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Hens and chicks of several generations

Do the rosettes that grow with the big Hen later grow to become a big hen?

You betcha! This is the beauty of these great plants.

Each hen or mature rosette will generally take two years to reach full size, and then start to produce chicks – some varieties or species can have 40 or more propagules each.

Others don’t have as many, which is sometimes referred to as ‘shy’, and these varieties are sometimes more valuable, because of the rarity of their chicks.

After a while, maybe six months or so, the chicks put out their own roots, and start to support themselves.

In year three, sometimes longer, the mature hen will go into flowering mode; the stem elongates, or ‘cones’ and then flowers emerge in a large cluster at the top of the stem.

The hen will die after this, but that just leaves room for her chicks to get larger and in turn, they will start to produce their own chicks.

The picture shows two full sized hens, with varying sizes of chicks from last year. These would have started to form in the later part of the summer, and only now are rooted in to the soil beside the hens.

The stolon, which is a stem to hold them while they root, and also act as an umbilical cord to give them nutrients eventually shrivels and breaks off.

Hope that helps,

Comments for Hen and Chicks

Apr 02, 2013
Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you! That was very helpful and exciting to find out.

Glad to help! These are some of my favorite plants, so I like to get others inspired. Have fun!