The Houseleeks are a common sight amongst the crannies of well-planted rockeries, the thick flower stems rising above the ball-like rosettes of green or coloured leaves. An ideal choice for dry spots – these evergreen succulents withstand summer drought.

VARIETIES: The Common Houseleek S. tectorum is the best known – height 3 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: July. Its flowersare rosy purple, quite similar in colourto the bloomsof the smaller growing S. montanum. In the main the Sempervivums are grown for their showy rosettes rather than for the flowers which appear in June or July. Choose then a Houseleek with decorative foliage – one example is the Cobweb Houseleek S. arachnoideum with small rosettes densely covered by white threads. Another group of decorative Houseleeks are the coloured ones – there are ‘Othello’ (ruby red rosettes) and ‘Commander Hay’ (bronzy red rosettes).

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained soil will do – full sun is essential.

PROPAGATION: Plant non-flowering rosettes in a cold frame in autumn or spring.

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