Hen and Chicks Plant Dying. How to Save it?

Hen and Chick Plants are one of the most prominent among the succulents grown at home and indoors. These succulents have been known to be the most hardy among the succulents and have become the best to keep as indoor plants. They are known to withstand any poor conditions which include poor soil, low temperatures, drought and anything that makes life difficult for the plants. Even then, there are instances that you would find Hen and Chikcs plant dying. What causes Hen and Chicks plant to die and how to save it? Let us try finding out in detail.

Hen and Chicks Plant dies primarily due to the contrasting reasons of either overwaterig or underwatering. Yet another reason that they may die includes that they are monocarpic in nature. They bloom and then die. The best way to save a Hen and Chicks plant is to cut the chicks and then repalnt them. 

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Why Is Your Hen And Chick Unhealthy?

There can be multiple reasons for your Hen and Chicks plant to become unhealthy. Some of the most possible reasons would include overwatering, insufficient sunlight, underwatering, waterlogged or nutrient-depleted soil, fungal diseases, pests, or excessive humidity. 

A few signs that your Hen and Chicks Plant is dying may include

  • Leaves turning yellow. They may also turn red or brown
  • Leaves get mushy and soft
  • You may find a foul smell originating from the soil
  • Bite marks on the leaves

How To Save A Dying Hen And Chick?

The best way to save a dying Hen and Chicks plant is to adjust the watering. Based on whether the plant is overwaterd or underwater, you can adjust the proper water supply. You may also need to prepare new potting soil. Adjusting the light and temperature may also be the right step in the right direction. 

Succulents come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Hen and Chick is one of the popular succulents out there which is also known as the Sempervivum in Latin.

Let’s find out what to do when we find hens and chicks plants dying and how to save it. 

Dead Leaves Must Be Avoided!

Shriveled leaves are a natural process that most succulents go through when the time comes to get rid of undesirable leaves. That isn’t to say that shriveled leaves aren’t a problem; they can also occur when a succulent is overwatered or underwatered.

This, however, will not kill the plant unless it continues for an extended period of time. Some chickens and chicks lose their bottom leaves on a regular basis, especially in the winter. Others, however, do not.

When plants aren’t exposed to sunshine, their leaves begin to wilt. Hens and chicks adore the sun, and when they get enough of it, they thrive.

Hen and Chicks Plant Dying

As soon as you see the dead leaves, try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Simply use your fingers to pluck the leaf from the plant. Make sure you don’t uproot the plant by doing this with minimal care. This will allow plants to breathe and aid in the natural drying of the soil. It will also give the plant a very attractive and fresh appearance.

The Latin meaning for Sempervivum is ‘forever living,’ and it has a three-year life cycle. The plant’s proliferation has no limits. Hens and chicks’ offspring eventually mature into adults, and the cycle begins again. Adult chickens die after flowering since they are a monocarpic plant.

Blooming doesn’t usually happen until the plant is several years old. This plant may flower early if it is unhappy in its current state. The blooms appear from a week to several weeks on a stalk that the plant has created. The bloom then dies, shortly followed by the hen’s death.

This explains why your Sempervivum is dying by knowing the monocarpic process. The hen and chick plants, on the other hand, will have produced several additional offsets by the time they die.

Later on, you can grow these offsets into new plants. All you have to do now is separate them from the mother plant and repot them.

Another factor is dehydration. Under-watered hens and chicks may acquire brown leaves, and if left untreated, they will die.

Besides giving your plants enough water, it is prominent for them to get some sunlight as well. If you are growing hens and chicks indoors, using grow light will help you keep your plants happy.

Unhealthy Hens and Chicks

Unhealthy Hens and Chicks can be droopy, may have downward tilting of leaves and they can even rot due to various reasons such as:

  • Droopy Hens and chicks: Droopy hens and chicks are caused by dehydration or dryness. It’s critical to keep them hydrated and the soil at the proper moisture level. They don’t require much attention; all they ask is that you look after them on a regular basis.
  • Downward tilting of the leaves: The downward tilting of the leaves is a sign of stress, which is frequently caused by overwatering and lack of light.
  • Rotting of hens and chicks: When hens and chicks are overwatered or put in poor soil, they rot. This sort of soil holds a lot of water, which promotes rotting and hurts the roots. Inadequate light and a fungal infestation are two other causes of rotting.

How To Take Care Of Hens And Chick Plants?

Hen and chicks are lovely plants that come in a variety of colours and shapes. And, as a result of these differences, each plant has its own set of requirements for healthy and attractive growth. 

Sempervivums, for starters, can be tough to keep inside. They are usually alpine succulents that flourish in the sun and cold; in some areas, they can even survive winter. 

It is important to understand how to take care of  hens and chick plants. Let’s find out: 

1. Select a Sandy Soil: Hens and chicks thrive in sandy soil that allows for good drainage. To provide them the minerals they need for healthy growth, you can add potting mix to the sandy soil. For best results, use coarse sand, which also provides sufficient drainage for the plant. They prefer to live in the cracks in rock walls.

2. Climate: Climate plays a key impact in the growth of hens and chicks because these are tough succulents that thrive in warmer climates. Make sure to bring the plant inside if you have it outside during the winter. Then put the plant somewhere where it can get some shade so that it doesn’t get too much light and can survive the winter.

3. Sunlight: The sun is adored by both hens and chicks. To thrive, they require moderate to full light. They begin to bloom in vibrant hues if they are exposed to enough sunlight. They don’t appreciate direct sunshine, so keep that in mind. So, during the summer, it’s too hot outside, and if your plant is exposed to that heat, it will suffer.

During those harsh climates, it’s best to bring the succulents indoors and arrange them somewhere with some shade. This will assist the plants keep their vibrant hues and keep them from fading. It’s crucial to remember that, despite their hardiness, succulents are vulnerable to environmental damage.

4. Make use of clay pots: Choose a clay pot and potting mix specifically made for succulents and cactus plants if you want to cultivate hens and chick succulents in a pot.

5. Watering Routine: Watering is one of the most important parts of the plantation. Similarly, for keeping any succulent or hens and chicks plant alive watering is important. Hens and chicks need comparatively less water because they are drought-tolerant plants that stay well for weeks without being watered. However, when replanting your hens and chicks, make sure they have ample water.

The soak and dry approach is the best watering plan for hens and chicks. When you first water, wet the soil completely, and then wait for it to dry, it’s a straightforward procedure.

Water the plant again once the soil has dried out, which should take a few days. This is one of the watering options available. I usually water the plants once a week, and I believe that is plenty to keep them healthy and lovely.

6. Pests: Keep a close check on the pests. Mealybugs and aphids can be a problem, but using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, you can simply get rid of them.

How to Propagate Of Hen And Chicks?

Plants like hens and chicks are among the easiest to propagate because they generate a large number of progeny (chicks) that are easy to remove from the plant and replant them.

There are three different types of hens and chicks, but the Sempervivum is the most prevalent. They develop progeny on the runners when we propagate the Sempervivum.

Simply pick them from the plant and replace them in a new pot after they’ve grown large enough. 

By doing so, you will begin the process of propagating new hens and chicks. You’ll have your new lovely plant in a few weeks.

Hens and chicks have a three-year life cycle. Before they died, the hens and chicks had already produced a large number of chicks to carry on their heritage. So, in a nutshell, the chickens and chicks will never die since they will continue to reproduce.

How to Fix a Hen and Chick Plant Growing Tall?

Hen and Chicks may grow taller after they blossom. Yet another reason for thee Hen and Chicks plant to grow taller can be the the lack of sunlight. Make sure that the plant receives enough sunlight. You may also need to add artificial light if you do not get enough natural light for the plant. 

When hens and chicks plant blossoms (commonly referred to as a “rooster”), the mature core of the plant becomes tall and elongated. These generally low-growing plants can suddenly reach a height of foot.

This is called the monocarpic process, and it indicates that the mature core of the plant is preparing to blossom, generate seeds, and then die. 

But don’t worry; the plant should have produced numerous tiny rosettes before beginning this procedure, ensuring that the plants not only survive but also spread and become larger than the previous one.

The plant will not be saved if the stem is cut off. So let the rosette blossom and appreciate the one-of-a-kind and lovely blooms it creates.

Hens and chicks grow tall, or “leggy,” when they don’t get enough light and the plant reaches for it. A leggy, light-deprived plant’s stem will appear frail and naked. With upward-facing bud clusters, a flower stem will appear rounder and lusher.

Does Pruning Hens and Chicks Help Them Bloom?

Pruning does not necessarily help hen and Chicks plant to bloom. it needs the central rosette to get nature and then it begins to bloom. Once bloomed, the rosete which is also called hen dies. Ideally, Hen and Chicks plant does not need any sort of pruning. You may need to opt for pruning only when the plant is ina  little pot. 

Blooms aren’t always produced by pruning or dividing your hens and chicks. Give the mature centre rosette (or hen) sometimes, and it should eventually flower before dying. 

If the offshoots (chicks) begin to grow into or over the hen, you can keep her healthier by dividing the plant (blocking the light going to the mature center). To start a new plant, just remove and repot the packed chicks.

Does Fertilization Help Hens and Chicks Bloom?

Fertilisation can help Hen and Chicks to grow healthy and provide it with the necessary nutrients. But, it will not force blooming. The Hen and Chicks plant will not bloom until the central rosette called hen does not mature. It may, however, be noted that Hen and Chicks can sustain itself even when it does not get enough nutrients in the soil. 

Fertilizing a succulent like hens and chicks won’t necessarily force it to blossom; flowering takes time. However, keeping the plant healthy such that it continues to develop and matures after several years helps assure that it blooms. 

For potted hens and chicks, this means administering a diluted natural fertiliser once in the spring and once in the summer, and less frequently for those growing outside, depending on the soil condition.

How To Get Hens and Chicks To Produce Blooms?

You cannot force blooming in a Hen and Chicks plant. It will bloom only when the rosette at the centre matures. You may be able to provide the necessary conditions to help it grow better, bt cannot force  blooming through any means.

Just remember that you can’t force these succulents to bloom. After blooming, the adult plant’s core usually dies, so you’ll only see blossoms once in its lifetime. 

Pull the blossoms off the stalk once they have faded. The rooted chicks, on the other hand, become new plants, so you don’t have to say goodbye to your hens and chicks forever. 

Simply remove the old hen and watch the chicks mature, eventually replacing the original center’s space and blossoming on their own in subsequent years.

What Are The Signs That My Sempervivum Is About to Bloom?

From the centre, a protrusion or stalk forms.

On a mature hen or centre rosette, the bulge or stalk appears.

Outdoor plants are most likely to blossom in the summer. When the interior light level rises in the late spring or summer, container plants may bloom.

Final Thoughts

With all this information, I am sure you know now what to do for a  “Hen and Chicks plant dying and how to save it”.

Seeing lots of offsets growing will make you fall in love with this plant and I am sure you are no more worried of losing a (hen) mother plant as it leaves behind many chicks to grow new plants.


Nikita is a Succulent lover. She really enjoys planting and nourishing them. She loves to share information about various Succulents on this blog to aware people more about these awesome plants.

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