Planting Hen and Chicks
Wondering how to plant hen and chicks? It’s easy!
Plant hen and chicks where the plant will be exposed to full sunlight for most of the day. If you live in a hot desert climate, hens and chicks will benefit from a bit of shade during the warmest part of the afternoon.
Hens and chicks will thrive in poor soil and can be planted in gravel, sand, or between rocks or crevices. However, it’s crucial to select a spot where the soil drains well, as hens and chicks, like most succulents, will rot if its roots are planted in soggy soil. If your soil is constantly damp, consider planting hens and chicks in a container filled with a commercial potting soil formulated especially for cactus and succulents. Be sure your container has bottom drainage.
Planting hens and chicks is as easy as pie. Just loosen the top of the soil with your shovel or garden fork. Dig a shallow hole and set the plant in the hole. Don’t plant the hens and chicks too deeply, as the roots should be just underneath the surface of the soil. Pat the dirt firmly around the roots, spray the hens and chicks lightly with water, and you’re done!
Caring for Hen and Chicks
Caring for hens and chicks is even easier than planting them because once established, hens and chicks will practically grow themselves. Water the plants about once a week or whenever the soil is completely dry. Always allow the soil to dry out before you water again. Water at the base of the plant so the foliage stays dry, and always water in the early part of the day so excess water can evaporate before the cool of the evening.
Hens and chicks are tolerant of cool weather and are hardy to USDA Zones 4-8. If you live in a cold northern climate, pot up the hens and chicks and bring them indoors for the winter months.
Propagating Hen and Chicks
Hens and chicks are made to be shared. If your gardening friends are begging you for a start or if you want to plant a few more of the little charmers in a different area of your garden, it’s easy to separate a few chicks from their mothers. Simply pull the small offset, or chick, away from the parent. If the chick is still connected, sever it with a clean, sharp knife. Set the chick aside in a warm, dry place for about a day so the cut area can form a dry callus. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant the chick in a container filled with moist sand topped with a thin layer of clean, fine gravel to keep the chick away from dampness. If you get dirt on the chick during the process, brush it off gently with a soft paintbrush. Put the container in a sunny spot. When you notice new growth, it’s safe to plant the chick outdoors.