Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Bitter root and hen and chicks are hardy succulent perennials. These are easy to grow from seed.
Bitter root (Lewisia spp.)
Seeds for specific species and varieties are available. There is also a seed mix available.
The seeds typically take about two weeks to germinate. However, they can take one or two months. Germination can be irregular. It can help if you chill the seed for four to ten weeks before sowing. Sow these on the surface so the seeds arenít covered. A temperature of 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Another option is to sow the seeds in the fall in a cold frame so they will be exposed to some cold during the winter. Once the seedlings emerge keep them somewhat cooler.
There is a Lewisia cotyledon seed mix available. This is a hardy perennial, recommended for zones four through seven or eight. These reach Ĺ to one foot tall. They feature single blooms in a range of colors. Thompson and Morgan has Lewisia cotyledon Galaxy Mixed seed.
There are at least nine species in cultivation.
Hen and chicks (Sempervivum spp.)
These plants are hardy in zones four through ten.
This is often sold as a seed mix. According to some seed sources, the average germination rate is only 80%.
The seeds germinate within a range of at 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The specific recommendations depend on the species with some liking a cooler temperature, and others liking it warm in order to sprout. Sow on the surface so the seeds arenít covered.
Often, they will germinate in about two weeks. However, they have been known to take six weeks. In some cases, it has taken as long as five months
for them to germinate.
Seeds of several species are available, including Sempervivum grandiflorum, Sempervivum arachnoideum, and Sempervivium tectorum. There is also a mix
containing various hybrids and species.
A perennial mix of several species of hen and chicks is available. This mix is recommended for zones three through nine. The plants are two inches tall.
Thompson and Morgan sells a hybrid seed mix. Recommended for zones five through nine, these are one to nine inches tall.