“And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. And to now that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. ” ~Khalil Gibran

I planted these Hens and Chicks last year with the joy put in my heart by the words of the garden center lady. “You can’t kill them. Don’t even bother watering them. They will grow anywhere.” Sounded just like my kind of plant! I’m a “trial and error” gardener. I’ve been known to overwater, underwater, transplant at the wrong time, etc…

I was thrilled to see the shoots bloom this year. I googled to see if I should remove the shoots and transplant for new flowers. I did not expect what I found. These lovely blooms mean it’s the end of the line for this plant. When the Hen produces chicks, it’s a new plant. When those shoots flower they are called Roosters and it means death.  The plant also left a Chick, so it’s not the complete end of the plant only the flowered shoots. Apparently, this happens from stress. How can it be stressed? It could have gotten too much water, fertilizer, or insufficient room to grow, or inappropriate amounts of sunlight. Take your pick… The hubby watered and fertilized them, but he swears it was AFTER it bloomed. We live and learn. I will become an admirer from afar!

Bittersweet is such the lifecycle. To live is to love and create, to move forward.

How often we mean well to find our actions counterproductive. We cultivate through touch, whether physically or emotionally. We connect and hopefully prosper.

No matter, life is a cycle. We must do what we can to live a loving and productive one.

Take this day to love one another, near or afar.

Make memories.

33 thoughts on “Bittersweet

    • I think so. Yes, they looked good all through the winter as well and reproduced the entire year. I was assuming the blooms were just a normal flowering process due to sunshine.

  1. Those look different than the hens and chicks I’ve seen, which are largely a sculptured-looking ground cover.
    Maybe you worry too much and try too hard. That’s what I like about perennials. They should survive on their own. I can give them a little boost here or there, but I let mother nature take care of them. The biggest thing I’ve found with plants is location. I know they say you should “bloom where you’re planted,” but most plants I know are particular about the amount of sun or shade they have.

    • I grow mostly perennials because it requires very little from me. I usually try to plant according to sun/shade requirement. The soil part is touch and go/grow for me. There are many varieties of Hens and chicks.

  2. Beautiful post, Suzi!

    ” I’ve been known to overwater, underwater, transplant at the wrong time, etc…”

    Yes, I’m the same way! I’ve been known to kill even a SILK flower – HA!

    “Bittersweet is such the lifecycle. To live is to love and create, to move forward.”

    You said it, my friend!

    Have a terrific Tuesday!

  3. How interesting! We have a plant Chlorophytum which is known as ‘Hens and Chicks’ but is entirely different. It is a variegated plant for edging rather than floral.

  4. You’ve just explained what happened to my hens that became roosters and disappeared. The one group of them anyway – another group had produced enough chicks to replace themselves.

    • Yes, same thing happened with mine. The ones on one side of the bed produced (rosettes) like crazy and the ones on the opposite side produced shoots and flowered. I think they call it the rooster getting in the hen house!

  5. When I kill my hens & chicks, they always just sort of wither away – they never go out in this blaze of glory. But I have seen some grow that way – just not in my yard. I didn’t realize it was their swan song.
    I’m fantastic at killing succulents and all those other supposedly ‘hard to kill’ plants. And yes, I do have a reputation as a gardener and supposedly I do have a green thumb. But even green thumbs have their weaknesses.

  6. I love the look of these flowers, but I dont’ know if they would grow in our climate here. I have never had a moments luck with orchids indoors. Out of doors they grow like weeds for me. I can’t throw away a living plant so I have straggly hangining on orchids looking like diseased old hookers in my house. Really ugly and there’s nothing I can do to make them better. Sometimes I wish they would just fade away without my interference. Oy vey!

  7. I grew them out west in the desert where they thrived. Perhaps it’s too wet in your area? In any event, they are gorgeous enough to justify their existence and final gasp, even if you must replant.

    • I don’t think it’s too wet…the hubby set up the sprinkler over them! And he fertilized them! They had done fabulously until now! And even so, one side of the bed is still doing well.

  8. That is bittersweet. I haven’t seen hens and chicks before, but in the desert, we have the Agave (century plant) that dies after it produces a tall flowering chute.

  9. I’d heard of Hens and Chicks before, but I don’t think yours looks like what I thought. How sad that they bloom and that’s the end! Don’t beat yourself up over it, though. Gardening is tough in even the best conditions!

  10. My mom had an old engine oil pan full of hens and chicks. They sat near the back porch for years, and never once did I see one bloom. That is beautiful!

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