What are monocarpic succulents?

If your succulent recently died after putting off a beautiful bloom, you may have a monocarpic succulent! Find out what that means in this post!

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I know the term monocarpic may sound scary, but it’s really not! What does it mean exactly? A monocarpic succulent only flowers once and then dies. While I knew that most Agaves die after they bloom, but wasn’t aware that other succulents do as well. I discovered first hand though that this was the case.

Find out what a monocarpic succulent is and why you need to know about them!

I’ve begun planting quite a few Sempervivums in my garden lately. A few weeks ago I noticed several were beginning to bloom. I was excited to see what their flowers looked like. I’m not a huge fan of succulent blooms, but it is interesting to see how they vary. As it turns out, Semps have a fairly unique look to their flowers.

Not long after the blooms had fully opened I noticed that the “hen” or mother plant was starting to turn black. These particular plants are in the shade so I knew it wasn’t sunburn. I didn’t think it was over watering as they don’t get watered more than once a week and the soil is usually bone dry by the time I water again. So, I did some research.

Hens of Sempervivums will die after producing several new chicks and blooming

When I found out Sempervivums were monocarpic it all started to make sense. Only the blooming plants were dying but the rest were in really great shape!

Here’s what I learned… Most monocarpic succulents also “pup” or put off a lot of new plants before they bloom. This is definitely true with Sempervivums. The plants I purchased were packed full with tons of chicks. The idea is that by the time they are ready to bloom, they’ve already produced more than enough plants to replace themselves so they can die happy. They put all of their effort into their beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) flower as their last hurrah.

The hen of hens and chicks succulents will die after the produce quite a few chicks and bloom

While this may not be the main cause for your succulents dying, it’s definitely a possibility! I actually had one reader email me photos of their Sempervivum shortly after I found out that is what happened to mine, so I know some of you are experiencing this or will soon. If you have experience this with any of your succulents please let me know in the comments! So far I know that Sempervivums, some Agaves, and some Aeoniums are monocarpic but I’m not sure beyond that. Also, if you ever see an Agave flower, you won’t be surprised that they die afterward. The plume they get is huge! Often several feet tall. They remind me of Dr. Seuss Books.

For the succulent product this week, I wanted to tell you about Darby Smart. If you’ve been following the blog for a few weeks you’ve likely seen me talk about Darby Smart before, but today I want to talk about their DIY kits. Two of my more recent succulent projects are available to purchase as a complete kit from Darby Smart: the Himmeli Pyramid and Painted Bell Cups.

Buy Succulent Project Kits from Darby Smart

Ahh! I love how simple this project is! I had no idea it was so easy to create a himmeli pyramid with real brass pipes

These kits make it super easy to get everything you need in one place! I have loved shopping at Darby Smart. Their prices are great and with shipping included it’s more convenient than going to the craft store! I plan to do more projects that will also be available as kits on Darby Smart, so stay tuned!


Thanks for reading this article!

I’d love to help you more in your succulent adventures! Here are some great ways to interact and learn more about succulents:

2017-11-07T09:30:28+00:00