The word arachnoideum refers to spiders, which is how this "Hen and Chicks" got its name. It produces a soft covering of whitish hairs that look like webbing (you may also find it sold under the name 'Cobweb'). The cute rosettes of blue-gray leaves are modest in size, growing ¾–1″ wide before sending up leafy stalks with rose-colored flowers in summer. This compact species makes an interesting feature in containers and adds contrast to a collection of other forms and colors.
The name of this genus was derived by Pliny from semper vivo and means, literally, live forever. Although each leaf rosette dies after flowering, there always seems to be an abundance of new offsets (the "chicks") to take its place. These fleshy, evergreen plants are invaluable, carefree elements for troughs, rock gardens, or wall crevices. They are content in average to poor soil as long as it is very well-drained and in full sun. It's hard to limit yourself to just one variety.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
CULTURE: Sempervivum plants need full sun. Plants prefer average to rather poor, sandy or rocky soil, which must drain quickly. Do not fertilize. Space 6" apart. Plants have few problems except when soil is too heavy or too damp. In Europe, plants are often grown tucked into corners of rooftops, without the benefit of any soil at all. That led to another common name, Houseleeks.
SUGGESTED USE: In rock gardens, trough gardens, wall crevices, dry gardens, edging, in strawberry jars or other containers.
"Sempervivum" means "lives forever," which plants seem to do under the correct conditions. The original rosette of leaves dies after it flowers, two, three, or more years after planting. But by then, new offsets are already there to take the place of the mother plant. "Hens and Chickens" refers to the fact that a mature clump reminds one of a hen surrounded by her chicks.