'Hen & Chick'? 'Echeveria'? I have no clue!

by Zoe L
(Oxfordshire, UK)

Above View

Above View

This plant came from another local store, labeled as a 'Succulent' but with no further information.

I have looked and looked and I can just assume that it is a Hen and Chick plant (a chick at the moment as it is only about 6cm wide). I do not know if I am right though.

He is a pale green with almost sparkle in his leaves, which I assume are water or something?. The tips are a deep red and nearly a spike. He looks like a green rose!

The leaves and smooth and thick. Flat on top with a curve underneath.

I think maybe he could be a Sempervivium also? I really don't know!

And if I could find out the difference between Echeveria and Sempervivium?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Zoe, I think what you have is an Echeveria, possibly Echeveria agavoides.

The main differences between Echeveria and Sempervivum is where they originate.

Although similar in appearance, the Echeveria comes from warm climates like Mexico, and the Sempervivum originate in colder mountain climates, such as in Northern Europe. Sempervivum are much hardier, and can live outside in your climate in the winter, providing they are in a well drained soil, but Echeveria won't stand any frost.

When blooming, the differences are obvious. Echeveria sends up an elegant slender flower stalk with dangling bell like blooms, and are polycarpic - they will bloom many times during their life span.

Sempervivum will elongate a whole rosette which turns into a thick stalk with tubular or star like blooms on the top. After blooming, Sempervivum rosettes will die, leaving behind a cluster of motherless chicks to take her place.

Echeveria and Sempervivum both go by the common name of Hens and Chicks, among others, due to this feature. A gradually widening colony of clones will in some cases cover a lot of ground. Other varieties and species are quite solitary, seldom producing any chicks.

See the pages on how to grow Echeveria for more information on cultivation.


Comments for 'Hen & Chick'? 'Echeveria'? I have no clue!

Click here to add your own comments

May 09, 2011
by: Zoe L

Thank you! I can now label him up properly! And just to make sure.. he won't die after producing 'chicks'?

May 09, 2011
by: Jacki

Hi Zoe, barring some misadventure, no, this plant won't die after blooming.

It could live a very long time with the right care, such as planting it in well drained soil (never allow it to get waterlogged) and the brightest light you can.

Sometimes in the winter, grow lights will be necessary to keep this type of plant healthy and compact. Too little light makes them stretch to get more, ruining their shape.

Warm temperatures are essential too, above freezing at all times.

May 24, 2013
In my experience.
by: Anonymous

I'm actually at ace hardware right now. Thank you so much this really cleared it up.

In my experience I've found the more cacti-like and hardy a 'hen and chicks' are the more chicks it will put off. The echiveria are brod leafed and there leaves stand up more than others.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Echeveria.