Purple Beauty Sempervivum
Sempervivums are addictive. Once you realize how gorgeous and varied they are, you’ll want to collect them all! These special succulents make petite rosettes of foliage that come in a festivearray of hues, such as white, green, blue, red, and purple, as well as blends of two or more colors. Purple Beauty is a particularly enchanting Semp with smoky purple outer leaves and an inner heart of aquamarine. Use it to bring a pop of color to borders, beds, or baskets. You can also line pathways with it, or incorporate it into a retaining wall to fill gaps and add year-round interest.
Sempervivums, also known as Houseleeks, are found in the wild clinging to mountainsides in central Europe and around the Mediterranean. These survivors need only a bit of soil to root into and they’re good to go. Long ago they were welcomed into gardens, and Europeans have not only valued their beauty for centuries, but have attributed them with magical powers. According to European folklore, they are believed to ward off lightning strikes when planted on the roof of a house! Today there are thousands of varieties of Sempervivums to be had in a rainbow of colors. Purple Beauty was chosen for its rich purple color and delicate blue-green accents.
Sempervivums are also called Hens and Chicks because of their unique growth habit. Over time, a single rosette (the Hen) will give rise to a ring of smaller rosettes (the Chicks) around it. The Hen will eventually put up a rather bizarre-looking but attractive pink flower. Afterwards, the Hen dies, but the Chicks live on. You can detach Purple Beauty Chicks and move them around to other parts of the garden to start new colonies.
How to Grow
Plant Purple Beauty Sempervivum where it will receive full or part sun and sharp drainage. That may be in a border with sandy or gravelly soil, a raised bed, a stone wall, or a hillside. Any site where water can get to the roots but not stay there for long periods is good. Root rot is Sempervivum’s only real enemy.
Remove the mother plant after it has flowered; the offsets around it will fill in the empty space. Feel free to move offsets around wherever you like. They will re-establish themselves quickly.
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