It is always a bitter sweet moment when one of my Hens and Chick plants flowers.
The flowers are so striking and lovely but what those flowers ultimately mean are that the Hen and Chick plant will die. The mature “Hen” stretches out to the sky and bursts forth those flowers, playing out a prolonged and dramatic death scene. They are very Sarah Bernhardt in their death scene, don’t you think?
As a Hen and Chick plant only flowers once in its life, it is unusual to see them flower. Some don’t flower at all before they die. If they are going to flower, it will be sometime around 3 years old.
And there is no way to save them. There is no plant anti-depressant or horticultural psychiatrist that will keep them from committing their spectacular suicide. You can’t just cut the flowers off and will them to live. All you can do is watch and wait and reflect on the fact that they never looked more beautiful than they do while they are dying.
But weep not for your Hen and Chick plant. It lived a good life. Normally by the time a Hen and Chick flowers, it has made lots and lots of babies. Take comfort in the knowledge that they are very tired plants and are now moving towards a well-deserved eternal rest.
Rest In Peace, Hen and Chick plant.