Hens-and-chicks hatch easily indoors or outside. Known as architectural plants, gardeners value hens-and-chicks for foliage, not flowers. These succulents boast beautiful texture and structure, and they will withstand your garden’s most brutal conditions.
Hens-and-chicks are part of the family known botanically as sempervivium, meaning “forever living.” Hardy hens-and-chicks thrive on neglect. You can plant them in poor soil. You can forget to water them for time on end. You can leave them out in the frost and cold. These practically bulletproof plants will respond by producing babies. Chicks.
Today in the garden, if you have hens-and-checks, you might like to separate some chicks from hens to propagate plants, adding to your brood of succulents. To separate hens-and-chicks, simply pinch off the small plant, looking for tiny white roots. Then poke the chick into another container, the soil of your landscape, a living wall, or anywhere you want a bit of green life.
Hens-and-chicks are ideal for baskets that dry out quickly. Do you have some hanging baskets that are empty? Poke some hens-and-chicks into the growing medium, adding some to the sides of the baskets, too. You’ll love the results, and if you forget to water the baskets, the hens-and-chicks will forgive you. Unlike many hanging baskets, the hens-and-chicks can survive without much water.
• For more about hens-and-chicks in baskets, click this link.
In Denver, when temperatures dip into the coldest degrees of winter, bring your containerized plants into your garage or basement to spare them. Hens-and-chicks can show signs of desiccation, but often they will bounce back with some water and some reprieve from wintery conditions.
Plants outside, even in Denver or other zones with harsh winter elements, hens-and-chicks will surprise you with their durability. Once established, your hens-and-chicks will multiply. They might be an acquired taste, but hens-and-chicks are good eggs.
• For a list with more drought-tolerant plants, click this link.
• For more about hens-and-checks, click this link.
••• “Cultivate your corner of the world.
You grow your garden; your garden grows you.” •••
• Colleen Smith’s gift book “Laid-Back Skier” makes a charming gift! This whimsical, inspirational book includes original illustrations of ski bunnies and encouragement for life’s ups and downs.
Watch “Laid-Back Skier’s” brief YouTube video here.
• Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo”—a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize — is available in hardcover or e—book.
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