Hen & Chicks Inside?

jamiedolan(4/5)October 17, 2010

Can I grow some Hen & Chicks inside with my new Cactus? Do the Hen & Chicks need a dormancy period?

I've searched online and some things call Hen & Chicks house plants, but I've found people call things houseplants that really must have a dormancy period (i.e. chinese elm bonsai).

I won't bring in hen and chicks if they are going to end up dying without a dormancy period.



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If you're speaking of Sempervivums and the like, they probably do better outside - preferably covered with snow - when it's cold for a long time with freezing winds.

Winter is, I believe, their dormant period. That's when all of my Semps (which are outside, along with cold-hardy Sedums, too) do nothing, while they wait for Spring and another year of living.

I'm not sure (others will know - I'm still learning), but I think Semps need cold in their culture.

Since you are into plants in a big way, I trust you'll excuse me for suggesting you'd do well to start learning proper names (e.g. 'Sempervivum'), as this question about common-and-inspecific 'Hens and Chicks' could be about a number of different types of plants, from Sempervivum (most of the time that's what is being written/spoken about) to Echeveria, Pachyphytum, Sedum, Graptopetalum....ad nauseum.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 8:12PM
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Thanks, yes, Sempervivum. I saw some more people online selling Sempervivum today as houseplants.

I'm thinking your right and they do need the dormancy period. I kind of suspect they are short lived if they skip the dormancy period.



    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

Well, I grew S. 'Oddity' for a number of years under fluorescent lights without any problems.
I actually purchased the plant from a mail order outfit out of California. I always thought the plant was tender and was shocked when I found out the plant was hardy!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:00PM
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Andrew Scott

Hi Jamie,
You can grow them indoors. A lot of people will bring in potted hens and chicks so the pot wont crack. I have done it but I dont grow them any longer. My landlords mother does the same thing. She has a bunch of them that she put into a strawberry pot.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I guess my point (#2, anyway) is that Semps are primarily an outside plant - unless it's necessary, for whatever reason, to bring them in, it's in the plant's best interest to leave them outside for the winter. Of course, I've never done this with Semps in pots, only ones in the ground, so maybe in a pot one should bring them in.

And the pot shouldn't crack, even in a freeze, right, as long as it's not sealed up?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:43PM
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Here in SE Asia I grow them under T5 light and they get direct sun only on weekends when I am not at work. My climate here is hot and humid throughout the year and temperature is more or less the same for day and night. I place them in my air conditioned room at night though. So far since I got two in Feb this year one, had since died off due to over watering I guess but the other one is still doing great except that it has lose the colour and turned green because I cannot provide it with cool temperature.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:20PM
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Mine were outdoors (in pots) all winter with no problem. And my coworker lived in Juneau Alaska for years and said they grew great there! I'm hoping to have most of mine in a new bed next year, but I'm not quite ready for that yet (and either are they). :-D

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:14PM
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With what you say, and what I've read here and elsewhere, it's more proof for these plants needing the cool/cold temperatures.


All you have to do, really, is scratch a crevice into the ground and drop the rootball in. Fill the crevice with soil leftovers and chin dribblings of various kinds and they'll grow well for you.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Andrew Scott

I have lost 2 strawberry jars outside during the winter. I would agree that they do fine through the winter outside. I'm just saying that I have also had them do fine indoors. If anything to fine! One reason I gave up on them. I got tired of having them pop up everywhere. I had them planted in a shoe and had them pop up everywhere.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:56AM
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Hi cactusmcharris,

Semperviviums original from the alpine mountains so they are exposed to the elements from hot sun to snow. The cold bring out it's colours. I have thought of placing them in the fridge at night to see if they get back their colours. At the moment, one of the chick is flowering but not the hen.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 4:31AM
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Here are a few shots from yesterday. The only ones I know the names of are the last - Sedum spathulifolium (the two on the left and center) and Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco' on the right.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 10:57AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I have been growing them for years. They are an Alpine plant as Jeff said, If you want to risk losing them because they bloom before making babies, Then bring them in doors.

If you want to do what is best for them and have them increase then find a way to keep them outdoors. You can keep them on a covered patio if you have a pot that will break from freeze and thaw if it gets moist.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:55PM
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Here is mine, the chick is going to bloom.

And I just got this

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 12:21AM
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