House Leek Growing Guide

Sempervivum species

House Leek

Crop Rotation Group



Gritty, well-drained soil.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

When established in a protected spot, the hardiest houseleeks can survive winter cold to -29°C (-20°F). Semi-tropical selections can be brought indoors for winter.


None needed.


Single Plants: 20cm (7") each way (minimum)
Rows: 20cm (7") with 20cm (7") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Plant these showy succulents from spring through early summer in containers or beds where they can be kept free of weeds. Houseleeks shared by friends can be planted at any time of year except winter, when they should be kept indoors until spring. Young plants need water their first year, but after that houseleeks are very drought tolerant.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Houseleeks are unrelated to leeks, but they grow well on houses, where they are thought to bring good luck. The old Anglo Saxon word for plant was “leac.” Sempervivums and other hardy succulents are choice plants for green roofs. Bright sun brings out the red colour in plump sempervivum leaves. Sempervivums constantly put out new offspring on spreading stolons, which can be left in place or transplanted elsewhere.


Houseleeks are not dependable flower producers. Plants more than three years old are most likely to produce starry pink, white or yellow blossoms.


Very wet weather can lead to crown rot. In winter and early spring, temporary covers may be needed to protect plants from hungry rabbits and deer.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect House Leek