Sempervivum 'Hairy Balls'

Sempervivum 'Hairy Balls'

Succulentopedia

Sempervivum 'Hairy Balls'

Sempervivum 'Hairy Balls' is a succulent perennial, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, with small, compact rosettes of furry, fleshy leaves. The…


Unabashed addicts of hardy succulents!

Perennial Obsessions is a small Mom and Pop plant nursery located in 'Wine Country' of Oregon's Willamette Valley, near Salem. The 'mom and pop' of this nursery are both life-long nursery-folk that somehow found themselves growers and collectors of a wide variety of hardy succulents.

The bulk of our collection are Sempervivum and Sedum, but we also have Rosularia, Saxifraga, Orostachy and Delosperma. We offer starts from our ever-evolving collection to the gardening public. Because we are small, we seldom have more than 10 or 20 of any items, so this site will not be helpful to wholesale nurseries.

Hardy succulents are easy-care plants that tolerate drought, heat, freezing temperatures, neglect, and errant lawn mowers. They are generally disease and pest free. It's hard to hurt this type of plant, but over-watering, high humidity and standing water can be deadly. Good drainage is key. And lastly, these are hardy plants that need the outdoors to thrive. They are fickle houseplants at best.

Hardy succulents with their wide variety of exotic shapes, colors, textures and sizes provide unlimited uses for the adventurous gardener. They work well in the landscape, as ground cover, in rock walls, living roofs, mixed succulent containers, rock gardens, fairy gardens, vertical containers, wedding bouquets and party favors, and the list goes on and on!

Please note that succulents change color during the year. Most show a wide variation in color in the spring, summer and fall, and then tend to fade in the winter. Pictures in this catalog were taken at various times, trying to catch the peak of one season or another. Don’t fret if the plant you receive is not the same color as shown in the catalog. It will be that color at some time during the year.

Photos on this site are not edited for color, but the levels of light are adjusted. We use a Panasonic Lumix FZ50, which does an exceptional job capturing color.

Thanks for your interest in our plants! Dave and Cynda

International Orders

International Orders: Please include a 'phyto' certificate (Phytosanitary Certificate) which can be found under the "International Shipping" category in the product page.


These tough succulents are easy to grow, but with enough variation to be engaging for a lifetime. The rosette forms of semps grow into tight clusters that can look like rolling waves of color on the ground. When in containers they cascade over the edges and putting down roots wherever they touch soil.

Sempervivum are cold hardy succulents native to the high mountains of Europe. Their ideal growing conditions are cool, sunny, dry regions with excellent drainage. However, these guys aren't overly fussy and can be grown nearly anywhere with a little consideration. Most varieties can handle winter temperatures that plummet to -20 or -30 degrees (USDA Zone 4). However, if you're growing them in those colder ranges it usually increases survival rates to give them a little extra winter protection (crop cover blankets, move containers closer to house, etc). In warmer climates (USDA Zones 9 and above), they will grow better with shade during the most intense sunlight hours.

Being succulents, sempervivum are also drought tolerant. In the spring when they are growing most they benefit from regular watering, but other than that the water requirements are minimal. Just give them a good, thorough watering whenever the soil has dried out and they'll be happy. Although semps suffer from few diseases, rot can be a problem with over watering or if there isn't adequate drainage.

Sempervivum propagate by producing babies or offsets on stolon. Because of how they propagate themselves the common name of hens and chicks. They are monocarpic plants. This means that after a few years of growing they will flower and then die. It's always a surprise to people in summer when their little round rosettes turn into tall stalks topped with star-shaped flowers. These low maintenance plants continue growing year after year even when completely ignored, making it seem like they really do 'live forever' as their name, sempervivum, suggests.

Jovibarba are often lumped in with sempervivum as hens and chicks. They are extremely similar. The main difference is in how jovibarba produce their offsets. Jovibarba heuffelii grow chicks that are mashed inside the mother plant. Other jovibarba are called 'Rollers' because they grow babies on top of the mother plant that pop off and roll away to grow elsewhere.

For more information, read our article on how to plant and grow sempervivum.


Sempervivum Collection

Sempervivums, the iconic houseleek, were the mainstay of 70's municipal borders and park displays, but today, they have worked their magic and are making a welcome return to our gardens, as people realise that they are a real multipurpose plant.

Be part of this succulent revolution and buy your now - let yourself be won over by these fascinating, low-maintenance perennials.

Sempervivums form rosettes of colourful, fleshy leaves and are low growing, making them extremely popular as a living carpet of green and an ideal candidate for green roofs and living walls - a welcome addition to any garden because of their colours and diversity of form.

Also known as hen and chicks because the freely produced offsets gather around the mother plant in much the same way as chicks around a mother hen. Sempervivums are drought tolerant and will take a roothold in the narrowest of cracks - hence their common name, as they were once used to plug gaps in leaking roofs. Recommended as an ideal plant to spearhead the need to adapt our gardens to be more responsive to climate change.

This resurgence in popularity has been driven in part by their undemanding nature - they're very much a 'plant-it-and-leave-it' type of plant - easy to grow and a doddle to maintain, fully winter hardy and produce multiple new plants every year.

As a bonus during the summer, the mature rosettes throw out spikes topped with star shaped flowers which insects love, plus they produce offsets, or new plants, every season that are simple to separate and grow as new specimens.
Really easy to grow and a favourite with kids, Sempervivums require a well-drained soil in full sun, tolerating drought when established.

Supplied as a collection of 6 named plants, 1 of each variety.

Please note that varieties may change throughout the year, depending on availability.


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