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Sempervivem/Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum /Hens & Chicks
Hens and chicks can be grown singly or in mixed groups of different colours and will thrive in rockeries, raised beds and even narrow beds beside the house. They can also flourish when planted in terra-cotta pots, troughs, old logs, bricks or even the hollow pockets of concrete building blocks. Well-drained soil is essential and can be attained by adding grit (sand or small particles of stone) and gravel to your desired potting mix. To deter slugs, top-dress containers or the soil around outdoor semps with sharp grit gently pushed under the rosettes. Semps benefit from a light feeding of fertilizer, such as pelleted chicken manure, once or twice a year, but don't put the pellets on the rosettes, as they can be damaged.

Though semps will grow in shade, they require full sun to bring out the rich colour of their rosettes. Make sure they are not overshadowed by other plants, as this may also prevent full colour development. Whether they are growing indoors or out, winter is their dormant period, so keep semps quite dry during this period. In spring and summer, water when dry.

Semps have a profound ability to survive drought and display dazzling progressive colour changes throughout the year. Individual leaf shapes are different; some are fat and globular, others short and pointed, or long and tapered.