Sempervivums! What's Going On?

Sempervivums! What’s Going On?

My garden of hypertufa troughs are blooming all over!

I am not sure if there are certain conditions going on this early summer, but my sempervivums or hens and chicks are blooming like crazy! Are yours doing the same? It seems that every one of mine is going to bloom this year. So of course, the mother hen will die.

I have had this happen many times before because semps are one of my most favorite plants. (Along with all of the succulents and sedum. ) But this year it seems that every one of them wants to reproduce.

Sempervivums - What's going on It's budding

That is a good thing and I want them to be happy and make many more little chicks. But I know the mother hen will die when it blooms, so even though I love to see the pretty flowers, I hate that it will soon die as the bloom fades.

It’s the Circle of Life so it must go on.

My garden seems to have more than usual of the elongating mother hens, who seemingly overnight grow a ten inch long stalk! I know that these are her blossoms and they are really beautiful. You can see in the photos that they are like a star and these are loved by bees and bumblebees. When I go out in the morning and it is really quiet, I can hear the buzzing all over the garden.

photo of semps

I really love this large hen with her clutch of little chicks all nestled together. They really make a nice tableau in my troughs or bowls. I enjoy how these all look together and contrast with the colors in the hypertufa pots and planters. I can get so involved adding this rock or that bit of colored sand to enhance her colors, gently lifting the chicks to nestle some tiny gravel there so their little “feet” don’t get wet.

For most of the year, the sempervivums are very flat looking and spread wide with the petals forming a crown of pointed petals. Sooner or later you can notice a slight rise in the center of the hen and you hope it is just some more growth occurring.

And then, suddenly she begins to swell upward and then the dreaded “Stalk” begins its climb. In some varieties, the buds are seen immediately, such as in the middle photo. But more often, you see the buds as the stalk gets taller.

I just want to snip that stalk off and make sure everything stays like it was, but no. There is nothing you can do. All will continue in due course.

Maybe I will be successful collecting the seeds that hopefully will result from these flowers. I have never had success yet from sowing the seeds.  I have been hopeful of some, but it turned out nothing came up. Or I needed to wait longer and just gave up too soon. And maybe a lot of mine are the babies which just continue growing in the hypertufa anyway.

I have seen packages of sempervivums seeds that say germination occurs between 6 weeks and 365 days! Oh my! I would forget that I even planted it after a whole year!

What luck have you had growing these seeds?  Are your semps blooming this year too?  More than usual?

Please check us out on Facebook. I’d like to see your photos too.

 

Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

 

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