Houseleek: small but sturdy

Houseleek: small but sturdy

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Houseleek in summary :

Latin name : Sempervivum sp.
Common name : Houseleek
Family : Crassulaceae
Type : Perennial

Harbor : Upholstery
Height : 10 cm to 30 cm in bloom
Planting density : 15-30 feet / m²
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Any type, well drained

Flowering : Early summer

In French, its Latin name means "eternal", which sums up its main characteristic: its resistance.

Planting houseleek

As long as it is installed at Sun, houseleek grows in all types of soil and on a shallow depth. It is therefore not necessary to dig large holes to plant it, ten centimeters is sufficient.

The planting density will depend on how quickly you want the result. If you are the patient type, then about 15 feet per 1 square meter will be sufficient.

Otherwise, count approximately 30 plants per m². The ground cover effect of houseleek will then be faster.

Maintenance of houseleek

The houseleek is a perennial that is content with little as long as it is Sun. In addition, the great diversity of its species allows original creations, particularly in rockeries.

The Sempervivums are ideal perennials if you don't want to spend too much time on horticultural work. Indeed, the rosettes of houseleeks die after having flowered.

The only thing to do to maintain your plant is to pull them out by hand to allow a new rosette to grow.

Rest assured, they don't all bloom at the same time.

Multiplication of houseleek:

It has never been easier to multiply a plant only with houseleek. Indeed, it suffices to take the rosettes that grow on the periphery of the foot and replant where you want it. There is therefore no need to pull the plant out.

Diseases and pests

In general, the Sempervivum is a botanical genus very resistant. However, some species can be affected by rust.

Regarding pests, slugs can attack young leaves and the grape weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) can cause damage to the whole plant depending on its stage of development: the roots for the larvae and the foliage for the adults.

Employment and association

The resistance of houseleeks allows the most delicate implantations: rockeries, troughs, low walls, stews. They also make excellent ground cover in massive.

The great diversity of species Sempervivums allows you to create compositions only with this botanical genus without falling into monotony. However, if you want to diversify your creations, you can combine houseleek with other ground cover such as Polygonum, dead nettle, bellflower or crawling species of stonecrop.

To bring a little volume, you can also add perennials intermediates such as heucheres, irises or anaphalis.

Some interesting species and varieties

  • S. arachnoideum: also called spider web houseleek, this species is interesting for the small size and density of its rosettes and the white threads that cover them. Its flowers are not to be outdone and offer a pretty reddish pink hue. Very original.
  • S. ciliosum: it owes its name to silky eyelashes that line its leaves. It blooms yellow in June, July.
  • S. tectorum : the houseleek roofs is particularly resistant and its green rosettes tinged with reddish-brown at their tips are very aesthetic, just like its whitish to pink flowers.

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