The name Sempervivum has its origin in the Latin Semper – means forever and vivo – means live. Sempervivum are called ‘live forever’ because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter even the temperatures goes under the frost level and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth.
Sempervivum can be grown in a place with full sun to partial shade and in well-drained soil, so is the perfect plant for hot, dry, sunny locations. Though they can adapt to a variety of soil types, they will do best in gritty soil. No particular care is required, but the plant will grow too much, making it weak and subject to rotting, if there is excessive watering or use of fertiliser. They suffer in hot summer weather, especially if there is much humidity.
The hens will die after flowering, but by that time they will have produced numerous chicks or chickens to take their place. Reproduction is normally vegetative by cutting the numerous stolons growing near the main rosettes. To propagate, simply split off the chickens from the parent plant and transplant them. Providing contact with the soil should be sufficient for transplanting, since sempervivum root readily. The powdery seeds are used to produce particular hybrids.
As drought-tolerant succulents, hardy and easy to grow, sempervivum plants are being especially suitable for rock-garden, alpine gardens, troughs and pots and successfully complement other rock-garden components. If you want to create a groundcover effect, space plants close together because they grow slowly.