Got these a few weeks ago…not sure what their identities are, but they look like they are getting to big for their container? is it unhealthy to keep them in small pot? also, what are their roots supposed to look like?

Because one of the smaller ones, i have discovered, is not really “stuck” in the soil. It is easily moved around and actually came right out of the soil.

It had one string of root that wasnt really grounded in the soil…is that bad? How often should i water them? Thanks! oh also, is alot of sunlight bad?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

These are some of my favorite plants – but if you’re trying to grow them inside as a houseplant, you’re doomed to fail with them, as they are an extremely hardy plant known as Sempervivum, or commonly named Houseleeks or Hens and Chicks.

They don’t mind being in a small pot – in the wild mountains where they originate, they grow in crevices and cracks with very little soil, and extremely well drained conditions, so allowing them to crowd the pot is fine.

The roots generally are one to several ‘tap roots’ or larger long roots that reach to the bottom of the container, and many small roots near the surface.

The ‘chicks’ or smaller ones are lightly rooted at first until they get established.

That’s fine, they can survive with no roots for a long time if they have to.

Water them only when the soil is dry – this means dry, not damp, not wet, but dry.

I know it seems cruel, but these plants have adapted to certain conditions, and one thing they hate is to be too wet.

When you do water, make it a good one, completely soaking the soil, then, again, let it dry out.

Full sun is ideal – although in hot climates in the summer they don’t mind some shade, but they won’t grow in a filtered curtained window.

The best thing you can do to keep these guys happy is to find a rock wall, or tiny crevice in a rock garden, stuff the roots in, and leave them alone.

Here is some more information about them:


How to Grow Sempervivum

Sempervivum arachnoideum

Sempervivum tectorum

Sempervivum Picture Gallery

I’m sure you’ll find these plants as fascinating as I do – Happy Growing,