Cobweb Houseleek Care – Growing Cobweb Hens And Chicks

Cobwebs On Succulent Plants
cobweb 2
(Image credit: Gardening Know How, via Nikki Tilley)

The cobweb succulent is a member of the hen and chick’s clan, growing outdoors year-round in most parts of the U.S. and other cold areas. These are monocarpic plants, meaning they die after flowering. Generally, many offsets are produced before flowering occurs. Continue reading to learn more about this interesting hens and chicks plant.

What is a Cobweb Houseleek?

A favorite outdoor plant, cobweb hens and chicks may already be growing in your garden or container. This interesting plant is covered with a cobweb-like substance, making it much sought after by many growers.

Scientifically named Sempervivum arachnoideum, this is a low-growing rosette covered with the web. Webs stretch from leaf tip to tip and mass in the middle. Leaves of this plant may be tinted red or remain green, but the center is covered with the webby substance. Rosettes are 3-5 inches (7.5 to 12.5 cm.) wide in maturity. If given enough growing room, it will put out babies to form a tight mat, growing quickly to fill a container.

With a fibrous root system, it clings and grows with little encouragement. Use it for a wall, rock garden, or any area where a clinging and spreading rosette has room to grow.

Cobweb Houseleek Care

Although drought-tolerant, this plant does better with regular watering. As with most succulents, allow them to dry out well between watering. Plant in a fast-draining, amended succulent soil to avoid too much water on the roots.

The cobweb succulent grows great as a groundcover plant in a sunny area. Given the space and time, it will naturalize and cover an area. Combine the spreading plant with ground-cover sedums and other sempervivums for an outdoor succulent bed to last year-round.

This plant rarely blooms in cultivation, especially indoors, so you can expect them to be around for a while. If it does set bloom, it will be in mid to late summer with red flowers. Remove the dead plant from among the offsets once flowering has ceased.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.