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Hens and Chicks Propagation Illustrated Guide

There are two main ways of propagation sempervivum vegetative (daughter plants) and generative (by seeds). I tried two of these ways and want to share my experience with you and give you some tips.

Let’s talk about this in more detail, and dispel some of the myths about sempervivum propagation.

After rooting, the plant forms new baby rosettes around it. The number of daughter plants depends on all species and varieties and can range from 2-3 to 10 new plants.

Young plants are formed in different species in different ways. In most Sempervivum, they grow on horizontal shoots at some distance from or near the parent plant.

In sempervivum globiferum, new rosettes are formed on the parent plant and, after growing up, roll-off from it to take root.

Sempervivum heuffelii has a more original way of reproduction; its parent rosette is divided into 3-4 new rosettes, and to get new plants, you have to separate them with a knife.

Transplant young rosettes when they reach 0.5-1 inches in diameter. If you divide plants that are less than half an inch in size, they may not root and die.

To propagate Sempervivum, you will need:

  • pot (if you propagate this plants in a container);
  • substrate (the ground is half mixed with sand);
  • garden knife;
  • shading grid.

Before separating young plants, select the largest in diameter and the juiciest of them.

Also, the reproduction process is very dependent on the season and the size of the sempervium.

Season dwarf varieties medium varieties large varieties
Spring yes yes yes
Summer no yes yes
Autumn yes yes yes
Winter no no no

Young rosettes are better for transplanting in spring or late summer. At this time the sun is not shining very much. I do not recommend multiplying Sempervivum in the heat. In winter, it is also impossible to separate these plants.

Choose healthy and juicy rosettes.

For successful propagation, choose young larger sockets that have already begun to form roots, they will soon take root in a new place and will grow more vigorously. If you separate too small plants from the parent plant, rooting them can take a whole year, and there is a risk that they will die. It is best to choose plants that are one year old.

Divide the young plants from the parent

Separate the child rosettes from the parent plant, use a garden knife if necessary. Try not to damage the roots that have already formed in young plants. Remove the stem that connected the sempervivums.

Do not rinse the roots with water; it will only complicate the rooting process. If there is a little soil on the roots it is ok, it is not necessary to remove it.

If the young plant has dry leaves, gently remove it. You mustn’t damage the living leaves, as this can develop the disease.

Prepare a place

Choose a place to root; it is important that the plants are light enough. Prepare the soil for planting (garden soil and sand 1:1) and fill it where the plants will be planted.

Next, place the sempervivum roots in the ground, and the rosette should be above ground level. Fill the roots with the prepared ground mix. Position the rosettes at a sufficient distance from each other (at least 2 inches).

Shade offsets

In some cases, young plants need to be shaded. If the size of the variety you are propagating is a dwarf, then a shade will be required. Also, if the place you want to plant is sunny (8-10 hours of direct sun), then you should also tighten the shade in front of the plants.

To create shade, stick two sticks in the ground and pull the shade net between them. You can also place a pot with other plants in front of the young Hens and Chicks.

The shade is needed for a short period of 1-2 weeks. When the middle of the socket turns bright green, it means that the plant has taken root and started to grow, then you can remove the shade.

However, there are times when the shadow is needed for a longer period (1 month or more). This is especially true if you propagate Sempervivum in summer.

If during the rooting, there is almost no sun or it rains, then it can do without shade at all.

Water plants a little.

Water the separated plants very carefully. Watering should be started 3-4 days after planting, do not water them immediately after planting!

When watering, use a small amount of water, first simply moisten the Sempervivum. Then gradually increase the amount of water. Also, avoid large amounts of water as young plants are more vulnerable to decay.

Watering is only necessary if there is no rain, no need to water the Sempervivum in the rain!

Give a small amount of fertilizer.

About 30-40 days after dividing, Sempervivum should take root in a new place. Then you can fertilize the plants a little so that they grow and develop better. To do this, use long-acting fertilizers; they better provide young plants with the necessary elements.

The amount of fertilizer you need to use should be minimal. The fact is that Sempervivum, on its own, produces many vitamins and elements, so it requires very little fertilizer. A few pellets under each rosette will be sufficient.

I want to tell you about one exciting propagation trick when a young rosette is formed cut off the shoot that connects it to the parent plant but does not transplant it. Give the young plant one month to root well, then transplant it to a new location without damaging the roots. In this way, you reduce the risk that the plant will not take root in a new place.

Expensive rare varieties of Sempervivum I propagate in a slightly different way than others. When young rosettes grow up, I separate them and plant them in pots. Then I place pots in partial shade and regularly water a small amount of water, also little moisten the rosette.

In case of prolonged rain, I place the pots under a transparent cover. In 1-2 months, I plant sempervivums on a permanent place. In this way, better plant survival can be achieved.

If you want the parent plant to form more young offsets, you need to take several steps. First of all, water it regularly and do not allow the soil around it to dry, avoiding overflow.

Next, put a small amount of fertilizer near mother rosette, which will give it more energy to reproduce better. Avoid excess fertilizers; otherwise, the plant may be pulled out.

These measures will increase the number of new plants by 10-15%

I also want to share another trick. When it comes time for the Sempervivum to bloom, the rosette transforms into a tall peduncle on which the inflorescences are formed. When this happens to your Sempervivum, trim the inflorescence at ground level, leaving only the rhizome. After a while, new plants will develop around the cut.

Propagating Sempervivum from leaves

There is a lot of information on the Internet that Sempervivum is propagated by leaves and cuttings. However, such information is not entirely correct. Theoretically, a new plant may form on the torn leaf, but I have never seen one.

I several times cut the leaves from the stems and put them on the rooting, but they dried up, and they did not form new plants, as is the case with echeveria. Spraying and placing the leaves in the greenhouse did not have any effect.

There is a video on YouTube where one woman tells that a small new sempervivum plant has formed on the torn leaf of a seedling. The seedling from which the leaf was torn off was three months. I don’t know if it is true. Who has experience of propagating hens and chicks from leaves please write in the comments.

Also, Sempervivum vigorously grows many new plants sometimes twice a season, so there is no sense in propagating in this way.

Cobweb Houseleek propagation

Many are interested in whether the process of propagation of Sempervivum arachnoideum differs from other species. Yes, it is a little different, and here I will try to answer it.

The first difference is that this species mainly forms small sockets that rarely exceed 2 inches in diameter in adulthood. Annual plants that are best suited for propagation have a tiny size.

The second is that this species of Sempervivum is more sensitive to the sun; its spider web is just designed to protect the center of the socket (growth point) from excess light.

From all of the above, you can make the recommendation that Cobweb houseleek is better propagated by beams. That is, it is necessary to separate several child rosettes in the bundle, and at the same time, try to keep as many of their roots as possible. In this way, the plants are better rooted.

Can you propagate Hens and Chicks in the water?

I saw a video of rooting a sempervivum in a water tank. And the offset did not even rot, but a little stretched from the lack of light. From this, we can conclude that it is possible to propagate in this way.

I have never tried to do this because I see no sense in it. Why create a special device in which the socket will hang over the water and root there? You can just separate and plant Sempervivum in the soil, and it will take root.

Propagating Hens and Chicks from cuttings

The Sempervivum has no lateral branches, and its stem is very short. What can serve as cuttings for rooting is difficult to say. If you cut the plant in half in horizontal projection, it is likely to die. I tried to do this and failed; in this way, it is possible to reproduce echeveria but not sempervium. While I may be wrong, write if anyone has had this experience.

There is also the claim that when the Hens and Chicks bloom, you can cut the stem and root it. As a result, you will get a new plant. However, this is not a true, rooted peduncle bloom and die. The only place where new plants can form is the rhizome left after the cut.

Do Sempervivum calcareum multiply?

This question bothers many who want to grow Sempervivum in their garden. Yes, they multiply and do it vigorously. The size of the rosettes of this species is not large, so offsets are formed quite close to the parent plant.

The reproduction process is no different from the one described above. The only thing that Sempervivum calcareum likes is alkaline soil, so if possible, add some dolomite flour to the soil mixture.

Do Sempervivum tectorum spread?

Yes, this species is spreading. The size of the Sempervivum tectorum is quite large, and they quickly cover a relatively large area. This is possible due to the rather long shoots on which new plants are formed.

All the recommendations I gave for vegetative reproduction are acute and for this species.

Sempervivum Oddity propagation

Reproduction has slight differences from the rest. The first is that the leaves of this variety are juicier than others, so the plant is more sensitive to excess moisture. The soil in which the rooting will take place should be more sandy.

The second is that you need to use less water to moisten; also, the frequency of irrigation should be lower compared to the reproduction of other species.

All other recommendations are the same as described above.

Propagation sempervivum by seeds

This method of reproduction is the most challenging and painstaking, but thanks to it can produce exciting results. Sempervivum hybridizes very well, and you can get plants with unique decorative characteristics.

Do Hens and Chicks bloom?

Yes, sempervivum blooms; this process begins in the third or fourth year of plant life. The sempervivum rosette turns into a peduncle 4 to 15 inches high at the top of which the inflorescences are formed. Sempervivum may bloom from May to September. From the beginning of the formation of a peduncle before maturation of seeds can take two months.

Insects pollinate flowers; self-pollination is not always successful. If you want to get a new exciting variety, you can cross-pollinate two rare varieties with each other. Then you need to wrap the inflorescences with waterproof paper so that insects do not bring pollen from other flowering sempervivums to cross with which you do not want. You can also remove the peduncles of unwanted varieties that grow nearby.

Do Sempervivums die after flowering?

Yes, the parent plant dies after flowering, but before that, it will form many young plants around, so you may not worry about losing your variety. Also, if you cut the peduncle 1 inch above ground level, there is a chance that new rosettes will form on the rhizome.

To collect seeds, cut the faded inflorescence, place it in a plastic tray and place it in a dark and dry place for it to dry.

Spring the best time of year for sowing seeds. The seeds are tiny, so it will be difficult to separate. You can just grind the dry inflorescences with the seeds and sow the resulting mix into the soil.

For sowing, use plastic containers at least 4 inches deep, with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the container two-thirds with a mix of garden soil and sand (1:1). Fill the top layer with a clean peat or seedling substrate.

Next, sow the seeds on the top, no need to sprinkle the seeds with the ground. Moisten the surface of the tray with water and place it in the greenhouse, or cover it with a transparent lid to maintain sufficient humidity.

About a week later, young seedlings will appear. It is important to maintain a good temperature around +68 ° F and scattered sunlight at this time. It is also necessary to ventilate young plants once a day. The soil should always be slightly moist.

When young plants grow to a size of 0.5 inches, they can be placed in full sun. After a month, they can be separated.