A Sempervivum ‘Commander Hay’ was the second Sempervivum I added to my collection. There are approximately 40 varieties, so I have a long way to go. I wrote about my first Sempervivum in Sempervivum ‘Green Wheel’ Hen and Chicks.
Commander Hay forms large 4 inch rosettes. When the plant is old enough to flower, the rosette will produce a long stem with star-like pink flowers. Once the rosette produces flowers it dies off, but not to worry, because baby offsets continually form on the plant’s base. You can see these offsets in the photo below.
The Sempervivum ‘Commander Hay’ has gray green leaves that develop into deep red with green tips. It makes a beautiful low addition to container gardens. My plant is still quite young, so leaves have not turned red yet. Plants can live up to twenty years. They like to be in full sun when outdoors, and once established, are drought tolerant. Hen and chicks can be grown indoors, when planted in a well draining potting mix made for succulents and cacti. They should receive at least six hours of bright indirect sunlight each day. Allow soil to almost dry before you water. Fertilize with a diluted water soluble fertilizer. three or four times a year, especially during the growing season.
Sempervivum ‘Commander Hay’ is beautiful in a rock garden, and when used as a ground cover. In some countries it is actually grown on rooftops. It’s hardy in zones 4 through 10.
In the garden, Sempervivum ‘Commander Hay’ attracts butterflies, but is not a plant that deer like to nibble on. In some areas this is a good thing. I find Sempervivum fascinating and I’m looking forward to adding to my collection and sharing them with you.