Hairy Greenweed Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Neilreich's hairy beard of Jupiter


The plant known as "Beard of Jove" has a distinctive appearance characterized by its succulent nature. The leaves are fleshy and form tight, spherical clusters resembling small green rosettes. These leaf rosettes are the main visual feature of the plant, presenting a green shade that can sometimes have a tinge of red or purple on the tips, especially when exposed to full sun or during cold temperatures. Each leaf is typically thick and pointed, adapted for water storage, which is a common trait in succulent plants. The edges of the leaves may appear slightly hairy, giving them a slightly rough texture when touched. This hairiness is another unique trait that adds to the plant's character and visual interest. The plant blooms with attractive yellow flowers that emerge on stalks rising above the foliage. These star-shaped flowers add a splash of color and contrast nicely against the green rosettes. The blooms are usually seen in the warmer months, and they often attract pollinators to the garden. Overall, the Beard of Jove has a compact and charming growth habit, with its clustered rosettes making it a popular choice for rock gardens, alpine troughs, and as a ground cover in dry, sunny areas. Its ability to store water in its leaves allows it to withstand periods of drought, making it an ideal plant for water-wise gardens or for gardeners looking for low-maintenance plants. Despite its tough nature, this plant is also appreciated for its soft, almost velvety texture and the subtle beauty it brings to garden compositions, especially when juxtaposed with plants of contrasting forms and textures.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Hairy Greenweed, Hirta Houseleek, Alpine Houseleek, Neilreich's Houseleek

    • Common names

      Jovibarba globifera subsp. hirta var. neilreichii, Sempervivum hirtum var. neilreichii.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as Hen and Chicks, is not documented as having significant toxicity to humans. In general, Hen and Chicks are considered safe and non-toxic; therefore, ingesting parts of the plant is unlikely to cause poisoning or serious health consequences. However, ingestion of any plant material can potentially cause mild stomach upset if consumed in large quantities or if an individual has a particular sensitivity.

    • To pets

      Hen and Chicks, the common name for Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, is not known to be toxic to pets. It is generally considered safe for cats, dogs, and other pets. While it isn’t associated with serious health risks if pets ingest it, the consumption of any non-food plant can potentially result in mild gastrointestinal upset for some animals. Watching for signs of drooling, nausea, or diarrhea is prudent, but severe poisoning is unlikely.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5 feet (15 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5 feet (15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Drought Tolerance: Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as Hen and Chicks, has high drought tolerance, making it ideal for xeriscaping and rock gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: This plant requires minimal care, no frequent watering or feeding, perfect for busy gardeners or those new to horticulture.
    • Ground Cover: Hen and Chicks spread to form mats that can help to prevent soil erosion and suppress weeds.
    • Garden Aesthetics: With its rosette shape and green to reddish leaves, it adds visual interest and texture to garden spaces.
    • Propagation Ease: The "chicks" (offsets) can be easily separated from the parent "hen" and transplanted to propagate new plants.
    • Cold Hardy: This variety can withstand colder temperatures, making it suitable for gardens in cooler climates.
    • Insect Resistant: Hen and Chicks are not prone to many pests, reducing the need for pesticides.
    • Edging Plants: Due to their compact form, they can be used as border or edging plants along paths or in garden beds.
    • Attracts Pollinators: While not a major attractor, it can still play a role in supporting local bee populations when it blooms.
    • Container Planting: It's well-suited for containers, allowing for garden displays on patios, balconies, or indoors.
    • Versatility: Hen and Chicks can be included in various garden styles, including alpine, rock, and container gardens.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Garden ornamentation: Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as rollers, can be used as a decorative element in rock gardens or alpine garden displays due to their unique spherical rosettes and eye-catching appearance.
    • Green roofing: Rollers can be used in green roofing projects as they are hardy and can survive with minimal soil and water, contributing to biodiversity and insulation.
    • Bonsai companions: Due to their small size and aesthetic appeal, rollers may accompany bonsai trees, adding variety and texture to the display.
    • Photography subjects: The unique form of rollers makes them excellent subjects for macro photography, showcasing the beauty of succulents.
    • Educational purposes: Rollers can be used in educational settings to teach about plant propagation, as they can reproduce through offsets, illustrating asexual reproduction in plants.
    • Landscape design models: Their small size and distinct shape allow rollers to be used in creating miniature landscape models or fairy gardens.
    • Container gardens: As rollers can thrive in small spaces, they are ideal for container gardening, suited for balconies and patios.
    • Artistic inspiration: The form and resilience of rollers can inspire artists and craftspeople in various mediums, such as sculpture, textile design, or jewelry making.
    • Soil erosion control: When planted in mass on slopes or areas prone to erosion, rollers can help stabilize the soil with their root systems.
    • Craft projects: Dried or living rollers can be incorporated into craft projects like wreaths or natural decor arrangements.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Hen and chicks is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as "Rollers" due to their ability to detach and roll away from the mother plant to propagate, symbolize resilience and adaptability, thriving in rocky and arid environments.
    • Independence: This characteristic of rolling away to start new plants also symbolizes independence and the idea of self-sufficiency, as these "Rollers" can start new colonies on their own.
    • Protection: Historically, these plants were often grown on rooftops, believed to protect against lightning and fire, representing a symbol of safeguarding and home protection.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Hen and chicks requires moderate watering during the active growing season, typically in spring and summer. Water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch, about once every 7 to 10 days, giving it a thorough soak so that the water reaches the roots. Use approximately 8 ounces of water, ensuring that the plant isn't left sitting in water to prevent root rot. During the winter months, reduce watering frequency, providing just enough to prevent the soil from completely drying out. Always allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

  • sunLight

    Hen and chicks thrive in full sunlight to partial shade, so placing it in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight is ideal. A sunny windowsill or a spot in a rock garden with bright, unfiltered light will keep the plant healthy. However, in extremely hot climates, some afternoon shade can be beneficial to prevent scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Hen and chicks prefer a temperature range between 65°F and 75°F but are quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures down below freezing to about 20°F. They are ideal for growing outdoors in most climates but should be protected from extreme cold. The ideal conditions would be a temperate climate with temperatures not exceeding 85°F during the summer months.

  • scissorsPruning

    Hen and chicks do not require extensive pruning. Dead leaves and spent flower stalks can be removed as needed to maintain the plant's appearance and health. The best time to prune is in the spring or after the plant has flowered. Occasional removal of offsets can also be done to manage growth and encourage a more compact shape.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Hens and chicks (the most common name for Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii) prefer a well-draining soil mix with coarse sand, perlite, and compost to ensure proper drainage and avoid root rot; a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 is suitable for this plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Hens and chicks should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to replenish the soil and give the roots fresh space to grow; the best time to repot is in the spring or early summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Hens and chicks require a low to moderate humidity level, as they are drought-tolerant succulents; they thrive best in the same humidity levels typical of most household environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, well-draining soil, and infrequent watering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-draining soil; protect from wet winters.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as the "Hairy Hen and Chicks," begins its life cycle as a seed that sprouts in well-drained soil with sufficient sunlight. The seedling quickly develops into a rosette, forming a dense cluster of small, succulent leaves covered with fine hairs. As a perennial, the plant reaches maturity within a few years, during which offsets, or "chicks," grow around the base of the "hen" or main rosette. These offsets can be detached and will root themselves nearby, spreading the plant vegetatively. Flowering occurs in summer, presenting yellow star-shaped flowers that attract pollinators, after which the plant sets seeds that are dispersed by wind or by adhering to passing animals. The mother rosette may die after flowering, leaving the offsets to continue the growth cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii, commonly known as the Hen and Chicks, can be propagated primarily through the separation of its offsets, which are the 'chicks'. The ideal time for propagation is during the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. To propagate, gently remove the offsets that form around the base of the parent plant, ensuring that each offset has some roots attached. These can then be immediately placed on well-draining soil, lightly pressed in, and watered sparingly. The offsets will soon establish their own root system and begin to grow independently, gradually forming new clusters of Hen and Chicks. This method of vegetative propagation is simple and usually highly successful for expanding your collection of Jovibarba hirta var. neilreichii.