Hens and chicks are used in much the same way as aloe vera, although its properties aren’t as strong. Its advantage is it has a wide range of growing conditions outside (zones 5 to 10) and is a perennial, expanding by putting out chicks or young plants. One of its names is house leek because it grows in very shallow, dry conditions. They were planted on roofs, especially slate where they thrived. It was though they offered protection from fire and evil spirits. A fresh leaf can be broken and the juice squeezed onto a burn or cut as a soothing, healing aid. It also can be used in the eye. They can be all green or red as shown here.