Sedum - Growing Guide

Growing Sedum


We only grow a few hardy herbaceous perennial forms of the stonecrop and one alpine or rockery form. Butterflies and bees adore the flowers of these late summer and autumn flowering plants although we can admire them as well. They may, in one sense, be the harbingers of autumn but they certainly earn their place in patio planters or, more normally, towards the front of the herbaceous border.

Sedum all perform best in full sun and will tolerate periods of very dry conditions even in poor soil. They will grow perfectly well in shade (and variegated forms are best in partial shade) but they may not flower so prolifically.

In autumn herbaceous varieties should be cut back to ground level and the old leafy stems removed to the compost pile. This helps to maintain the shape of the clumps which, once established, do not usually need support for their stems. When grown in pots the flowering stems may well need tying into canes.

Dividing clumps ever few years and moving plants to new sites is a good idea as it rejuvenates them and makes them flower better. Softwood cuttings of new growth stems are very simple indeed to root as well. Slugs and snails may well be a problem as the new growth starts to develop properly in early summer after wet periods. Variegated forms seem to suffer the worst damage.

S. ‘Frosty Morn’ has gorgeous, variegated leaves and pinkish-white flowers.

S. ‘Matrona’ has very dark foliage which offsets pretty light pink flowers.

S. ‘Purple Emperor’ has a bushy compact habit with almost black foliage and red flowers.

S. spectabile (the ice plant) grows to around 18-24in in height (as do the three varieties mentioned above) with a similar spread. It takes its common name from its white ringed scalloped grey-green leaves and has star-shaped pink flowers in flat cymes.

S. spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ has dark green leaves and flat corymbs of star-shaped flowers that are deep pink at first then turning pinkish-bronze and, finally, red.

S. spectabile ‘Brilliant’ also has grey-green leaves and flowers with bright pink petals with darker anthers.

Sedum 'Red Cauli' click for larger image
Sedum 'Red Cauli'


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