I picked up a new Hens and Chicks succulent last week and I’m so in love with her; I named her Helen. I always name my plants because it makes me more thoughtful about their care and need for attention. It’s one thing to say, “I need to water the plants” but it’s another to say, “I need to take care of Helen.” I don’t have a green thumb by nature so naming them helps me stay attentive and keep them alive. Hens and Chicks are gorgeous succulents and one of my favorites to have around so I’m sure to give them proper care.
I don’t have much of an outdoor space at the moment so Helen is living in a pot but Hens and Chicks make amazing ground cover if you’re looking to fill in an outdoor space.
Hens and chicks like Helen are members of the Sempervivum group of succulents. If you’re not able to grow them outdoors as ground covering they also grow well indoors as long as you can provide them rocky or dry conditions and a lot of sunlight.
Why are they called Hens and Chicks?
These succulents are named Hens and Chicks because of their rosette shape and the habit of the main plant (Hens) to produce a lot of little off-shoot babies (Chicks).
How to grow Hens and Chicks
If you’re looking for an easy succulent to grow, Hens and Chicks is perfect for you. You can find them in most plant nurseries (I found Helen at a local farmer’s market) or you can order them from Amazon. I’ve ordered plants from Amazon before and never had a problem although you are buying them without being able to see them first so there’s always a small risk with that.
Hens and Chicks don’t require much fertilizer unless it’s grown in a pot like mine. If you’re growing your Hens and Chicks in a pot then it needs a little fertilizer. You can use a liquid fertilizer like this one from Fox Farm and dilute it with a little water. Otherwise, they don’t need much. Hens and Chicks don’t need much water but they do need full sun. If you’re growing them indoors make sure you’re able to give it a solid 8 hours or more of sunlight per day to keep it happy and healthy.
They also need very little soil and do best in rocky or gritty soil with great drainage. If you’re keeping it in a pot like I do then line the bottom of the pot with gravel or other small rocks. They do well with other succulents so feel free to get a large pot and combine a nice mix of all your favorites. Hens and Chicks play very nice with other plants.
I’m hoping to move Helen to a bigger home soon so I can add other succulents around her and give her space to grow. I’m thinking about maybe doing a low wide basin I can keep on my living room table as a natural rocky centerpiece. I think that would look really nice and my home needs more green this spring.