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Plants That Add Eye-Catching Winter Color

Written by Hilary on January 28th, 2009

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t have some outstanding color around your house and garden.

Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum soboliferum) is a sun loving perennial that grows up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and does very well in zones 5 to 10 which means it can take cold down to -10° F or -23.4 ° C and still do very well.

Now the Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) I’m talking about should not be confused with Hens and Chicks (Echeveria) which is an annual and hardy only to Zones 9 to 11.

Having the same common name can lead to some confusion between the two plants so make sure you are purchasing the correct variety (Sempervivum).

What makes Hens and Chicks so perfect is that they are not only succulents that have beautiful leaves that add both ornate interest and unique texture to your garden, but as the common name Hen and Chicks suggests, the mature plants produce new offsets that can be planted.

The mature plant, the hen, develops numerous offsets called chicks, which surround the mature plant until the offsets are mature enough to support themselves.

The chicks can be pulled or cut off and transplanted so you get many new plants for free. The hen actually benefits from the removal of offsets since much of its energy is used to supporting the chicks, so the entire process is very healthy for both hen and chick.

Hens and Chicks are also unique for their leaf shapes, textures, and colors which can range from green to blue, purple to pink and even gray.

Small rosettes of succulent leaves form colorful tidy evergreen mounds which will continue to multiply, creating a living carpet of color in your landscape.

They are perfect as a ground cover, in a rock garden, rock wall, decorative container, or even grown indoors provided they get enough light.

So if you’re in need of some color this winter, give these plants a try, you’ll really love them.

Link to: Climate Zones Maps

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine –

Have great week!


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