The care guidelines for succulents are pretty simple and straightforward, but who wants to follow the rules? Succulents are cool plants and people want to use them like an art medium, planting them upside-down, in glass, indoors, etc. This is one of my favorite things about hens and chicks; you can get creative with them.
We are often asked about growing sempervivum indoors in all different light levels. Semperivuvm have their ideal conditions and then they have conditions that they can survive with.
Hens and chicks will generally look their best when they are planted outside with lots of sun, soil that drains well, not too much water and a cold dormant period. With these outdoor conditions they will grow large, produce offsets and display bright colors (for colorful varieties).
When you deviate from these requirements your plants will still grow, but you should also expect them to loose a little when it comes to looks. Sempervivum grown inside usually don’t get as much sunlight as they would like. This makes their colors fade to green.
Think of the red coloring of some sempervivum varieties as sunscreen. It helps the leaf tissue in full sun not to be damaged. The brightest sun will bring out the brightest coloring. If those plants are indoors and not in the bright sunlight then they don’t need that sunscreen anymore.
The plants in these pictures have been grown in a window facing north-west for a couple years. As you can see, the plants still look great, but they are mostly green with just a blush of color. We always suggest that people look for different plant forms for indoors rather than colors. Experiment with growing some sempervivum indoors and see how they do for you.
If you take your indoor semps outside they will get their color back pretty quickly. Some people rotate the plants between inside and out to try and keep indoors.