Hens and Chicks Varieties

Hens and Chicks, or Sempervivum tectorum, are succulents that make you smile. The name is fun in itself. Sempervivum translates to "live forever," a nod to the plant's easy-care toughness. The common name, Hens and Chicks, refers to the small rosettes that form (chicks) from the mother rosette (the hen). These plants also are evergreen perennials, grow outside or inside in many regions and use little water.

So, how do you choose the best Hens and Chicks variety for your landscape or container? You might prefer one texture over another, a more tightly packed rosette or a looser one, or multiple colors. You can't go wrong with any of these cute succulents, but here are a few of our favorites, all grown by breeder Chris Hansen. He selected the succulents based on seasonal color and texture, plus other attributes to create a collectible Chick Charms series. Here are some of our favorites:

Different Hens and Chicks Colors

Most Hens and Chicks varieties show off more than one color at a time, and the plants often change colors based on the season or the amount of light they receive. Enjoy some of our favorite colorful varieties:

Strawberry Kiwi is one of the top sellers because of its built-in color contrast of kiwi green in the center and strawberry red along the edges. Yes, it looks good enough to eat!
Chocolate Kiss has a color about as close to a chocolate cake as you can get. The dark brown to burgundy rosettes also get large – up to 12 inches in diameter.
Gold Nugget is perfect if you prefer some bright orange in a houseplant or garden. It is the world's first Sempervivum with "gold" foliage.
Watermelon Ripple turns the Sempervivum color wheel upside down, with deep red-burgundy color near the rosette center and light green on the tips.
Cherry Berry has green at the base and increasingly red and gold color on the ends of the rosettes as they get more sunshine.

Fast Growing Hens and Chicks

If you're anxious for chicks, choose a variety that spreads a little more quickly. These all are known for how fast they produce "hens" and spread.

Cotton Candy rosettes are small and tight and they have nearly white cobwebbed centers that hold in moisture.
Mint Marvel has tight little rosettes that grow to no more than 4 inches around and chicks that appear on short "stems" in a tight cluster. The mint-colored pads have a dash of deep reddish purple color on the very tips.
Appletini is green apple in the middle, with deep wine-colored tips. The truly charming rosettes reach less than 3 inches in diameter.

Small and Unique Hens and Chicks

Cosmic Candy is a rare cobweb type of sempervivum. It stays red all year with white cobweb-like texture in the center of each rosette.


Cinnamon Starburst has a nearly leopard appearance, with deep green centers and dots of purple red on tips that also have some webbing for added texture.


Sugar Shimmer has "hairy" leaves and tips that change from a blue green color to sugary pink in densely packed rosettes.

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 Author Teresa Odle - Published 6-01-2020