Hen and Chicks

hen and chicks rosette isolated on white

Hen and chicks (Echeveria) are low-growing succulent plants that form clusters of rosettes.  The foliage can be smooth or hairy in colors that range from pale green, through deep purple.

When shown in full sun, some appear to be a luminous pink color.

They are exotic houseplants with the large rosettes being the "hens" and the smaller rosettes the "chicks."

These plants can grow to be 4 inches tall and 10 or more inches wide and produce flowers on a stalk.

The hybrid types are called the "False Rose." They make wonderful mothers day gifts because they are easy-to-care for. Plus they look great as a table top decoration.

They are drought-tolerant succulents which means they store water in their leaves.  This process enables them to survive and thrive in hot, dry environments. 

Hen and chicks can easily be grown in containers to make excellent, carefree  patio and indoor houseplants.   To be successful growing them, you must use a porous, fast-draining soil, provide plenty light and follow the basic rule never, never over-water.

How to Care for Hen and Chicks Plant

Light:  Place in bright indirect light (not direct sunlight). Filtered light from south, east, or west window. Echeveria can be scorched when exposed to too much light.  They may become withered and tan and have a bleached-out appearance.  If this happens, reduce light exposure.  If your plants remain green and elongated, increase the light.

Watering: Water thoroughly, drain off and empty excess water. Water again when the soil is dry 1/2 inch below the surface.  Never allow plant to sit in water as this will cause root rot and kill your plant.  Shallow clay pots are ideal for these plants because they allow the excess moisture to evaporate. Water plants sparingly during the dormant periods. Use just enough water to keep the roots alive and never allow them to become dehydrated and shrivel up.

Temperature: Keep Echeveria succulents in temperatures between 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

Fertilizers:  Feed lightly in spring and summer with a flowering houseplant formula, these contain low amounts of nitrogen.  Also, use only half or one-fourth of the recommended dosage.

Pests: Keep an eye over the plant for mealybugs and aphid infestations. If discovered in the early stage, spray the affected plants with a strong spray of water or dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe the affected parts. Use appropriate insecticide if necessary.

Grooming: Cut off flower stalks and the blooms and Remove dead leaves from the bottom of the plant as it grows. This helps to keep the plant attractive and rids pockets that may become a habitat for pests. It also helps to prevent fungus.

Propagate, Plant roots easily. simply split off the chickens from the parent plant and transplant them into well-draining soil.

Back to Top

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.