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How to separate hens and chicks plants

Want to propagate your hen and chick plant?! Here’s a step by step guide on how to separate hens and chicks plants easily!

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) is a really cool succulent plant that self-propagates by creating baby “chick” rosettes called “offsets”.

separating hens and chicks plants

In that way it really reminds me of the pilea plant – which also puts out baby plants called pups, or even the mother of millions that grows baby plantlets on it’s own leaves!

I love these self-propagating plants because they are exciting to grow and give you the easy opportunity to get baby plants to gift or trade with other plant lovers.

Let’s talk about how to transplant hens and chicks, separate the succulents, and keep these plants happy and growing all year long.

When to Propagate Hens and Chicks

It’s time to divide your hens and chicks plants when they are crowded together in the plant. Dividing off the succulent offsets will create more room for new baby plants to grow and for the plant to flourish.

The best time of year to divide your hens and chicks plants is in the spring and summer. These plants have a big growth period in the fall, so dividing the babies from the mother plant just before growing season gives them the space they need to grow.

how to separate and propagate hens and chicks plants

How to separate hens and chicks plants

The chicks can be cut from the mother hen plant using a sharp, clean knife or scissors. You want to cut right where the baby chick joins to the mother plant.

I have also found that it is easy to pop the plants off by hand, no knife required. A firm tug and they pop right off. Just be careful not to damage the rosettes when doing it this way!

separating hens and chicks plants

Let this cutting sit for 1-2 days out of soil so the cut spot can callous over. This helps to prevent rot.

Then, the cuttings can be placed in potting mix. Place the root in the soil, but be sure that the rosette part of the plant is fully above the soil.

When you are pulling babies to propagate or re-pot, this is a great opportunity to clean up the mother plant in general. Remove dead leaves or plantlets, refresh the potting mix, and set the plant up for success in the growing season!

separating hens and chicks plants

How to Select Rosettes to propagate

The best rosettes to separate from the parent plant already have some of their own root growth. To see this more clearly, you can gently pull the plant up from the potting soil to better examine the roots.

You want to pick chicks that are at least 1-2 inches in diameter.

How to Pot Sempervivum Cuttings

Hen and chick plants do best in potting mix made for cacti and succulents. Place them in bright, indirect light and water when dry.

separating hens and chicks plants

Can you propagate hens and chicks from leaves?

Technically, Sempervivum will grow from just one leaf in soil. I have a lot of success propagating succulents this way! However, I have never had success with the hen and chick variety propagating from a leaf. If you have some loose leaves, it can’t hurt to try, but it’s not an easy process!

Any more questions about hen and chicks propagation?

Thanks for reading!

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