Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Houseleek, Hen-and-Chickens, Old Man and Woman, Roof House Leek
Sempervivum tectorum

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sempervivum (sem-per-VEE-vum) (Info)
Species: tectorum (tek-TOR-um) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

49 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Alpines and Rock Gardens

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From leaf cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 36 photos.
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23 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Alexwtf_93 On Dec 6, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:

good plant for almost any area.. its a variety thats not often found at garden centers (people would rather see the new more colorful ones) so i got some pups (chicks) from someone's grandma, they've multiplied everywhere, and get tall pink flowers

Positive maryxo On Oct 13, 2009, maryxo from Francis Creek, WI wrote:

Can I put hens&chicks in my tree frog tank???

Thank you. Maryxo

Positive dragons1 On Dec 28, 2007, dragons1 from Magna, UT wrote:

The plants that I have inside are beginning to grow roots. Even though it's only winter, they are still growing. The ones outside are huge!

Positive Zorsar On Feb 16, 2007, Zorsar from Wakefield, OH wrote:

I got this plant for a birthday gift,
i've never had one before, but my grandma and two of my aunts
had a whole window box of them.
i cant wait till it flowers!

I love this plant!!

Positive BubblesFontana On Jan 7, 2007, BubblesFontana from Clinton, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:


Positive Lady_fern On Oct 22, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Hens and Chicks are just the cutest, easiest little plants you ever could find. I have mine growing in pockets of soil in rock piles. They fill in their spaces beautifully. Since they're so small, the rock piles help to elevate them a little so you can admire them more.

There are hundreds of cultivars available. There are big ones, little ones, purple ones, gray ones, spider-webby ones, round ones, some with their chicks on long stolons, etc., etc.

Positive jjpm74 On Aug 20, 2006, jjpm74 from Stratford, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a small, easy to grow attractive plant suitable for small spaces. It takes over whatever small space you leave for it and blooms once a year. This plant requires little care outside of making sure it has a sunny spot away from weeds and is superb for borders. One plant that will always find a place in my gardens.

Positive blackbunny On Jun 6, 2006, blackbunny from Provincetown, MA wrote:

I dug some of these up from an ancient graveyard next to our yard; they were decorating the tomb of a sailor who died at sea in the 19th century. Possibly these plants are 100 years old! They decorate my garden now, and while hardy, seem to grow slowly. I think they're pretty and I love the history they represent.

Neutral EAPierce On Feb 24, 2006, EAPierce from Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

Hens and Chicks seems to need very little excuse to thrive. It spreads like wildfire, isn't picky about soil, moisture or light conditions, survives the harshest winters if not remaining green, and spreads. Oh, did I mention it spreads? And it's hard to get rid of once it takes off. It's a pretty plant, beautiful colors, great accent, but I'd never use it in anything but a container after the difficulty I had with a seedling I planted last year. After only two weeks I realized it was going to take over, and so had to yank it. I kept finding little bits of hens and chicks popping up for the rest of the season. I like it, but don't recommend it for any planting that isn't either in a container or a place you want it to spread freely in.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I tried these years ago, and killed them with love. I saw them elsewhere in the poorest of soils and as crowded as could be, and decided that was the way to go. I got another start, put them in hard clay and crowded them up. They thrived and multiplied, and I eventually got blooms. The blooms are not showy, but are interesting, and the hen dies afterward. Truly a plant that thrives on neglect.

Positive Sarahskeeper On Oct 28, 2005, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This was the very first plant I tried to grow outdoors. 50+ years later I'm still growing them, all from that first clump.
I have one large clump I planted in the corner of a raised bed 10 or so years ago, they have migrated away from the bed to the asphalt driveway, in full sun. Only a small corner is actually in soil.
Never had one bloom though.
If you killed it, it is probably because you watered it.
Great little plant for youngsters to start with.
Andy P

Positive KiMFDiM On Aug 31, 2005, KiMFDiM from Alden, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant overwinters well in Western New York. I have them in a flower garden and the winter snow does not seem to kill it. I also grow some as houseplants which spend the summer outside and the winter inside.

Positive Gindee77 On May 20, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a fun plant to grow. It's so prolific and easy, anyone can do it. It's great to share the "chicks" with friends too.

Positive dragonflynik On Oct 8, 2004, dragonflynik from Lancaster, PA wrote:

The tips of the leaves turn a deep reddish-brown color in the summer.

Positive pemwcorgi On Jul 23, 2004, pemwcorgi from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

I have been using purple in color Hens and Chicks.I use them as ground cover around my ferns and other partial shade and full sun areas.Mind you these are the Hens and Chicks that I got from my grandmother before she passed away and she had them from the day I was born,and I am 33.
This plant is "AMAZING",I love it.

Positive Sonnet116 On Jul 7, 2004, Sonnet116 from Worton, MD wrote:

This is a very easy plant to grow. My grandmother gave me a pot of them a few years ago and now I have 6. I've given away two pots to friends. One did well, the other is still recovering back under my care (I think she over-watered the poor thing). This year I happened to notice that they were growing this tall shoots. Thought that was strange, so I looked it up. They are going to bloom? Cool!

Positive george34 On Jul 26, 2003, george34 wrote:

I have two hens and chicks planted between two rocks, in soil that is barky and drains well. They get mid morning to early afternoon sun. It has been very nice here (Seattle area) lately in the 80's for several weeks. I water them every day. My friends and I have never seen h&c's this tall. They are 2ft plus right now. It looks like they are going to start blooming soon. All our other hens and chicks are just getting wider and only a few inches high.

Positive littleladybug On Jul 19, 2003, littleladybug wrote:

I have been growing hen and chicks for years up here in North Central British Columbia and just love them.They are real easy to grow and spread very quickly.
Give them a try you'll love them too!

Positive Oregonguy On Jun 7, 2003, Oregonguy from Salem, OR wrote:

These easy-to-grown plants fill in any space that needs filling.....between rocks, under bushes, in the sun, in the shade, just about anywhere. I moved a huge patch of them from one location to the next, simply setting them on the tilled soil and within two days, new shoots (baby chicks) were creeping from the bigger "hens." I have some very large patches growing and if I were to count each one, they would number over a thousand. Great gound cover with almost no care needed.

Positive Jesusfish On Apr 15, 2003, Jesusfish from La Salle, IL wrote:

This plant I got from my grandmother which was her favorite. When she passed-away, all of her 23 grandchildren took home about 100 hen & chicks to plant in their own gardens, so her favorite would live on.

This is so easy to grow! Just let it go, and pull the "roosters" when the arise. That's what gramma said anyhow...

good luck

Positive greenhousegirl On Apr 13, 2003, greenhousegirl wrote:

I agree with all said prior. I'm in southern Maine and have found that these carefree plants take root in rotting wood and seem to multiply under the snow !

Positive DarkPhoenix On Apr 12, 2003, DarkPhoenix from Sandpoint, ID wrote:

I just wanted to say that growing one type, Jovibarba, is VERY easy from seed! I had a very good percentage germinate, and they went from seed to plant that filled a 4" pot in one summer. No special treatment, just placed seed on soil surface and didn't cover.

Positive loisbb On Apr 5, 2003, loisbb wrote:

Our Garden is full of Rocks! Big Rocks that were gathered from the Similkameen River and a nearby Creek. They edge all of the gardens and form a central "Rock Garden" whose focal point is stacked Rock towers. In almost every crevice, growing in nothing but sand, in most cases, are these wonderful evergreen plants. They don't care where they grow or what they grow in or how much water you do or don't give them. This is Very Hot semi-arid desert(Yes, we have it in Canada) with normally Very Cold winters. To grow Big Hens-remove all of the babies. Great fun and perfect for any Hot Arid Climate.

Positive sempgirl On Jun 6, 2002, sempgirl wrote:

This is one of the most durable and rewarding plants to grow. It produces between 4-12 'chicks' a year so your collection is constantly growing. They bloom once (at the 2-3rd year) and then die...but they have left behind MANY babies in place.
To start another plant, remove one chick, leaving just a little of the stem and simply lay it on prepped soil. It should take root and start making chicks of it's own!
This plant varies in size from small hens about 1" to quite large semps 12" across. When they are getting ready to bloom, they get quite tall and have blooms on the stalk. Removing the blooms will not make them live longer :)


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Jones, Alabama
Midland City, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Seward, Alaska
Flagstaff, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Clovis, California
Paradise, California
Perris, California
Susanville, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Tracy, California
Denver, Colorado (3 reports)
Grand Junction, Colorado
Southington, Connecticut
Ellendale, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Brandon, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Monroe, Georgia
Sandpoint, Idaho
Canton, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Cobden, Illinois
Hanover Park, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Middle Amana, Iowa
Wellington, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Hi Hat, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky (2 reports)
Mc Dowell, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Millinocket, Maine
Cumberland, Maryland
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Worton, Maryland
Beverly, Massachusetts
Hinsdale, Massachusetts
Gladstone, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Mio, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sullivan, Missouri
Wolf Point, Montana
Scribner, Nebraska
Manchester, New Hampshire
Montclair, New Jersey
Neptune, New Jersey
Villas, New Jersey
Corrales, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Endicott, New York
Beaufort, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Sanford, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
South Bloomingville, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
Wetumka, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Cave Junction, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Hillsboro, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Oregon City, Oregon
Clairton, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Milford, Pennsylvania
Washington, Pennsylvania
Watsontown, Pennsylvania
Warwick, Rhode Island
Clarksville, Tennessee
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Katy, Texas
Kempner, Texas
Mesquite, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Sherman, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Winnsboro, Texas
Ogden, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
South Hill, Washington
Spokane, Washington (2 reports)
Beverly, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming
Sheridan, Wyoming

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