Monday, April 9, 2012

Hens and Chicks

My latest small obsession... hens and chicks.

Not these hens and chicks ...


but these...

I figured these plants may be the perfect answer to re-using a few vintage chipped mugs. I also had a few vintage plastic planters.

Hens and chicks aka sempervivum tectorum require well drained soil and actually don't need to be watered too much, they are apparently drought tolerant. They are often used in rock gardens and can even be planted in shallow containers. They prefer sunny locations but supposedly do fine in partial shade. They have a mother "hen" the big rosette, and spread by shooting off little "chicks" (little rosettes). Hence the name Hens and chicks. They also bloom but I've never seen this yet. They are also perennial, so in Chicago if I plant them outside they should come back after winter. Sounds like an awesome plant already doesn't it?

Lucky for me my coworker shared a few with me from her Chicago garden... meet the mother Hen and her Chick.

I know most plants need some sort of drainage holes so they can be watered properly. Of course my mugs don't have these, so I placed some small gravel rocks on the base of each mug and used soil made specifically for cactus-like plants.

Schultz Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix

I could've drilled some holes with a ceramic drill bit but don't have one yet, so if these plants are truly low maintenance this will be the ultimate test.  The true gardeners reading this are probably saying, "no drainage holes?...good luck"

 This is a picture of how a their root looks. My mini me helper popped the transplanted Hen and Chick into the mug. After planting, we watered each new potted plant.

This is how the end product turned out. Cute aren't they?! Let's hope I don't kill them. Once it's a bit warmer I've got the perfect sunny location for them outside.

 I mixed a few other succulent looking plants with my larger container- which luckily has drainage holes.

Sedum Sea Urchin, Sedum pachyphyllum Stonecrop and Hens and Chicks

If all goes well my newly planted Hens will be blessed with a few baby chicks. Till then these little chicks will have to do.  

Ridiculously cute aren't they... hope they make you smile.

Super cute.

Uber cute...

I think my gardening fever has officially started! Hello Spring.

I will be linking this post to


  1. The little hens and chicks are so sweet, and I love the Some Like it Hot mug. What a great use for mugs and things that you wouldn't otherwise use! I am sure I have a few things around here. ;)

  2. I can't tell you how many awesome but chipped mugs/containers I've come I have reason to buy them for my garden. Just what I need another reason to thrift more :)

  3. Very cool idea!!! I have a ton of chipped mugs and tea cups, never thought of this. Thank you for the inspiration! :)