Sedums or stonecrop are extremely attractive additions to any garden.
These drought-resistant succulents are known for their thick succulent leaves, fleshy sturdy stems, and succulent foliage like star-shaped flower clusters that brighten up a garden especially, in the fall.
Furthermore, they are such an easy plant to grow that even novice gardeners can successfully propagate them in the garden. Today, we’ll be taking a deep dive into planting and caring for sedums in your garden.
Let’s get started!
What are Sedums
Sedums are leaf succulents found primarily in the temperate to subtropical climates of the Northern Hemisphere. However, they can also be found in the Southern hemisphere in Africa and South America being most diverse in the Mediterranean, Central America, Himalayas, and East Asia
They are extremely resilient low maintenance plants. They can withstand high temperatures, hot summer climates, poor soil, full sun, sunny location, and are drought-tolerant plants.
Still, they are also a great choice for low temperatures, freezing temperatures, and deep freezes. Plus, there is a good selection of this large genus that make amazing plants especially for your fall garden.
There are two main types of Stonecrop Sedums: Tall sedums and creeping sedums.
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Taller varieties of sedum or upright stems sedums grow taller and can reach up to 1-3 feet in height depending on the types of sedum and environment. Their height and tight mass of tiny flowers make for attractive borders and great additions to pollinator gardens.
Meanwhile, creeping or low-growing sedums are smaller plants, spread quickly, and form ground mats. They have colorful leaves that are fleshy (copper, blue, yellow, maroon, etc.).
All of this makes them a great option as a ground cover along paths when you want green leaves, in rock gardens, or cascading down stone or rock walls.
Sedums have semi-glossy and thick leaves with fleshy flower stems. They are topped with colorful foliage such as pastel-colored flowers that are rich in nectar.
The sedum flowers come in the form of white flowers, yellow flowers, pink flowers, star-like pink flowers, salmon-pink flowers, etc. This makes them attractive to pollinators like butterflies, bees, and moths.
- Golden sedum
- Autumn joy sedum
- Blue spruce sedum
- Sedum adolphii
- Donkey tail
- Sedum spurium or Sedum morganianum
- Autumn fire
- Sedum dasyphyllum
- Hylotelephium spectabile
Common Uses for Sedums
Sedum plants are typically cultivated and a good choice as ornamental grasses and garden plants because of their attractive appearance and inherent hardiness. Some of the most popular varieties used in gardens include Herbstfreude (Autumn Joy – I have these in my drought resistant garden area), Bertram Anderson, Matrona, and Ruby Glow.
Plus, these hardy plants are a good idea and popular choice for your beautiful garden since they can withstand the extreme heat and cold winters or stand alone as individual plants.
Some stonecrops including Sedum reflexum, also known as “prickmadam”, “stone orpine”, or “crooked yellow stonecrop”, are occasionally used as a salad leaf or herb in Europe, including the United Kingdom. The same is true for Sedum divergens, also known as “spreading stonecrop”, which was eaten by First Nations people in northwest British Columbia. The succulent plant is used as a salad herb by the Haida and the Nisga’a people.
It’s important to note, however, that the juice from the succulent stems and the coarse texture on the succulent-like leaves may irritate the skin if handled excessively.
Sedum is also a popular option for green roofing and is often preferred over grasses. This is because they are very shallow-rooted and so they don’t need a lot of growing medium in order to thrive.
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How to Plant Sedums
Succulent plants thrive best in a sunny spot with full to partial sun and not much shade. Taller varieties of sedum need full sun for best blooming, while creeping variety of sedum will grow just fine in part sun or partial shade.
Make sure that the soil is well draining with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Good soil drainage is key when you have wet soil with too much water or heavy clay that can lead to root rot and stem rot.
Tall species of sedum should be placed 1 to 2 feet apart, while a low-growing particular variety can be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart depending on how quickly you want to fill an area.
They are best planted in the early spring after the last frost. You can plant transplants until late summer if you’re in northern areas. If you live in warmer climates and weather conditions, plant them in spring or early fall.
Sedum Care Tips
Succulents sedums need little care they are very drought tolerant since they are low-water plants, they do need to be well-watered, especially if they are newly planted.
When it comes to fertilizing, new plants can tolerate low-fertility soils. A 1-inch layer of compost during planting and annually in the spring is enough to keep your young plants strong throughout the growing season.
Use bark mulch to keep weeds away. You can also use gravel or gravelly soil to help maintain moist soil while keeping it well-drained.
Rest assured sedums are relatively safe from pests and diseases. However, you need to make sure that the soil is well-drained to prevent root and stem rot.
They may also be infected by powdery mildew so it’s important to space them apart properly to keep the leaves dry and to increase air circulation.
Do you grow Sedums? What do you grow and which is your favorite? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
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