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Roof House Leek Sempervivum tectorum

Phonetic Spelling
sem-per-VEE-vum tek-TOR-um
Description

Common Houseleek is a species of flowering plant in the family Crassulaceae, native to the mountains of southern Europe.  It is cultivated in the whole of Europe for its appearance and a Roman tradition claiming that it protects buildings against lightning strikes. The botanical name Sempervivum is Latin for "live forever", which refers to the offsets that are produced and allow that plant to appear to live forever.  

It is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate some light shade, as well as some afternoon shade in extreme hot climate locations.  It thrives in sandy or gravelly soils and will tolerate poor soils and some drought.  Needs sharp soil drainage to perform well.  Avoid overwatering.  Plants spread by offsets to form colonies. The original rosette is referred to as the Hen, the offsets from that rosette are called the Chick.  Individual rosettes die after bloom and should be removed from the garden at that time.  This plant is moderately salt tolerant.

It is often used in rock gardens, as a border front, in rock crevices, along stone walls, as a small area ground cover, and as an edging or foundations. Makes an excellent container plant.  Try planting them in a rock wall, with the plants tucked into the crevices.  That will provide a good balance of drainage, radiant heat and at the same time will protect the plant's roots.  It's at its best when planted in groups or massed as a ground cover.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Overwatering can lead to crown rot, allow plants to dry out between watering. 

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Sempervivum.

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Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#low growing#succulent#salt tolerant#interiorscape#poor soils tolerant#sandy soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#stormwater demo garden orange co
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#low growing#succulent#salt tolerant#interiorscape#poor soils tolerant#sandy soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#stormwater demo garden orange co
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sempervivum
    Species:
    tectorum
    Family:
    Crassulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Europe
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers bloom at the ends of 8-12" tall thick stalks. After blooming, the mother plant will perish.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are thick, fleshy pads. They appear as 3-4" rosettes of petals. Typically pointed, they may have purple tips.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Rock Wall
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Salt