How to grow and care for Houseleeks (Sempervivum) Indoors

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Houseleeks Care, Sempervivum Care

Sempervivum calcareum

Botanical name: Sempervivum spp
Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sempervivoideae
Common name: Houseleeks, Liveforever, Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum (Houseleeks) Description

Sempervivum commonly called Houseleeks, Liveforever or Hens and Chicks are popular succulent plants which form mats composed of tufted leaves in rosettes.

Houseleeks are low-growing reaching a height of 4 in. only and each plant grows for several years before flowering. The color of flowers is reddish, yellowish, pinkish or rarely whitish.

After flowering, the Houseleeks dies, leaving many offsets it has produced during its life and hence the common name, 'Liveforever'.

These offsets that form around the base of the plants have also given Houseleeks the common name, 'Hens and Chicks'.

They share the name 'Hens and Chicks', with other genera like the similar Echeverias.

The species of Sempervivum genus are not easy to identify as even one single clone can look very different under various growth conditions or different times of the year.

Sempervivum plants are very similar and closely linked to each other. Numerous cultivars have been created but a lot of them are not different from each other.

The main interest of these cultivars is not their flowers but the form and color of the rosette-leaves.

Sempervivum (Houseleeks) Origin

Sempervivum (Houseleeks) is a genus of about 40 species of flowering plants which are endemic from Morocco to Iran, through the mountains of Iberia, the Alps, Carpathians, Balkan mountains, Turkey, the Armenian mountains, northeastern part of Sahara Desert and the Caucasus.

Houseleeks are completely hardy due to their ability to store water in their thick leaves which allows them to live on sunny rocks and stony places in the mountain, subalpine and alpine belts.

Sempervivum (Houseleeks) for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Houseleeks (Sempervivum) from Etsy.

Houseleeks Care, Sempervivum Care

Sempervivum monatum

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) Care Indoors

Houseleeks Light Requirements

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) grow best in bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours.

However, avoid exposing your Houseleeks to too hot sunlight before acclimatizing it as it can get sun scorched. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Houseleeks

Water Houseleeks (Sempervivum) thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Houseleeks during the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.

Avoiding wetting the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting of your Houseleek. Water from the bottom instead.

Water your Houseleek with water that is at room temperature water to avoid plant shock as it can lead to reduced growth.

Ensure the pot for your Houseleek has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Houseleeks

Average warmth between 16-280C during the growing season is ideal for Houseleeks (Sempervivum). Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Houseleeks

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) have no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for Houseleeks.

Ensure that there is good air circulation for your Houseleeks to prevent fungal diseases.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Houseleeks

Feed Houseleeks (Sempervivum) every 2 weeks during the growing season with a succulents fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Houseleeks during the dormancy stage (cold season) as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Houseleeks

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) have a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot your Houseleek at the beginning of the growing season only when it has become crowded in its current pot.

Use a pot 1 size larger for your Houseleek and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Use a shallow pot for your Houseleek and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting.

Soil for Houseleeks

The best soil for Houseleeks (Sempervivum) should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough. Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for Houseleeks.

Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your Houseleeks from Etsy.

How to Prune Houseleeks

Pruning Houseleeks (Sempervivum) is easy. Remove dead or diseased leaves to keep your plant neat and reduce pests and disease infestation.

Houseleeks Care, Sempervivum Care

Sempervivum pittonii

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) Propagation

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets which form at the base of the plant.

How to propagate Houseleeks (Sempervivum) from offsets

Carefully seperate the Houseleek (Sempervivum) offsets from the mother plant. Choose an offset which has several leaves.

Allow the Houseleek offsets to dry (callus) for 1-3 days before potting to prevent rotting.

Pot each Houseleek offset in its individual pot in moist free-draining soil.

Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry and avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting.

Houseleeks Care, Sempervivum Care

Sempervivum tectorum

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) Problems Indoors

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) loss of leaf color

Loss of leaf color in Houseleeks (Sempervivum) is due to too little light as Houseleeks prefers bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours.

Too little light will cause the leaves to loss their vibrant colors therefore, move your Houseleek to a brighter spot.

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) rotting base, yellowing and shrivelled leaves

Rotting plant base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Houseleeks (Sempervivum) is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Reduce watering for your Houseleek Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Also, ensure that the pot for your Houseleek Plant has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) diseases

Common diseases in Houseleeks (Sempervivum) are Crown and Stem Rot and Leaf Spot which are brought about by wetting of the center of the rosette.

Avoiding wetting the center of the rosette as it can lead to rotting of your Houseleek. Water from the bottom instead.

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) pests

Common pests in Houseleeks (Sempervivum) are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected Houseleek to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Are Houseleeks (Sempervivum) toxic?

Houseleeks (Sempervivum) are non-toxic to humans and pets. Houseleeks are safe to grow indoors.

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