Sempervivums are intriguing little plants and can be grown outdoors or inside as a houseplant. They are succulents that form a mat of neat rosettes with tufted leaves. Known as the cobweb houseleek, Sempervivum arachnoideum develops a spider’s web of white hair that criss-crosses across the top of each rosette making them appear silvery in colour. In the wild this ‘webbing’ helps protect the plants from drought.
From June – August tiny pink flowers rise from the centre of the rosettes. Once the main rosette has flowered the rosette usually fades and dies but other rosettes take over quickly.
In their natural habitat, sempervivums grow in between rocks in mountainous areas, so they would be perfect to use in a rockery or gravel bed, stone sink or alpine garden setting that is well-drained and sunny.
The common names for Sempervivum plants include houseleeks, as they were known to root on the roofs of houses. Today they make good specimens to grow on shallow living roof displays. They are also known as Hens and Chicks, as the mother plant sends out many offsets that grow closely around her. These offsets can be replanted and grown on to form new clusters.
The literal meaning of Sempervivum is ‘always alive’ because they are tolerant of extreme temperatures and drought which makes them extremely hardy if given the correct conditions.
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Brand: Brookside Nursery
Supplied as: 3 Large Plug Plants
Habit: Compact Upright
Eventual Height: 5cm (2")
Eventual Spread: Compact cluster of rosettes
Position: Full Sun outdoors. Sunny windowsill inside
Primary Flower Colour: Pink
Suitable for Hanging Baskets? No
Suitable for Patio Containers? Yes
Scented? Not Scented
Plant Type: Hardy Perennial
Botanical name: Sempervivum arachnoideum