When Do Hens & Chicks Bloom?

bmurphyfl(z4 VT)May 14, 2003

The little plant stake/description that came with my hens & chicks doesn't say what time of the year that they bloom. They just say Sempervivum Hybrids and then have planting instructions.

Does anyone know when they generally start blooming?

Also I've tried finding pictures of blooming sempervivum but I'm not having any luck. Does anyone have a good link with pictures of blooms?



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maine_gardener(Z 5 Me)

Mine bloom mid july here in Maine.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 6:32AM
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dawei39(Bronx, NYC)

Personally I would not want my hens to bloom because once it blooms that one is finished - it will die - I have had them for two or three years before one of them bloomed - I would not say it is like some plants that have a certain time to bloom - I think they will bloom when they reach a certain maturity - Just hope they don't all bloom at once or you will be out of them. In fact that is why I keep making the chicks start out on their own, so that when the hen dies one of the chicks will be able to take it's place.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 2:23PM
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bmurphyfl(z4 VT)


I had assumed that a chick would become a hen and send out other chicks before it bloomed and died. Is that a wrong assumption? Do chicks sometimes bloom before sending out other chicks (aka becoming a hen)?


    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 3:01PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I am not an expert so here is my experience with these little wonders. I had a common H&C given to me that has gone crazy it is green with a red tip and solid maroon in the winter. It did not bloom for 6 six years but I kept seperating the larger ones from the babies and it would start to put out more babies when I finally ran out of room and they became very tight the larger ones began to bloom and die.

I loved them so much I decided to purchase some other varieties. I order 20 different ones this winter. Well anyone that was in my PA this winter you know we had so much snow I did no know where the rocks were nor was I going to attempt to plant anything. So I put them all in a large round pot indoors and put them in my makeshift plant room. They continued to make babies all winter and it became very tight in the container and by Feb. they started to bloom.

So I think two things will bring on the bloom cycle age and being crowded.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2003 at 4:20PM
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I think stress may cause it to bloom too. I went in with several people on a group order for small plugs of several varieties last year. I had 8 different varieties bloom out (no offsets) and they were very small plugs. they were planted with lots of room to grow. A few other people had some of theirs bloom out that were in that order.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 10:06PM
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that's about the size of it- when they outgrow their home, they bloom, and thereby try to spread themselves by seeds beyond the confines of their soil pocket...plus, the dying hen leaves mulch for the chicks- and space to grow in. if you WANT them to grow, try packing them in really tight the year before, and the oldest ones ought to bloom.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2003 at 3:00PM
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lisazone6_ma(z6 MA)

Murph - I think I have pics of mine that bloomed but I can't link them here. I'll try and post it on the perennials forum in the gallery.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 10:39AM
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lisazone6_ma(z6 MA)

I finally got the pic posted over at the perennials gallery - I couldn't find it!! I have no idea what variety these are, but they bloomed for me, then died. Pretty flowers tho!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 10:15AM
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ljama98(Zone 6 NY)

Wow, the flowers are beautiful! I never knew that these plants bloomed at all. This is the first year I planted them but I put them in a spot where they could spread forever without running out of space. Guess I'll have to buy a bunch and stick them in a pot to see what happens.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2003 at 8:28AM
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Cinster(5 CNY)

Where can I go to get some information on Hens & Chicks? I had 3 pots of them left for me when I purchased my new home and don't know a thing about them?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 1:48PM
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It was mentioned up above that stress might be a cause for bloom. I think that might be the case with mine. I was given a clump of H&C and now two weeks later the main one is sending up a nice bloom. I'm sad though to hear that it means its going to die now. :(

    Bookmark   June 2, 2004 at 5:36PM
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If you prune the "bloom shoot" back BEFORE it blooms, will it keep it from dying? Also, do you split these things like you split hostas? I am SICK of hostas (have a bajillion of them), but you have to say this for them - they ARE tough, geesh!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2004 at 2:43PM
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3 to 4 yrs old

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 8:50AM
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i have a question, i have hens and chicks, have had them for prolly like 5 to 10 years, and they have never bloomed not a single one, these plants have been through, droughts without watering, theyve just sit there in the same spot for that time, i have sorta seperated a few in some old pots, that had formerly had old dirt from other plants that have died, the hens and chicks themselves are big, and cover the entire surface of the soil in most of the pots, they are healthy and green as well, why no blooms, seriously not even one, any help would be muchly appreciated

    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 12:58PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

There is just variation among all the types. I too have some pots, overflowing and crowded, and no bloom. On the other hand, I had a S. octopodes, a single rosette, bloom with no chicks, while another octopodes (in another pot) sent out its long stolons and chicks.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 8:15PM
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I have one hen with 7 chicks but instead of the mother, one of the chick about an inch in size is going to bloom.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 9:48PM
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I just started my (very) small collection of hens n chicks. Have had only two varieties for the last couple of years that have mostly died out in their strawberry jars. So I just got a few more named varieties. Hope to have some babies for trade later this year. I read they bloom at maturity around 3 years then the hen dies. The babies carry on though so you keep them going like that.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 5:01PM
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This was taken just today, it was well hidden by our honey suckle vine.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Is it possible to plant the blooms like you would a seed once it stats dying off

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:20PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Here are some Sempervivum arachnoideum blooming on my deck in full sun.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:33PM
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