by Sarah


I bought this baby at a Shanghai flower market. it appears to be a succulent, and most resembles various echeveria. lime green, slightly meaty pointed leaves, tipped in reddish-purple. it has put out several runners or babies. i don’t have much more information, but i really want to know how to care for it the way it needs!

Drought Smart Plants reply: Hi Sarah, what you have is actually one of my favorite plants – a Sempervivum, or hens and chicks. They are extremely cold hardy, and so I’m not sure how well they’ll do in Shanghai, where it doesn’t get really cold. In some cases, this type of plant depends on a cold period for it’s health – they absolutely must have a resting or dormant stage each year.

To care for it, keep it on the dry side, with only a good drink about once a month, a bit more when it’s really warm. They thrive in warm and dry conditions. For soil, they should have a mixture of grit, gravel or sand (not fine dusty sand, though) mixed with some regular potting soil. It’s essential that they have excellent drainage, or they’ll go rotten.

It also looks as though this plant needs more light. In their native habitat, they grow wild on high mountain tops where they get high ultraviolet light exposure. To try to copy that, make sure it’s in a place (outside) that gets at least a few hours of bright light or even sun. They are not suitable as a houseplant.

Happy Sempervivum Growing!

See more here:


How to Grow Sempervivum

Sempervivum Picture Gallery (make sure you click on the links at the bottom of this page for more galleries)