Unhealthy Hen And Chick Plant - Signs & How to Save

Written by Ivy

Jan 12 2023

Unhealthy Hen And Chick Plant - Signs & How to Save

Why my hen and chick plant is unhealthy & dying? Many succulent collectors have asked us this question in the past.

A group of succulents, mostly from the Sempervivum genus and the Crassulaceae family, go by the name "hen-and-chicks."

Hen-and-chick plants produce a lot of offsets that cluster around the mother hen's base.

Quick Steps to Save Unhealthy Hen And Chick Plant:

  • Adjust Watering
  • Prepare New Potting Soil
  • Adjust Temperature
  • Adjust Lighting

This article will cover a variety of potential causes for your hen and chick plants' demise as well as how to save them.

Hen And Chick Plant

How Do You Save a Dying Chick and Hen?

The Hen and Chick, also known as the Sempervivum in Latin, is one of the most well-known varieties of succulent. This lovely succulent develops shoots known as "chicks" because of the way they emerge from the "mother plant."

By separating them from the mother plant and repotting them, you can grow these chicks into new plants.

If your hen and chick plant were alive and well and not in danger of passing away, it would be helpful.

Numerous factors, including the nature of the plant, can cause your succulent to wither. Hen and chick plants, for instance, are monocarpic plants and will wither away after flowering. Dehydration is an additional factor. Untreated brown leaves on under-watered hens and chicks can result in their death.

Giving your plants enough water is just as important as giving them full sun. There are a number of options available online if you're using a grow lamp to grow hen and chicks indoors to prevent your plant from dying from a lack of light.

Let's examine the warning signs in greater detail, along with the causes behind them.

Shriveled Leaves

Every succulent grower will find this to be a nightmare. These plants are renowned for their exquisite leaves, so when they begin to wither, it can be very alarming.

Reason 1: Overwatering

This plant prefers warmer climates, so it shouldn't require a lot of water.

Succulents that receive excessive water often undergo dramatic aesthetic changes.

The leaves will become mushy, shrivel, and eventually lose their shape due to the excessive water. The leaves will turn black and the plant will die if it is consistently overwatered.

Reason 2: Underwatering

Hen and chick plants don't require much water, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be watered at all!

The likelihood of the plant dying increases as you put off watering it.

Hen and chicken plants that are underwatered initially have wilted, wrinkled leaves that eventually become droopy.

Reason 3: Not Enough Sun Exposure

Long stretches of direct sunlight are no stranger to the hen and chick plant.

The rosettes will expand and spread out to reach light sources if the plant doesn't get enough sunlight.

The leaves will consequently shrink and turn downward.

Brown Leaves Due to Underwatering

Underwater hen and chick plants also have brown leaves in addition to their shriveled counterparts.

There will be a lot of dead leaves on a hen and chick plant if it goes without water for a long time, and they will eventually dry out and turn brown.

Hen And Chick Plant

Mushy Soil & Root Rot Due to Overwatering

The soil of the hen and chick plants will become too wet from overwatering, making them more vulnerable to pathogen-caused illnesses.

Fungus, one of the most prevalent pathogens, breaks down the root tissue. The fungus, which causes root rot, will consume extra water.

The best way to determine whether a plant has root rot is to remove it from the pot and inspect the soil to see if it is soggy and smells bad. If so, your succulent plant has been overwatered.

Hen and Chick Plant Dying Due to Its Nature

Sempervivum in Latin means "forever alive."

I'm sure that it's tough for succulent growers to hear that their hen and chick plants will eventually die, and that "forever alive" in this case actually refers to the multiplication process.

Three years is the lifespan of these succulent plants.

Because hen and chicks plants are monocarpic, when the offsets reach adult size, both the flower and the hen pass away.

The plant will bloom when it is about three years old, though it can also bloom earlier if the environment is not ideal.

With monocarpic plants, the main plant also perishes after the flowers bloom for a number of weeks.

Hen And Chick Plant

Solutions for a Dying Hen and Chick Plant

The best way to keep problems from occurring when growing this succulent for the first time is to keep a close eye on it..

Here are some solutions, though, if issues do arise!

Adjust Watering

Hen and chicks plants typically grow in environments that experience heavy rain followed by protracted sunny periods.

Watering this plant shouldn't be done right away. Only during the sweltering summer days does the watering schedule change, and the plant only needs a small amount.

Before watering, the soil must be entirely dry, and young plants require a lot of water. Reduce watering after they are established and have received enough water to keep your hen and chick plants from dying.

Prepare New Potting Soil

It's time to switch the potting soil if you've determined that your plant is dying as a result of overwatering.

You ought to select soil that drains well.

This succulent plant is ideal for a rock garden bed because sandy soil can aid in achieving good drainage.

You can incorporate mulch or fine gravel to enhance the potting soil's quality.

Adjust Temperature

The hen and chick plant needs to be kept in a room that is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit when it is grown indoors, much like the Echeveria flower.

If the temperature falls, don't be concerned. It can endure even the coldest winters because this succulent is hardy.

Adjust Lighting

Like the Sedum, the hen and chick plant enjoys exposure to direct sunlight.

Place the plant near a window if it is being grown indoors so it receives enough light.

If there isn't a window that faces the sun directly, you can also use grow lights.

How to Remove Each Dead Leaf

Remove every dead leaf from the plant if you want to help it breathe and restore its original freshness and glory.

Use your fingers to gently pull each leaf off. This will prevent further damage from being done by uprooting the hen and chick plant.

Hen And Chick Plant

How to Remove Root Rot in 5 Steps

You can save your hen and chick plants from dying due to root rot, here's how:

1. Remove the plant from the pot. You can then see any changes to the root system.

2. Clean and prepare your pruners. This will stop root rot from causing harm to other plant parts. Use of a fungicide is recommended if the roots are afflicted by pathogens like fungi.

3. Get rid of any roots that appear unhealthy or to have root rot. To remove the dead roots, use sterile pruners or scissors. To avoid spreading the disease to healthy roots, sterilize the pruner or scissors blades before each cut.

4. In order to prevent temperature shock, thoroughly wash all other roots after removing the damaged ones, then allow the soil and roots to dry.

5. Repotting comes after that.

Continue with your normal maintenance procedures after repotting.

Is the Hens and Chicks Poisonous Or Toxic?

There are no known toxic substances in the hen and chicks Sempervivum.

It is regarded as a secure plant to grow close to animals and kids.

Hen and chicken Sempervivums are not toxic to dogs, cats, or horses, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Even some people who consume only raw foods will eat common houseleek.

The taste and texture are similar to cucumbers, and it has a mildly sour flavor.

The large leaves and tender shoots are among the edible components.

In addition to potentially easing skin irritation, the plant's water serves as an alternative to aloe vera that is non-toxic.

In fact, pet owners looking for safe, non-toxic plant growing options frequently recommend hens and chickens as an indoor plant.

They don't need a lot of space because they are low-maintenance hens.

Hen And Chick Plant

How Do You Revive a Dying Succulent?

There are many different varieties of the very attractive hen-and-chick plant. And due to these varieties, every plant has its special needs for growing healthy and beautiful.

These specific needs for growth are one of the main reasons why your hen chick plant is dying. It is crucial to know the best method for a specific variety.

Let's learn the fundamental methods for raising hens and chicks.

1. Choose a Good Soil

Hens and chicks grow properly in sandy soil which provides them with good drainage. To provide them with the right nutrients for healthy growth, you can add potting mix to the sandy soil.

Also, use coarse sand for better results as it also provides good drainage for the plant. Typically, they flourish in the crevices of the rock walls.

2. Climate

For growing hens and chicks climate plays an important role as these are hardy succulents they do good in warmer environments. It is important to bring the plant inside if you leave it outside in the winter.

So that it won't be light-deprived and can survive the winter, keep the plant somewhere where it can get some shaded light.

3. They Love Sunlight

The sun is a favorite of hens and chicks. They need moderate to full sun to grow beautifully. They begin to bloom with vibrant colors once they have received a sufficient amount of sunlight.

Remember they do not like extreme sunlight. As a result, during the summer, it gets too hot outside, and if your plant is exposed to that heat, it could suffer damage.

During those extreme climates, it's better to bring the succulent indoors and place them in a place where they get a shade of light. The plants will benefit from this by maintaining their vibrant colors and avoiding death.

Despite being tough succulents, it's important to keep in mind that they can still suffer environmental damage.

4. Watering Schedule

Watering is one of the most crucial aspects of growing any succulent or Hens and Chicks plant in order to keep them alive. In this case, hens and chicks need very less amount of water as they are drought plants, they can go weeks without watering.

Keep in mind to provide enough water for your hens and chicks as you replant them, though. The best watering schedule for the hens and chicks is the soak and dry method.

When you water for the first time, soak the soil completely, and then wait for it to dry, the procedure is straightforward. Rewater the plant as soon as the soil dries out in a few days.

This is one of the watering techniques you can employ. Once a week is usually all I water the plants with, and I believe that's enough for them to thrive and look beautiful.

Propagation of Hen and Chicks

Some of the most simple plants to multiply are hens and chicks. The reason why they are easy to propagate is that they produce many offspring (chicks) which are easy to chop off the plant and replant for propagation.

Hens and chicks have three different varieties but the most common one we know is the Sempervivum. When we are propagating the Sempervivum they produce the offsprings on the runners.

Simply remove them from the plant when they are big enough and replant them in a new pot. You will thus begin the propagation of the fresh hens and chicks. You'll have your brand-new, exquisite plant in a few weeks.

Hens and chicks have a life cycle of three years. The hens and chicks had already given birth to a large number of chicks before they passed away, carrying on their legacy. Consequently, we can sum up by saying that hens and chicks will always reproduce.

Hen And Chick Plant

Taking Care of Hen and Chick Plant

These are the gardeners' favorite plants because they enjoy raising hen and chicks. It's just due to their capacity to produce the shoots. Many people start to prioritize taking care of these plants.

While taking care of hens and chicks you should always consider these things:

  • Always have well-drained soil and good quality potting mix for growing these hens and chicks.
  • Depending on the climate always remember to give them proper sun exposure. They do require adequate sunlight for their beautiful, vivid color development.
  • If they are indoor then place them near a window or in any place where they get a good shade of light or you can use grow lights for succulents.
  • While watering them make sure not to overwater or underwater the hens and chicks. Consider giving them a weekly drink. For these plants, there is sufficient water.
  • Hens and chicks may need the water depending on the climate so make sure to check the soil once a while if it's dry then water the plant (Soak and dry method).

Propagating Hen and Chicks

One of the simplest plants to propagate is hen and chick. They produce numerous progeny (chicks), which are simple to remove from the parent plant and replant for replication, making them simple to propagate.

The Sempervivum variety is the most common among the three types of hens and chicks. This is because when we propagate the Sempervivum, they produce offspring on the runners.

When they are big enough, just use a sharp knife to remove them from the plant and put them in a new pot. You can then start breeding new hens and chicks by doing this. Within a few weeks, you'll receive your brand-new lovely plant.

A hen's life cycle lasts three years, beginning with hatching. As a result, the hens and chicks had already produced a large number of chicks before they passed away. In other words, because they will keep reproducing, chickens and chicks won't ever die.

Final Thoughts

Hens and chicks are beautiful succulents that are continuously producing chicks. Even if the mother plant (the hens) passes away, they leave a legacy and fill the void by raising chicks. Many succulent growers adore these lovely plants, and they make lovely houseplants.