Hens and chicks are monocarpic plants, meaning they flower only once in their lifetime and then die. This should not make you feel bad about the succulent as it is part of their natural lifecycle. It may take several years for this plant to flower.
The flowering typically occurs during the late spring to early summer months. This is when you are more likely to see the tall flower stalk emerging from the center of the main rosette. However, this timing can vary depending on the growth conditions of the plant.
Let’s get to everything about hens and chicks flowering and what to keep your plant healthy.
Hens and chicks flowering facts
Hens and chicks plants are loved for their unique rosette-like growth pattern. The succulents are also hardy to cold and dry conditions, which makes them easy to grow. While they produce offsets (the chicks) around the main plant (the hen), they also flower as part of their natural lifecycle.
When the hens and chicks plant is about to flower, it produces a tall stalk from the center of the main rosette. This can send shivers down your spine if you haven’t experienced this before. This is where flowers form. However, hens and chicks growing tall can also be a problem with lighting.
Hens and chicks plants typically flower in late spring to early summer. Some cultivators may bloom earlier or later depending on when they reach the flowering stage. Plants in warmer climates may also bloom earlier as compared to those in cooler regions.
Hens and chicks Flower description
The hens and chicks flowers are usually small and star-shaped. Their color may range from pink to white depending on the plant species or cultivator. As the oldest flowers wither, new ones continue to open higher up the stalk. This goes on for several weeks until when the flowering period ends.
The most interesting or shocking part is that hens and chicks plants die as soon as they are done with flowering. Fortunately, this happens when the plant has already created offsets and seeds that ensure continuity. So, the gap will soon be replaced as the cycle continues.
What to do when hens and chicks are flowering
The best thing to do when your hens and chicks are flowering is to sit back and enjoy the spectacular phenomenon. It may also take years to see this plant flowing again. Hens and chicks plant dies naturally after blooming, and there’s nothing that can save it.
There are a few things you can do to keep the plant blooming.
- Ensure the succulent is receiving bright light. The plant can benefit from shade during the intense afternoon sun in the summer climate. Hens and chicks may not bloom when they aren’t receiving enough sunlight.
- Water your hens and chicks plant more regularly but not excessively. This plant is prone to root rot when overwatered. A good rule of thumb is to let the soil dry completely between your watering sessions.
- It’s important to provide the right balance of nutrients when the succulent is about to flower. Overfertilizing can sometimes cause weaker growth and delay blooming. If you desire to fertilize, apply a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring and not when the plant is blooming.
- Do not repot or transplant hens and chicks plants that are flowering. This can create interruptions that will destabilize the plant resulting in flowers falling off or wilting.
- Once the blooms fade, you may cut down the stalk using a clean sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Remember, this will not stop the flowering rosette from dying.
- After the rosette dies, gently remove it so that the remaining young offsets can get space to grow and spread.
When hens and chicks plant is unhealthy, it may not bloom. If the plant is showing signs of distress, inspect and fix the underlying problem. If you suspect pests, rot, or any disease, isolate the affected plant and treat it as needed. You may seek advice from a plant professional or a nearby nursery.
How to care for the offsets
The remaining offsets need proper care to grow into healthy plants. You can thin them out or separate and plant them individually into their own pots. This can give them room to grow better into new plants that you can gift or add to your collection.
Spring or early summer is the best time to transplant the young rosettes, it will give them time to establish roots before the colder months. When detaching them, ensure each offset has as many roots as possible. If they don’t have roots, give them a few more weeks to grow.
Transplanting hens and chicks offsets
You’ll need well-draining soil such as cacti or succulent mix and a pot with drainage holes. You can also create your own mix by combining a standard potting soil with pumice or perlite to improve drainage. Poor drainage can cause root rot and other fungal problems.
Place your offset in the potting mix and gently press the soil around it for stability. water the young plants sparingly without getting the soil excessively wet. Place the pot in a location with bright indirect light. Avoid exposing them to intense direct sunlight as it can scorch their leaves.
As offsets establish themselves and begin to grow, you can gradually acclimate them to more sunlight. Watering should be thorough when the soil feels dry and less during the cold months. You should also protect the offsets from the extremely cold conditions of winter.
Hens and chicks plant takes years to bloom, this is until they are fully mature. When blooming ends, the flowering rosette dies off and the remaining young offest takes over the continuity. With proper care, the offsets will also grow into healthy mature plants that will also flower in the future.
My name is Diane M Lewik, and I am the founder of this website. I am a degree holder in plant biology from the University of California – Berkeley. Over years, I have cultivated a vast collection of succulents and I have learned a great deal about how to grow and care for these unique plants.