Picture of Planting Hens and Chicks
Hens and chicks are hearty and an excellent plant for a new or beginning gardener. Most can handle temperatures down to -5 Fahrenheit, and can be used as a houseplant, outdoor plant in a pot or can be used as an outdoor ground cover.

Hens and Chicks are shaped like an artichoke with rosettes that vary in size and color, depending on the species they can be bright red, grey and purple, or green. Being they are succulent plants they have high light and low water requirements, since they are able to store water in their leaves.

You can find them as big as 12 inches around and as small as 2 inches at full maturity. Some are 'bearded' with fine or down like hairs and some will appear to be covered in spider webs, depending on what kind of Hens and Chicks you have.

They reproduce via branches or offshoots. As the rosette grows, it puts out shoots or stems, if these shoots get long enough to find soil, they will root and create new rosettes. The first rosette is the "hen", the stems or shoots are the "chicks".
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Step 1: To Plant Hens and Chicks You Will Need:

Picture of To Plant Hens and Chicks You Will Need:
Your choice of succulent plants found in many Lawn and Garden Shops or just ask a friend who has some Hens for some chicks. I am using Golden Sedum here.

Any kind of planter a minimum of 4  6 inches deep or a sunny area in your yard.
Garden Charcoal
Potting Soil, specific to Citrus and Cactus

Step 2: Prepare Your Planter

Picture of Prepare Your Planter
I used my container gardening method to get started, but this is a matter of choice and is not necessary with Hens and Chicks.

Start with a little garden bark in the bottom of the planter and a toilet paper core.

Add some Garden Charcoal.

Place dirt around the tube filling your pot to around one inch from the top.

Fill the tube with more garden bark and then add some gravel on top to aid in keeping the plant off of the soil to help avoid rotting.

JohnMac5 years ago
These are unusual will they grow in a desert climate?
They will thrive in anything that isn't heavily waterlogged
Help! I found these great looking plans Red Heart Hens and Chicks. I don't want to do it wrong. My wife and I live in Western PA. Can we find Cactus Palm and Citrus Soil here.

I found the planters, pictured here, here at home, Are these inside or outside plants or both?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


They are out door plants too and love direct sunlight
kat.hinkle16 months ago

Please what is the purpose of the toilet paper tube?

Rufustwo10 months ago

Good info on hen and chicks. I have many of these and am just now making a succulent display in a large bowl with 2 smaller containers set inside,I need to purchase more plants to fill this and am wanting the other colored chicks,OR is there a way to make the green ones turn colors?????????? Will send photo when my Bowl is finished.thanks for info.


bccf11 months ago

My hen and chicks are growing tall and look more like roosters. I've tried just pinching off the tops, but that still looks bad. Any ideas what I should do to keep them short and full?

bobm7203 years ago
I have just planted some of these. One of the rosettes flowered. How do you get them to do this. I have about 30 individual plants but only one small one flowered. Any help is welcome.
pkuhn13 years ago
how long does it normally take for a chick just plucked from its mom to take adult form. i picked a chick up at a garden center and the employee told me to just put it in soil. ive never grown these nor have i ever seen them. i am unframilure with them.
please help.
diamar795 years ago
Ohh, so if all the leaves are falling off then I'm probably overwatering it?? Is it salvagable?
More than likely. try transplanting it into a new pot and soil. I have a lot of these in several varieties. I have even had them fall off the deck and sit on the ground for months before I could pick them up. I have just picked them up and sat them on the soil and they take off. These are so much fun to have.
I love the term "hens and chicks". So cute! I always wanted to grow these succulents, but I don't have a window that receives enough light to sustain them.
Deewheat5 years ago
I have five varieties of these. I love plants that thrive on neglect LOL!
im4tooele5 years ago
I had those in California.
hsmomof25 years ago
I have been afraid to try something, but have wanted to try gardening on a beginners level. This looks like something I could try with my kids.
my family has a whole pot of them I think that they are really cool and love them!
chauntee25 years ago
I love hens and chicks;)
juvinurse5 years ago
My mother loved these plants and had slews of them
aunty5 years ago
Again, a very job.
DebH57 (author)  aunty5 years ago
Thank you Aunty
Bratillia5 years ago
These look unusual but very cool
DebH57 (author)  Bratillia5 years ago
Thank you
AvAngel5 years ago
Now this is different, will they grow in any geographical area?
DebH57 (author)  AvAngel5 years ago
Hens and chicks will pretty much grown anywhere they can find a little bit of soil and take root Av
Goodhart5 years ago
I remember at home (some 30 + years ago) my Dad had them growing out of chinks in a retaining wall (our driveway was about 9 feet below the backyard level at the point it entered the garage in the back), and if one fell out we'd just find a bit of dirt seeping through the wall, poke a little hole in it, and shove it in, and they normally grew.

Your way pretty much guarantees them to grow though ;-)
DebH57 (author)  Goodhart5 years ago
You know Goodhart I don't think there is anything easier to grow than Hens and Chicks and they will grow almost anywhere they can find a bit of soil to root in. Thanks for commenting!
Goodhart DebH575 years ago
I agree, they are like dandelions, only not so destructive :-) (I have seen dandelions break up concrete sidewalks already)
bethmez5 years ago
Another great idea from Deb
DebH57 (author)  bethmez5 years ago
Thanks Beth
Great instructable Deb!
DebH57 (author)  treesneedtobehugged5 years ago
Thanks so much Trees!
CAWildWoman5 years ago
This is really cool, I thnk I could do this.
DebH57 (author)  CAWildWoman5 years ago
Its very easy to do and maintain/ Thanks for commenting
I have some of these but never knew what they were, thanks!
DebH57 (author)  AmazingGracie5 years ago
You are welcome Grace, thanks for commenting.