© RHS / Joanna Kossak

Introducing...

Sempervivum

Common name: Houseleek

Geometric low-growing houseleeks with their colourful evergreen rosettes are a doddle to grow. Only requiring sun and good drainage, grow them in a rock or gravel garden, on a green roof or in array of pots and creative containers.

Looks

Many houseleeks form evergreen rosettes of pointed, fleshy leaves in bright green, grey or purplish-red. Some form pleasing hummocks with a ‘cobweb’ of white hairs. In summer flowerstalks appear from the centre of the rosettes bearing starry flowers in white, red, yellow or purple.

Likes

Sempervivums need well-drained growing conditions in an open sunny spot. They are well adapted to extremes of temperature and drought.

Dislikes

Sempervivum dislike overly fertile soil, shade and sites that don't drain well. A few such as Sempervivum erythraeum may need some protection from winter wet, so bring into a cold glasshouse, coldframe or prop up a piece of perspex to keep the rain off.

Did you know?

While rosettes that have flowered then die, the plant sends out many stolons (horizontal shoots) with mini plants on the end so in spring you can easily pop one of the offspring in its place with a little bit of compost to fill the gap.

Growing guide

Browse sempervivums

Choosing sempervivum by colour

Sempervivum we recommend

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