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Woolly Cobweb Houseleek

Woolly Cobweb Houseleek


Succulentopedia

Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum (Woolly Cobweb Houseleek)

Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum (Woolly Cobweb Houseleek) is a mat-forming succulent that forms rosettes of fleshy, obovate…


Cobweb Houseleek Overview

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How To Plant Cobweb Houseleek

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How To Prune Cobweb Houseleek

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How To Fertlize & Water Cobweb Houseleek

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Cobweb Houseleek Pests / Problems

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Woolly Cobweb Houseleek: Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’

Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’ | The cobweb sempervivum

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You don’t need me to tell you how the cobweb houseleek (hen-and-chicks, or in botanical terms, Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum) got its folk name. Those with a fear or spiders or a compulsion to dust might find this plant unsettling. If it looks on the creepy side, try to imagine the leaves are playing cat’s cradle.

Delicate webbing covers each chick from infancy, stretching out as the evergreen rosette swells to maturity.

Sempervivums look to the next generation, producing lots of tiny offsets. When the pink, star shaped flowers eventually appear, they have male and female parts as an insurance policy. Once a rosette has produced a flowering stem it will die, leaving the multitude of pups to fill out its place.

The plant will sulk if its feet are allowed to stay wet, requiring a sunny spot and good drainage. Given that, you can pretty much ignore them to your heart’s content. Traditionally grown on rock walls, gravel gardens and roofs, sempervivums were believed to offer protection to those who grew them.

The plant’s original cultivar name is ‘Clärchen’. This flowering specimen was labelled Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clairchen’ in RHS Harlow Carr’s glasshouse. Online, I also found ‘Clarchen’ and ‘Claerchen’. Take your pick!


What is a Cobweb Houseleek?

A favorite outdoor plant, cobweb hens and chicks may already be growing in your garden or container. This interesting plant is covered with a cobweb-like substance, making it much sought after by many growers.

Scientifically named Sempervivum arachnoideum, this is a low growing rosette covered with the web. Webs stretch from leaf tip to tip and mass in the middle. Leaves of this plant may be tinted red or remain green, but the center is covered with the webby substance. Rosettes are 3-5 inches (7.6 to 13 cm.) wide in maturity. If given enough growing room, it will put out babies to form a tight mat, growing quickly to fill a container.

With a fibrous root system, it clings and grows with little encouragement. Use it for a wall, rock garden, or any area where a clinging and spreading rosette has room to grow.


Watch the video: All About Sempervivum arachnoideum Cebenese