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Essential Plants 1774.jpg
Houseleeks are a fascinating group of plants. There are only about 40 species in the genus but there are very many cultivars. The degree of difference between individual species and cultivars is not very great and the vast majority are plants for the collector and specialist grower who become fascinated by the infinite variations within their general shape and structure. The average gardener (unless he or she gets caught by the bug to collect them) will be happy with just a few. House leeks grow in tightly packed rosettes of fleshy leaves, which are their main attraction. The leaves are wide and end in a point. They vary in colour from green to brown. Some are covered with hairs while others are covered in what looks like spiders cobwebs. Each plants spawns offsets and soon a large mat of plants is formed, all tightly packed together. The flowers appear on long stems that erupt from the centre of the rosettes, the rosette dying after flowering, but there are always plenty to replace it. House leeks like a well-drained soil and grow well on rock gardens, gravel gardens and in containers. Increase by separating the offsets.

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