it is when you bought a plant that grew in a nursery in partial shade and planted it in full sun. Soon enough, there will be visible spots on the leaves; damage will be noticeable.

Sempervivum sunburn
Sempervivum sunburn

Sunburn can also happen if you transplant sempervivum from the house into the garden.

With excess light, some sempervivum may turn pale yellow and diminish in size, but no noticeable damage to the leaves will occur.

To avoid this, after planting, shade the plant for 2-4 weeks, and gradually accustom it to the sun. The sempervivum must be well-rooted.

Also, the plants need proper watering. They do not need to be overwatered, but the soil around the sempervium should be moist.

If the Hens and Chicks burnt, you should not worry, the plant will soon recover if you follow all of the above recommendations.

Part Sun

The sempervivum arachnoideum feels great with partial sun, and it takes 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. If this species is planted in full sun, its tips can burn, and the rosette will shrink in size.

However, it depends on the variety; larger varieties feel better in full sun and can only burn with lack of moisture. The dwarf varieties of Sempervivum arachnoideum, such as the Iwris variety, are most vulnerable to excess light.

This variety grew in the sun and developed very poorly. I transplanted several plants into pots and placed them in partial shade. The difference between them was significant; in half shade, the plant received 4-5 hours of sun, and the sockets were much juicier and bright green.

As seen in the picture above, the Sempervivum globiferum looks excellent. It grows in partial sun, and it receives 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you plant it in full sun, it will have a pale green color, and the rosette will be more closed.

If you are unable to transplant sempervivums that need less sun to a more suitable location, water them more often and create shade.

Full shade

Sempervivum growing in full shade
Sempervivum growing in full shade

I do not recommend plant Hens and Chicks in a full shadow. In such conditions, the plant will stretch out and be weak, and it can easily get sick and die. I have not met sempervivums that will normally grow in full shade.

It can be concluded that large varieties with brightly colored leaves are better planted in full sun, and dwarf varieties with small leaves are better to plant in partial sun.

People also ask

Can red Hens and Chicks grow in the shade?

No, they can not, in the shade they will have an elongated shape, the color of the leaves will be green, the plant will be weakened. In the half shade, they will grow a little better, but will not show their varietal characteristics.

Do all sempervivums need full sun?

Not all sempervivums need full sun. Small size varieties do not need much sun; they need 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you plant them in the sun, it will be difficult for them to grow.

Will Hens and Chicks grow behind another plant?

It can grow behind other plants under certain conditions. The main thing is that the sempervivum receives direct sunlight in the morning and evening, and in the middle of the day, it will be shaded by a plant growing in front; this is normal. However, if the plant is large and obscures the morning and evening sun, then the plant will not be comfortable.

Сan sempervivum in pots grow on full sun?

Yes, sempervivum can grow in pots in full sun, I grow them that way. However, there are specific requirements to be followed here. The first is that the pot was large enough, and the plant had space for root development. Secondly, the soil should retain rich moisture as it dries faster in the pots. Thirdly, water them more often than in the open ground.

How much sun does Mountain houseleek need?

Sempervivum montanum is a fairly large plant, so it needs a lot of sun. 8-10 hours will be enough. However, if the varieties of this species are red or burgundy, then the plant will need the maximum amount of sunlight.

Can Hens and chicks grow in full sun in hardiness Zone 10?

Yes, you can grow sempervivum in this zone in full sun; the main thing is that the plant has enough moisture for healthy growth.

Will there be enough sun for the sempervivum in the south window?

Yes, sempervivum will grow on the south window of the house. I also grow these plants on the window. There may be a situation when the plant will not have enough light. To fix it, reduce watering or install additional lighting.

Is 2 hours of direct sunlight per day enough for sempervivums?

It all depends on the variety; if the sempervivum has large leaves of bright color, then it will not have enough 2 hours of sun. If the variety is small in size and the color of the leaves is green, then this time should be sufficient for healthy growth.

Will sempervivums grow on the east side of the house?

Yes, this is the right planting spot, so the sempervivum will get the sun in the morning and feel comfortable.

Is it possible to plant young sempervivums in the sun?

Young sempervivums in which the root system is not yet formed is better to shade for 3-4 weeks. This way, they will take root and grow more vigorously.

Igor Viznyy

Hi friends, I have been growing plants for many years and love doing it. You can find more information on the page About Author.

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