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by Sara
(South Dakota)


I have several hen & chicks that I have had to bring indoors because of our cold winters. Since they have been indoors the leaves seem to be curling under toward the dirt, pushing themselves right out of the dirt. You can pick up any of them and they are not rooted but they look great. Any ideas?

Sara, unfortunately, these are extremely hardy plants, and prefer to be outdoors, even in extreme cold.

They absolutely require a cold dormant period – they are tough, and this won’t hurt them at all, in fact, they will bounce back in the spring better and more vigorous than ever.

Put them outside right away so they have time to adapt before winter arrives.

This strange trait is their way of telling you two things: one, that you’re most like overwatering them, which will rot the roots, and this ‘levering’ themselves out of the soil is their way of preventing the roots from drowning, and second, it’s not bright enough for them.

These plants originate in high mountains, with extremely bright high ultraviolet light, and this combined with cooler temperatures is what gives them their characteristic colors and growth habit.

See more about how to grow Sempervivum here.

Don’t confuse Sempervivum with Echeveria, which are also called hens and chicks, but are not frost hardy.

Hope this helps,