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Sempervivum calcareum, commonly known as Houseleek or Hen and Chicks, is a hardy and attractive succulent plant known for its rosette-shaped clusters of leaves. Here's a care sheet tailored specifically for Sempervivum calcareum:

Light: Sempervivum calcareum thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, especially in cooler climates. In hotter regions, provide afternoon shade to protect it from intense sunlight that may cause leaf burn.

Watering: Water Sempervivum calcareum moderately. Allow the soil to dry out partially between waterings. During the growing season (spring and summer), water when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Reduce watering in winter when growth slows down, watering only when the soil is mostly dry.

Soil: Plant Sempervivum calcareum in a well-draining succulent or cactus mix. A sandy or gritty soil with excellent drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. Ensure the pot has drainage holes.

Temperature: Sempervivum calcareum is hardy to USDA zones 4-8 and can tolerate cold temperatures down to -30°F (-34°C). It prefers moderate temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C) during the growing season. Protect it from excessive heat and frost.

Humidity: Sempervivum calcareum prefers low to average humidity levels. It can tolerate dry air typical of indoor environments but benefits from good air circulation.

Fertilizing: Sempervivum calcareum does not require much fertilization. Feed sparingly with a balanced, diluted fertilizer for succulents once in early spring as growth begins. Avoid excessive fertilization, which can cause leggy growth.

Propagation: Propagate Sempervivum calcareum easily from offsets (chicks) that develop around the base of the main rosette. Gently separate the offsets and replant them in well-draining soil. Allow cuttings to callus for a few days before planting to reduce the risk of rot.

Pruning: Trim off any dead or dried leaves as needed to maintain the plant's appearance and health. Remove spent flower stalks after blooming to promote new growth and maintain a tidy appearance.

Pests and Problems: Sempervivum calcareum is generally pest-resistant. However, watch for aphids or mealybugs, especially in crowded or humid conditions. Treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Potting and Repotting: Repot Sempervivum calcareum only when necessary, as they prefer being slightly root-bound. Choose a shallow pot with drainage holes to accommodate the shallow root system.

Special Care Notes:

  • Sempervivum calcareum is drought-tolerant once established but benefits from regular watering during the growing season.
  • Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Water sparingly in winter to prevent excess moisture.
  • Provide adequate sunlight to maintain vibrant colors and compact growth.

By following these care guidelines, you can help your Sempervivum calcareum thrive and maintain its charming rosette clusters in your garden, rockery, or container arrangements. These plants are particularly appreciated for their resilience and attractive foliage, making them a great addition to succulent collections.

Sempervivum calcareum

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