Sempervivum - How to Remake Your Hens and Chicks

I have over 160 different named varieties of Sempervivum, and about once a year, I have to go through and remake them. What does this mean, you ask?
This is when I go through each type, and make sure I don't have any grave jumpers (those are when a chick lands in a neighboring pot, and could be mistakenly grown as that variety, if the grower isn't careful to keep them from jumping).
I also get rid of any that are too big and will most likely start to flower next spring before they produce chicks. I might use these for a craft, or in some cases, send them off in the mail as wedding favors to customers.
As Sempervivum usually only live two to three years, then flower, you're best to keep only the younger plants that will most likely produce chicks for another year before flowering.
I decided this year that growing them in shallow kraft paper pans would be better than trying to keep a multitude of different sized round pots in flats. I am so glad I broke down and did this - it will make it so much easier to keep track of them.
So here's my procedure;

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  • Marc
    Marc San Luis Obispo, CA
    Thank you. You may have nailed my problem - I've been adding little bits of water every day like an over-anxious mother. :)
  • Marc
    Marc San Luis Obispo, CA
    I do well here in coastal California with propagating hen and chicks and aeoniums, but the simple burro tail has me stumped! I see photos of simply placing the little sections on the soil, where they miraculously root and grow. Not mine. Does anyone
    • Drought Smart Plants
      Marc They have to be dry - just let them fall, or scatter them, and they'll grow - you'll end up cursing them! Don't over water - that is the best way to kill them.
  • Gaild
    Gaild Willow Grove, PA
    Good. I really don't need them, but cannot stand the thought of hurting plants. Plats and books. Keep them all or pass them around. Would like to do this with rescue dogs but I am allergic and can only have certain mixes. I have 4
  • Gaild
    Gaild Willow Grove, PA
    Oh, Jackie, Please do not dump them... Send them to me or let me come get them. It's not their fault that they jump. After they flower they go dormant then will regrow next year. these are wonderful little plants!!!! Use me as your dumpster. Thanks. GD
    • Drought Smart Plants
      Gaild Thanks for your kind offer to rehome my grave jumpers! I don't dump them, except into my garden or a craft as a NOID so they're safe.
  • Judith Beumel-Card
    Judith Beumel-Card Arlington, WA
    So if they flower that means they are done (going to die)? Should I throw these out cause they are not going to grow anymore@
  • Deb M
    Deb M Saint James, MO
    Drought Smart Plants If you decide to sell any, please let me know? 'Having a heck of a time trying to get some here...I think of my one Great-grandmother <3
  • Drought Smart Plants
    And each one unique!
  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    Wowsers! That quite a task! And quite a brood you have there!
  • Debra Peters
    Debra Peters Mesa, AZ
    Thanks for the info. Hadn't thought about the north side of the house. But the direction my house is set, even the north side gets a LOT of sun. So, I may simply be out of luck. I remember my grandmother growing them (in Denver, CO) always wanted some to
    • Drought Smart Plants
      Debra Peters I can totally relate to wanting to grow them as a reminder - these are old plants, and fortunately for us, they're now just about as popular as in the past. I'm sorry you just don't have the right situation.
  • Drought Smart Plants
    So sorry you lost them all Rose S - keep trying - eventually you'll have success with them, and then you'll be off to the races!
  • Debra Peters
    Debra Peters Mesa, AZ
    I'd be happy if I could get one variety to grow - can't imagine 160! Always manage to kill mine. :-(
    • Drought Smart Plants
      Debra Peters I would agree with Catherine White - these plants originate high in the mountains
  • Rose S
    Rose S Marietta, GA
    thanks, I had planted them in a Basket for drainage, with maybe to inches of soil - non-stop rain = dead hen and chicks. Next year I will follow your lead, thanks.
  • Donna Shipley-Richie
    Donna Shipley-Richie Mckinleyville, CA
    Thank you for sharing :)
  • Carol Speake - The Gardening Cook
    Thanks for sharing this Jacki. I have some that could be remade too.
  • Gloria Duy
    Gloria Duy Pontiac, IL
    Interesting. I didn't know there were so many varieties!
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