Sempervivum is such a popular plant that even people who do not have a garden want to grow it. Many people ask: Can Hens and Chicks grow indoors? I will try to answer this and other questions in detail in this article.
For the sake of convenience, I have created this post as tips to help you grow a sempervivum inside the house successfully. I will tell you as much as possible about my experience and, if possible, add some images.
1. Select a sunny place
A place where sempervivum will grow indoors is the most important condition. You need to place them in the south window to get a good looking plant. Under such conditions, sunlight will be sufficient, and the plants will be healthy.
The sunny place does not guarantee that the appearance and brightness of the color of leaves will be the same as the variety that grows outside and have full sun. The fact that the glass does not let all the sunlight through, that is, it slightly shades the plants. Also, some of the sunlight is reflected by the outside of the windows.
If you place pots on the east or west windows, then plants may not have enough sun. As a result of the light shortage, the plants will become long and may die. Also, with a small number of ultraviolet fungi begin to develop, which can even kill the plant.
On the north window, the sempervivum will be extended and will not grow normally, that’s for sure. I do not recommend growing hardy succulents in such a place.
From all the above, you can conclude that if you want to grow sempervivum inside, you need to grow them in a place where there is the maximum amount of light. What to do if you do not have enough sun, we will talk below.
2. Use poor soil
Depending on which substrate you use will depend on how the plants will grow. For indoor cultivation of Hens and Chicks, a mixture of garden soil and sand is best. Take half of the garden soil and half of the sand, mix thoroughly and pour into pots.
Many recommend draining drainage (pebbles, stones, etc.) to the bottom of the pot. I do not recommend this because the pots have drainage holes through which excess will flow away, and this is enough.
The downside of drainage is that cavities are formed there. The roots, when filled with these cavities on them, will develop a fungus that will harm the plant.
If you plant sempervivum in the nutrient soil, then it will grow intensively and will not have enough sunlight. As a result, plants will suffer from lack of light, in more detail about this, I wrote above.
I do not recommend planting Hens and Chicks in peat as the roots do not grow well. If the peat once dries, then making it completely moist is very difficult. Also, I do not recommend using other substrates, such as perlite, which will have more problems than benefits.
Pure clay or sand is also not suitable for planting sempervivum in pots. In the first case, it will be difficult for the plant to develop roots in clay. Sand is not suitable because it does not retain moisture, and the plant will suffer from drought.
So a poor soil-sand mix would be the best solution. I also recommend mulching the pot surface with small pebbles so the plant will look more elegant.
3. Water once a week
It is best to water once a week or after the topsoil has completely dried. However, there may be exceptions, and we will discuss this in more detail below.
If you are using the soil mixture that I recommended above, then one irrigation for seven days is enough. However, if the soil does not retain moisture (too sandy, etc.), then it may be necessary to water more often. The best way to determine if you need to water is to touch the substrate with your finger if it is dry then moisten it.
In summer, when there are many sunny days, and the air temperature is high, the soil in the pots will dry up faster. In this case, it may be necessary to water twice a week.
If you water more often than I recommend above, then the sempervivum will grow more vigorously and can become elongated from lack of light.
The overflow should also be avoided. The fact is that the room air movement is not as intense as outside, and in general, conditions are more favorable for the development of diseases. Limited space combined with excess water can be dangerous for plants.
4. Use small pots
Another important aspect is the selection of suitable pots. Depending on your purpose, you can choose two types of containers.
The first type is a large size of pots 4 inches high and larger, and their diameter can also be 4 inches. In such pots of sempervivum, there will be enough room to grow vigorously. However, under these conditions, the color of the leaves is likely to be not very bright or even green, since there will be insufficient light.
So if you want to have big juicy Hens and Chicks and the color of the leaves doesn’t bother you, then choose large containers.
The second type is small pots 3 inches high and the same diameter. In such containers, the plants will grow less vigorously and will have more pronounced varietal characteristics.
Another advantage of small containers is that they do not require a lot of space, which is very important when growing indoors.
In general, I recommend growing sempervivum on the windowsill in small pots; it is more convenient and has more advantages.
5. You need good ventilation
This is the next condition for the successful cultivation of sempervivum indoors. If there is stagnant air around the plants, then these are suitable conditions for the development of fungal diseases. To avoid this, you need to ventilate the room more often, especially in summer.
If you have enough air conditioning, this is good; also, you can once a day open the window for a few minutes. If there is no air conditioning, then you should ventilate the room with plants twice a day or even more often.
For ideal conditions, you can install a fan with a timer opposite the plant pots, which will turn on once an hour for several minutes.
6. Avoid fertilizing plants
You should avoid giving fertilizer for Hens and Chicks when growing them indoors. Because fertilizers will stimulate plants to grow more intensively, but it is not good at home.
An exception may be the situation when sempervivum does not grow at all and in stagnation (transplant shock). In this case, it is possible to stimulate the plant with a small amount of fertilizer, and a few granules will be enough.
7. Protect your plants
Indoor conditions are better suited for the development of plant diseases and pests, especially in winter. Sempervivum has densely scattered leaves, and the plants in the pots are located close to each other. All this contributes to the development of pests and diseases. You will need to protect your plants.
Many believe that it is better to use non-toxic remedies for houseplants. Indeed, such remedy as Neem Oil is of natural origin and can handle most pests. It is used as an insecticide, but it partially inhibits the development of fungi.
You can also use other remedies for protection.
8. Set the required temperature
Proper temperature is required for the healthy development of sempervivum, the most optimal range + 59-77 ° F. From this, it turns out that the normal room temperature is suitable, but here is one issue that is worth discussing.
When the sun is shining very strongly, the windowsill heats up more than the whole room. If the pots are placed right there, then the plants may be too hot.
The earth absorbs outside excess heat, and there is no such possibility in the room. Therefore, you will need to adjust the air conditioner to the right temperature or open the window more often to allow the air outside to cool the plants.
9. Avoid moistening the leaves
Many people who grow houseplants practice spraying plant leaves with water. In some cases, moistening the leaf surface is required but not with sempervivum even if the room air is dry.
Moisture on the leaves will lead to the development of bacteria that can kill the plant.
However, it should be said that if you water the sempervivum and some water will fall on the leaves, nothing wrong will happen. It is important here that the leaves dry out and not be constantly wet.
People also ask
Why are my indoor Hens and Chicks dying?
There may be several reasons why Sempervivum is dying indoors.
First of all, it is the fact that the plant has not suffered a transplant shock; this often happens. If you lost it within the first month after planting indoors, then it is a transplant shock.
Another reason may be the lack of sunlight. If the sempervivum becomes elongated and the color of its leaves is light green, then the plant is not enough sun. In the photo below, you can see what Hens & Chicks look like if there is not enough light.
Another reason why this succulent may die is excessive watering. If you water more than once a week, then there is a risk that the roots will rot. If you are suspicious of this, then you should pull the plant out of the pot, peel the roots off the ground and remove the dead parts of the roots.
The next thing to do is to treat the plant with a fungicide and dry it a little (several hours). Next, put it in a pot and do not water for 10-12 days. Then start watering with a little water and never overflow again!
The last cause of Sempervivum’s death can be pests or diseases. How to deal with this is described above.
Can sempervivum bloom indoors?
Yes, it can bloom indoors. If the conditions are suitable, the plant may form peduncles and inflorescences, but the quality of the seeds will be worse than that of plants that grow from the outside.
You can even collect seeds and sow, and the results can be quite interesting.
Can you start sempervivum indoor from seeds?
Yes, you can sow sempervivum seeds indoors, and they will grow and develop. Plants grown from seeds indoors will be better adapted to the conditions of the room.
Use trays at least 2 inches deep to get positive sowing results. The soil mix should be half of the ground and half of the sand. Pour a thin layer of peat on top. Sow the seeds but do not sprinkle with anything, spray with water and cover with a transparent lid.
After a week, seedlings will appear, you constantly need to maintain the optimum humidity. When the plants reach half an inch in diameter, they can be transplanted into pots.
Which varieties of sempervivum grow best indoors?
The varieties grow better in the room in which the area of the leaf is not large, because this type of sempervivums requires less sunlight. The following varieties include:
- Pacific Zoftic
- Yukon Snow
- and others
Also, indoors will feel better varieties of sempervivum arachnoideum. This is because it has a web that protects the center of the rosette from excess sunlight. Indoors will be fewer cobwebs on the plants, but their overall appearance will be great. The sempervivum arachnoideum varieties include:
- Fluffy Fluke
- Hot Shot
- and others
Varieties that have broad leaves and bright colors will not be as beautiful as when grown from the outside.
If there is not enough light in the room, what can I do to make Hens and Chicks grow well?
Very often, it is not possible to grow sempervivum in the south window. People also often want to grow these succulents not on the windowsill, but the desktop, for example. However, here is the problem is the lack of light, what to do in this case, we will talk further.
The first thing to do is to create additional backlight. Succulents such as sempervivum require a lot of light, and you can dive into how many lumens these plants need per day.
But, to simplify this problem, you can install a regular lamp and switch it on for 10-12 hours every day, which should be enough. If the plants are stretched, install a more powerful lamp or add another. It is also convenient to use a timer that will turn on the lights on a schedule.
The second thing to do is reduce watering to a minimum, and it will slow down the growth and reduce the need for light accordingly. Water the sempervivum only when the leaves lose their springiness and become soft. This method alone will not solve the problem, but in combination with the previous one can achieve some results.
Can I grow sempervivum in the winter garden?
Yes, of course, sempervivum grows well in the winter garden. Depending on the temperature, it will either grow intensively or stagnate during the winter.