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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
HEN AND CHICKS, HOUSELEEK
Sunset zones: 2-24. USDA zones: 4-8. Heat zones: 8-1.
Height 6 inches (15 cm). Width: 20 inches (50 cm).
Reddish-purple flowers on upright stems.
Succulent, fleshy stems form a rosette with some petals turning bright red in late summer and fall.
Poor, gritty, well-drained soil.
Root rosettes in spring or early summer.
Rainy Side Notes
This sempervivum’s new growth colors are a knockout! I imagine the breeder named it Mars for the hue of the red planet.
The common name houseleek came about because the succulents were grown on the roofs of houses to protect against thunderstorms. Although we now know a lightning rod is what works to protect our homes, we’ve come full circle and grow houseleeks on our green-roofs. How appropriate to grow ‘Mars’ above our heads to protect against Jupiter, the thunder-god!
I grow this little perennial in crevices and on top of a basalt rock wall. Beautiful red and chartreuse adorn this succulent’s new foliage in spring. The rosettes fade to shades of green, and by late summer, fall and into winter, the leaves are a lovely tint of burgundy.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.