Why I bring my hens and chicks succulents indoors
I love succulents! Especially hens and chicks. Sometimes I just want some indoors too! Especially when it's fall and I know winter is coming. I'm in Wisconsin and sometimes the winters are too harsh on these succulents so I like bringing some inside as a backup plan! The USDA hardiness zones for these traditional hens and chicks are from 3 to 8. They are usually very tough and I've had them survive in the harshest winters outdoors. But very rarely, some don't!
Hens and chicks are my favorite succulent. They are officially called sempervivum tectorum. In the image below, the hen plant is the larger plant and the smaller ones are the chick plants. They look like a little rosette and are so cute! The little runners and the small plants are called offsets (of the main plant).
For more information about hens and chicks growing outdoors, take a look at the post called Hens and Chicks.
These hens and chicks grow best in what some would consider bad soil. If potting these succulents, the best soil is a potting mix that is a cacti (cactus) or succulent potting mix. It is grainy, often has small rocks in it, some sand and is well draining. You do NOT want soils with high organic matter or that retain water or have fertilizer in them. These plants truly thrive on neglect. One of the few things that will kill them quickly is if they are overwatered. The soil must be well-draining soil and the pot must have good drainage. If the soil stays too moist, it will cause root rot and the plant dies. Also, these hens and chicks require little soil since they do not have large roots. You also don't need a fancy container, the plain clay ones work well, but, I'll admit I like a cute planter!
Hens and chicks look great in a cement planter. It gives them more of a natural element when you bring them indoors in a cement container. I usually have containers of succulents outside and I bring them in for the winter. The containers have a good drainage hole (because rain outside can drown them otherwise). They do great as a table centerpiece on the patio then before it gets really cold, I bring them inside.
Honestly, all I did was add just a little fresh dirt on top. These things survived our winter. The winter with three 'cold days'. Where school was canceled because it was -35 degrees or colder. I truly didn't enjoy that past winter! After freshening up the soil, I brought this succulent planter indoors.
Indoor Sun requirements
Providing enough light is one of the most important elements to successfully overwintering these succulents indoors. A south facing window with the closest you can get to full sun is best. However, I've had mine in a sunny window in other sides of my home and they did fine!
I've also included some other ideas. Bring them indoors! These plants are just soooo cute. And, you see them everywhere in plastic versions. They are tough enough to bring inside! I don't personally keep them inside for a long time but a month or so has never been a problem for them (or me). The more light they get inside, the longer they will be fine. I have had them in a darker bathroom so I just switched them out every couple of weeks. Just plant the old ones outside and bring in some nice strong new ones.
How to plant a hens and chicks 'chick'.
Succulents are so easy to replant. Just grab them and pull them out of the dirt. They usually just have a little root that connects them to the larger plant. The larger plants are the mother hen and it's a good idea to keep the tiny chicks attached.
Or, if the chicks are a little bigger, just take it, and put it in some dirt. Make sure you grab the chick's own roots and gently push the root into the dirt. And please don't water too often. Overwatering kills them and is the biggest issue to them surviving. This plant truly survives on neglect.
Making a centerpiece with wine or margarita glasses and hens and chicks succulents
Looking for a centerpiece? Just grab a few glasses and line them up on your table. This isn't a long term container but they sure are cute as decor for a while!
Apothecary jar as a succulent container
Sorry, I digressed. Another idea and I put this in my bathroom. I purchased a small apothecary jar with a lid. Then I put a big 'hen' in it. Isn't it cute?
I love my hens and chicks! They are such tough and cute succulents. I have lots and they keep multiplying.
Enjoy the summer. Happy planting!
Other Succulent containers and blog posts
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