Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

Sempervivum is a succulent plant that comes in a rainbow palette of hues – but one shade that’s oft overlooked is white. I might be able to see why… if you’ve got access to all of those colours, why would you pick the least colourful variety? Well, Sempervivum ‘Arctic White’ is one white succulent that certainly won’t be overlooked!

How to care for Sempervivum Arctic White

Flowering time: May to July

Location: Containers, rockeries, xeriscaping, living walls

Soil: Well-draining compost with horticultural grit for added drainage

Light: Full sun

Water: Water in hot weather

Size: 10cm height, 15cm spread

Care: No feeding needed, but mix some slow release fertiliser into soil if repotting


Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

What’s different about this plant?

Sempervivum ‘Arctic White’ has a ghostly, glowing appearance. In fact, it looks like it’s covered in many thick layers of spider webs – hence its species name, ‘Arachnoideum’! Planted solo or with compatible plant pairings, ‘Arctic White’ stands out as quite cute and unusual. Planted en masse, however, it really makes an impact – like a carpet of spider webs!

How was Sempervivum Arctic White created?

Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

Left, ‘Arctic white’; right, a normal arachoideum variety.

The creator of the award-winning Sempervivum ‘Arctic White’, Jef Gielis of Belgicactus, says, ‘It’s a crossing from Arachnoideum species, better known as the ‘cobweb varieties’. We had some varieties that we had already grown: a good rooting and branching variety but not white enough; and a good white variety that suffers from root diseases and in winter it was not suitable to grow outdoors. 

Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

Left, ‘Arctic white’; right, a normal arachoideum variety.

‘We made several crossbreeds, selecting the best white varieties with the best root performance, and cross-bred these again. We then selected Arctic white from about 50,000 seedlings in 2013’.

Jef says the qualities noticed in ‘Arctic White’ are:

  • better root performance
  • more chicks/offset production
  • better winter performance and in late spring and summer
  • the whitest cobweb variety I know… you’ll need a pair of sunglasses to view a block of thousand here in the nursery!

Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

Where can you plant Sempervivum Arctic White?

Like all sempervivums, ‘Arctic White’ performs well in a container, but these plants also do well in rockeries, xeriscaped gardens and vertical living walls.

As mentioned earlier, they’re fantastic when planted en masse. However, ‘Arctic White’ produces a lot of offsets in very early spring to April, so be prepared to watch your sempervivum spread – and maybe even separate a few babies to grow into bigger plants!

Sempervivum 'Arctic White'

Wherever you plant ‘Arctic White’, ensure it is positioned in a sunny area in well-draining soil. It doesn’t like a soggy bottom one bit!

Where can you buy Sempervivum Arctic White?

You can buy Sempervivum ‘Arctic White’ from Roots Plants in the UK and Nelumbo Garden in the EU. 

Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.

See every Plant of the Month here.

Images courtesy of Plantipp.

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