How to Transplant “Hens and Chicks” (Sempervivum)

“Hens and Chicks” is the common name given to various plants that have larger  plants (hens) that produced smaller plants (chicks) as the plant spreads over the ground. The most common variety of Hens and Chicks are from the plant species of Sempervivum or Houseleeks. The plant is considered a ground cover and a succulent.

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Each summer the plant will produce blooms and spread along the ground, up walls, or over the sides of a flower pot. Many types of Sempervivum exist and each looks slightly different. Using different varieties can help gardeners achieve unique looks to flower beds, patio planters, or in garden walls.

Sempervivum-along-with-other-plants-in-displayMany varieties are sold locally at garden supply stores, Home Depot, Walmart, or online stores like Gurneys. Since the plant reproduces so well, it can be shared with other gardeners quite easily. Transplanting should be accomplished in early or late summer before the threat of first frost to allow the roots to take hold.

Propagation of Sempervivum

The longer the “Hens and Chicks” are in a location the larger the coverage area. The plants reproduce by seeds after the plant blooms and vegetatively by offsetting around the base of the rosette. This creates the hens and chicks effect. As the plant matures, more chicks are produced and each develops it’s own root system and becomes independent of the parent plant. Once the root structure has grown, the chicks can be separated from the parent plant and transplanted to new locations in your garden. The following will provide instructions for transplanting a section of “Hens and Chicks” from a mature plant.


Transplanting “Hens and Chicks”

Step 1: Find a location in full sun and clear away any debris or vegetation.

Step 2: Turn over the soil to loosen and allow the roots of the Sempervivum to take hold after transplanting.

Step 3: Using a shovel, carefully remove a clump of the rosettes for transplanting.


Step 4: Place rosettes in loosened soil and firmly pack and cover the roots.


Step 5: Water the Sempervivum generously.


The plants should feel right at home in the new location. During dry seasons, water the plants every few days until the roots are secure in the ground (about 7-10 days). Transplanting this type of ground cover is easy and can be very successful. Depending on how much sun the plant receives daily will produce a different look to the succulent and eventually the plant may look slightly different than the parent rosettes.

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Jeremy represents a husband and wife team working together to establish a quick, visual guide to assist others in ordinary tasks. Together they are the founders and editors of this site. In short, with their experiences combined, they are a jack-of-all-trades. For further information visit His and Hers DIY | About.

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