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Hi all from sunny Norfolk,we have planted an Alpine sort of thing and this plant has shot a 6 inch stork out with 4 or 5 flower heads on it ,does anyone know wot i do with it , its sticking about 3 inches in the air ,do i cut it and plant it or leave it, being a succulent its very fleshy and i dont want to hurt it,Help if poss please,



Victoria Sponge

I just left mine Alan, aren't they just flowers?

I think I read on here that the rosette it is stuck to will die afterwards - hopefully someone will correct me if I'm mistaken

Alan......Victoria is's a Sempervivum ( House Leek to you and I )...the flower spike will die back as will the rosette it came from......the surrounding rosettes will then flower when they have reached a certain size and the whole cycle begins again


It's the flower Alan. It'll die off like any other flower and the base  just dies back as well. I've just chucked one that's finished 

They have so many offshooots that you can just take those off and plant them elsewhere or let them spread around the area they're in.

They're strange looking little flowers aren't they? 


hi Viv ,any chance of its name so i can look it up as well please ,iv got loads of plant books but no succulents at all,im blaming Kate it was her idea in the first place, but they are really nice looking plants when done right, shes started 2 more big flat tray pots of em its her latest garden thing, cheers Victoria



There re so many sempervivums and they all look much the same to me. A bit of red here, a touch of white there. But 100s of different names for all that


Hi all i didnt know you all had answered me ,thanks for all the info,so i can take it off and replant it in her new one shes doing ,it all sounds really good Buy one get a thousand free Yes i can do that ,the new ones being done look really deserty and yt colourfull ,many thanks all  Sempervivium it is 

Victoria Sponge

I wouldn't have a clue Alan, sorry.

I bought mine when I did a course at Harlow Carr last summer and they gave me some plant vouchers. They had names but I'm afraid I was careless and misplaced them...

They are strangely addictive though 


Hi Alan - just to add that here in East Anglia it was traditional to grow a clump of sempervivums (known as Houseleeks) on the pantiled roofs of  old cottages in the belief that they prevented lightening strikes. 

I used to know several very old cottages with houseleeks on the roof - particularly what we in East Anglia call a Catslide roof  which was usually part of an added-on kitchen like this one 

 Haven't seen houseleeks on a roof for several years 

But I've found a pic online 


Dove.......didn't know it was to do with lightning strikes...... and learn. We used to have them on French houses ......I noticed them too on the local Convent outhouses..........the little roofs you describe as  Catslide roofs.

I love them ......bowls of them everywhere and have recently planted some on my roof slope (in place of Stonecrop) ......I was feeling quite pleased until my elderly neighbour phoned me the other morning......"Philippa........did you realise you have stuff growing on your roof" ? She does tend to get in a panic


My dad liked the houseleek-on-roof story, Dove, and planted one on the stone slate roof of his porch.  Obviously it works - his house was never struck by lightning... 


TYPICAL TOO LATE with that info. About 4/5 weeks ago the door bell went about 3.30 in the morning, I got up to check and nobody about but then i noticed the clocks all flashing no probs, a short power cut probebly, next day Saturday i sat down to watch the Grand Prix and NO TV ,the TV man gets down of the roof youv been hit by,, youv guessed it, At 3.30 the lightning blew the ariel transmitter booster thing to kingdom come,£50 and it was only 2 weeks old fitted by the same chap, ,but the TV engineer chappy did say" this is rare " HE  DIDNT SAY WHERES YOUR SEMPERVIVIAM  DID  HE  NO, call himself a TV engineer ,he knows nothing ,,,Got to go Kates just walked in with a bag of fresh wet seaweed bless her cotton socks,Comfry and seaweed feed coming up, oh i can smell it now  SO thankyou all for that TOO Late info PS when a asked Kate to go up on the roof and start planting the Sempys she said Kindly go away ,or somthing similar anyway. 


Get that sempervivum up there Alan - you don't want lightening to strike twice do you? 



Charlemagne passed a law making in compulsory to have Sempervivums on the roof.

I think the drunken husband thing was a Sedum aka Welcome home husband be ye never so  drunk (or something like that).

There are about 1200 named Semps in the National Collection (Fir Croft Nursery, Calver,derbys).

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