Sempervivum heuffelii - Grow by crown division

My Online Plant Order: True Sempervivum Heuffelii

I finally did it! I have ordered plants online and received the shipment. This was such an exciting thing to do and I have done it. Ordering things online is pretty common and I have ordered supplies, and clothes and different items. But I have never ordered anything ALIVE! But when I had to have some Sempervivum heuffelii, I knew that if I wanted them, it would be necessary to order through a nursery. Sorry, but not sorry, around here I can’t really depend on getting a certain variety or type when everything is labeled “Succulent variety.” I am sure you can identify with that!

My first online plant order - I had to have Sempervivum heuffelii

Mountain Crest Gardens is the online nursery that I decided would be where I would place my order. ( I am not an affiliate nor am I writing this as a paid endorsement. This is just my opinion.) Their website is very informative and has such nice photos, it even helps me to identify plants on an everyday basis anyway. So when I finally decided to take the plunge, I went through them. Admittedly, the 20% discount they were running for Forth of July helped, plus free delivery. Decision made! And right there was the Sempervivum heuffelii that I wanted!

Unboxing My First OnLine Plant Order - Sempervivum heuffelii x36!

Why did I want these so badly?  First of all, I love sempervivum and Hens and Chicks are one of the most favorite plants I grow. I just love the way they have the huddling babies growing from under the Hen sending out stems or stolons with chicks at the end. Some spaces I have seen have them growing as a blanket covering wide areas, and I have always wanted to have that too. Of course, I love it when they blanket the top of a hypertufa trough too.

Propagation with Sempervivum Heuffelii

These particular varieties of sempervivum have a different way of making their pups or chicks. Instead of sending them out on a stolon (that little branch that extends the chick out from under the Mother Hen), these heuffelii grow out from the central crown of the hen. It is like they are peeping out and growing between the leaves of the Mother Semp. This is called crown division. 

An example of the crown division on the Upper right

I know I have “accidentally” had this type before since they grew in such a huge mat of rosettes, but at that time, I never knew they were a different variety of sempervivum. Purchasing at these local garden centers here, like Lowe’s and Home Depot and Walmart, the tag will say “succulent” if I am lucky, even “foliage plant.” And even if there is a more specific tag, was it moved from another pot? Who knows?

We have all groaned at that label, haven’t we?

Are These Hardy Succulents?

Perfectly hardy for my Ohio weather! Yes!  As they are labeled by Mountain Crest Gardens, it shows -20°F and -30°F for their temperature range so I am covered for my Zone 6 area. These Heuffelii will need to get into the ground as soon as possible and I am not quite ready with more new hypertufa containers yet. It is possible to grow these as an indoor plant, but they don’t do as well. All of the hardy outdoor succulents need the strong light and sunshine from outdoors. Maybe you have special grow-lights that shine like a thousand suns, but I have just enough light for my tender succulents, so I don’t need to find something else to put inside.

An example of the crown division on the Upper right

You may have some of these Sempervivum heuffelii and just don’t know it. When I look back at old photos, and believe me, I have many old photos, I can look at the old sempervivums I had and recognize that they may have been the heuffelia. But I didn’t know that at the time. I just had an affinity for those mats of hens and chicks and loves them.

Next time I am at the Lowe’s and other local garden centers, I am going to be on the lookout for the Sempervivum heuffelii. Chances are very unlikely that they would be marked as heuffelii, but I may be able to recognize them just by the way they are popping out the chicks.

Sempervivum tectorum

If you see a lady pushing a cart loaded to the top with Hens and Chicks, it’ll probably be me. Stop and give me hand! LOL


  1. Your first picture show them growing in pea gravel. Do you have some type of soil under your pea gravel or just the grit from the gravel?

    1. I have mine growing in pea gravel just as the top dressing. There is soil underneath there but putting the hens nesting on top of pea gravel helps them drain well. But I also have a lot of them growing well in mulchy beds that have super excellent draining properties. They really grow anywhere as long as they don’t sit in dampness and soggy soil. Some of those big ones have long roots under there!

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