Hen and chicks are one of the most popular plants among gardeners due to their ability to reproduce from their chicks. They are very easy to grow plants but sometimes out of nowhere hen chicks may start to grow tall and you would not understand the reason. But that can be an alarming sign, if not taken care of you might end up with a dead Hen and Chick plant. So first let’s understand why your hen and chick plant is growing tall?
Hen and chicks grow tall because of not getting enough light. Lack of light stretches the plant and if they are not treated then that can damage the hen and chicks. Usually, in search of light, they start to grow way faster but that is unhealthy growth.
When Hen and chicks are not able to get light then the plant is unable to get chlorophyll and due to low chloroplasts development, they start to stretch. Usually, hen and chicks face this problem when they are indoors.
When the Hen and chicks start to grow tall they bend towards the light source. They start to grow faster and there is evidently increased spacing between the two leaves. And due to this, the leaves lose their color as they lack chlorophyll.
Now that you know the reason why they grow tall let’s understand it in detail and fix them.
Fixing stretched hen and chick plants
When you keep the Hen and chicks in low light conditions. It can be indoor or outdoor and they are not getting a good amount of light then they stretch and grow leggy. To avoid this, it is important to give them a good amount of light every day.
For indoor conditions:
When you have placed them indoors it is important to take a look that the hen and chicks are getting good light throughout the day. As in this case, they might not be getting it that’s why you are reading this article. So what you should do is place the plant where they can get a good source of natural light throughout the day.
I keep all of my succulent collection near the window that helps the plants get good natural light and keep them ventilated throughout the day.
If you live in a region where it is impossible to give natural light, you can buy a few good quality grow lights. They are the best alternative for natural light and can help hen and chicks from further stretching.
You can buy good quality grow lights from amazon as they have many certified sellers (I am not an affiliate to amazon just sharing my personal experience).
If you have kept your plant outdoors then make sure to check whether it is lacking light. Then consider placing the hen and chicks in a place where they can get good sunlight for the whole day.
Do not place them directly under the sun (I prefer this) as that can cause sunburns to plant. Instead, place them under the shade or put a shade cloth over them. So that they can get indirect sunlight which will not burn the plants.
Cutting the stretched parts of Sempervivum
As the Sempervivums stretch, they cannot become compact by themselves. Therefore to keep them small and compact it is important to cut the stretched parts of the plants. For that take the clean scissors to avoid any rotting to the succulent.
Then start cutting the stems that are stretched out. While doing this make sure to keep four to five centimeters of stems to replant them. I prefer cutting the top and side parts of the plants so that hen and chicks keep them in shape.
Replanting the Hen and chicks
Now that you have fixed the hen and chicks it is time to replant the cuttings. This is one of the best abilities that sempervivums have to grow a new plant from the cuttings.
Take the cuttings and what I do is plant them the next day to give them time to grow the roots. But you can plant them right after cutting them too but I prefer the other way around.
Once you replant the cuttings just sprinkle a little bit of water around them just to help the roots to settle into the soil. Do not water too much as that might end up damaging the newly replanted cuttings.
How to care for Hen and Chick plants?
Sempervivum does not need a lot of care, they just need to be taken care of regularly. Here are a few ways you can keep your hen and chicks healthy.
1. Have a good Watering schedule
Watering is one of the most important factors in any plant’s healthy growth. Like every other succulent, Sempervivum also does great with less water but it is important to have a correct watering schedule. Less water does not mean not watering them at all.
Consider watering them once a week or another way is to wait until the soil is completely dry. The best way to understand Hen and chick water requirements is by placing a finger into the soil and checking if the soil is dry. If it is dry then that is an indication to water the plant.
2. Expose them to light daily
One of the main reasons for Hen and chicks to grow tall is not getting enough light. When they lack light they start to stretch and grow tall in search of light. Therefore it is essential to expose your plant to light daily.
If you are growing them indoors then try placing the plant near the window where they can get sunlight for a few hours daily. If your Sempervivum is outside then make sure that it is getting exposed to the sun daily.
3. Keep them in good quality soil
Having good quality soil is just like having a good home for the Hen and Chicks. Good quality well-draining soil will help to flush away all the excess water from the soil and will absorb just the required amount of water and will avoid moisture formation in soil. You can buy good quality soil from Amazon and Etsy (I am not an affiliate just sharing my opinion).
4. Have pots that have drainage holes
Hen and chicks like every other succulent do not like to sit in water as that can cause root rot. Therefore to avoid this it is very important to have pots that have drainage holes underneath. That will flush away the excess water from the pot.
5. Trim the excess grown part
To maintain the plant try regular trimming of the Sempervivum. These plants have a unique ability to grow from the cuttings that will eventually multiply the plants in your garden.
As I have mentioned earlier in this article, it is important to trim the plant with clean scissors to avoid further damage to the Hen and chicks. You can replant the cuttings after a day so that they can heal in that period.
The last way to care for the Hen and chicks is by fertilizing them once every month. Fertilizers provide all the essential nutrients to the plant that soil is not able to provide. This is a great way to grow a healthy and beautiful plant.
Remember you should not fertilize them during winters as most of the succulents go dormant in this season. The great way is to fertilize them just before the winter and let them be, that will enhance the healthy growth.
Final Thoughts on Hen and chicks plant growing tall
Hen and chicks are the most loved plants among the gardeners they tend to multiply if you have brought one eventually you will end up with many Hen and chicks. That’s the beauty of these plants, take care of these beauties and look for the signals they give to understand their needs.
I hope you have got all the answers you were looking for, if you have any queries make sure to leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as possible.