Fig. 1 Sempervivum arachnoideum
One of the many succulents that are proliferating in my backyard is the Sempervivum arachnoideum -commonly called "Hen and Chicks" or "Cobweb Houseleek". Every year when the temperatures start to warm up, they multiply by sending out runners that look like tentacles from within the overlapping layers of the older leaves.
I noticed that the rosettes of leaves during the winter months (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) do not show as much 'cobweb' and are not as tightly arranged as the Sempervivum arachnoideum in the hotter months. This could be an effect of lower light intensity and shorter photoperiod combined with sufficient soil moisture during the cooler months. The plant tries to expose as much of its leaf area in order to maximize exposure to sunlight. The lose rosettes therefore could be a symptom of stress from insufficient. On the contrary, under adversely hot conditions, the plant's natural reaction is to prevent moisture loss - and thus closing as much exit points of moisture as possible.
Fig. 2 Sempervivum arachnoideum: loosely-arranged rosettes and insignificant 'cobweb'.
Regardless of their seasonal behavior, Sempervivum arachnoideum in small containers look great. I intend to grow more of them this way and give as presents to house guests.