Old growth underneath hens and chicks

by Evan
(Bloomsburg, PA)

New growth on top of dead growth

New growth on top of dead growth

Hello There,
I have 3 hens and chicks and they all do the same thing. As they grow, each plant seems to keep a large amount of dead "undergrowth"(my term).

The new growth piles on top of the old and just keeps getting taller and taller. I thought these old dead undergrowths would fall off eventually but they never have.

I understand my soil is not up to par and I will be changing that in spring. Until then, I am wondering what to do. I feel it may keep them from being watered correctly since there is so much dead material.

I'm thinking in the spring I would replant in the new soil and try to get this old growth off. What do you think?
Thank you for the help!

Comments for Old growth underneath hens and chicks

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Totally Normal
by: Jacki

This is the typical growth habit, and there is no need to worry about the watering. Sempervivum have two types of roots; a long thick tap root, which delves down into the lower level of soil, and they also have fine hair roots that stay close to the surface. So either way, they have access to moisture.

Having said that, in some cases, such as extremely wet conditions, having the excess of old growth close to the stem can contribute to rot.

In the end it's a personal decision, whether to leave them on, or remove them. The plants don't care either way.

See more on remaking hens and chicks here.

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