Improved dragon’s blood red sedum

Among the genus sedum, creeping red sedum offers a tough-as-nails plant with colorful flowers. Sedums are drought-tolerant, bloom nearly all season, and grow where other plants can’t live. They’re a great addition to the garden but particularly useful to cover slopes, rocky ground, or stone walls.

About Creeping Red Sedum

Creeping sedum also go by the name stonecrop, perhaps because the ‘crop’ appears to grow straight out of rocks and stones. They creep by extending runners out from the parent plant. The runners root, then send out new shoots, creating a dense mat of plants. Creeping sedums can grow in almost any soil or in places with little soil, such as in between the rocks in a rock wall or along a walkway. Many people plant them on garden pathways because these tough plants even spring back from being stepped on!

Growing Requirements

Like all sedums, creeping red sedum is a tough plant. It needs full sun but in the southern United States and in very hot areas it can also dwell in partial shade. Sedum actually prefers poor soil, but when planting it, it benefits from some compost mixed into the soil to create good drainage. Sedums prefer well drained soil and may not do well if they’re kept too wet or in boggy areas. They’re drought tolerant and makes an excellent plant for those areas of the garden where nothing seems to flourish.

Types

When shopping for red colored creeping sedums, you may encounter some simply marked “red” and others with a variety name. All sedums are quite hardy, disease-resistant and need similar growing conditions. You can take a chance with a generic ‘red’ sedum or choose from one of these popular varieties:

  • Sedium spurium “Red Carpet”: As the name suggests, this sedum grows into a red, carpet-like mass of flowers. The foliage itself is tinted with red throughout the growing season. In the fall, the red color deepens to a dark burgundy. Red Carpet sedum spreads more slowly than other varieties but the color is worth the wait.
  • Sedium spurium “Dragon’s Blood”: Dragon’s Blood sedum is another very popular creeping red variety. It is also called “Fulda Glow” or “Fuldaglut” sedum. Dragon’s Blood starts blooming in June and doesn’t stop until well into the fall, producing a series of rich red, star-shaped flowers all over the plant. The plants stay colorful even during the winter. It’s also very hard and disease resistant.

Uses for Creeping Sedum

In addition to covering stonewalls and walkways, sedums are great for erosion control. Choose a fast-growing sedum that will spread quickly to cover a slope. The roots hold the soil in place and provide a welcome mat of red-tinted foliage during the growing season. Most red sedums begin blooming in early summer and provide a carpet of blossoms until the first frost.

The Plant for Lazy Gardeners

The entire group of plants called sedums or stonecrop should be nicknamed the lazy gardener’s plant because they are probably the most easy-care, worry free perennial you can add to your garden. They don’t require fertilizer or watering, and cover areas prone to weeds, suppressing weeds while providing colorful foliage and flowers. They spread easily and offspring plants can be moved into other parts of the garden. If you’re time pressed or have areas of the garden difficult to cultivate, you can’t go wrong with sedum. Sedums are readily available at national home and garden stores, nursery and garden centers, and online plant catalogs, and are an affordable plant to add to the garden.

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop: How To Grow Dragon’s Blood Sedum Plants

Dragon’s Blood stonecrop (Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’) is an exciting and attractive ground cover, spreading quickly in the sunny landscape and growing happily in many areas of the U.S. Sedum Dragon’s Blood awakens from dormancy in spring with green leaves and red flowers to follow. Leaves become outlined in burgundy, and the colors fill in during the summer to become a deep burgundy by autumn.

Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’ Info

A sedum well suited to USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8, Dragon’s Blood sedum plants die back during winter in colder spots but return with vigor to get going again in spring. New sprouts continue to spread, covering those sunny, poor soil areas as summer continues. Growing Dragon’s Blood sedum fills in between pathways, trails down walls and covers rock gardens, combined with other spreading sedums or alone. Dragon’s Blood stonecrop doesn’t like foot traffic but happily spreads around pavers.

Of the Caucasian stonecrop (S. spurium) family, sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’ is a creeping or two-row sedum variety, meaning it is tolerant of urban conditions. Poor soil, heat, or strong sun aren’t a challenge for this creeping beauty. In fact, this plant needs sun to maintain its deep color. Areas with the hottest summer sun, however, might provide some afternoon shade during this time.

How to Grow Dragon’s Blood

Choose your sunny, well-draining spot and break it up. Amend compacted soil with compost and sand until you get quick drainage. Roots won’t need deep soil when planted as cuttings, but the roots of mature stonecrop may reach a foot (30 cm) or so in depth. Cuttings should be an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm.) in length. You may choose to root cuttings before planting, both in water or soil. If planting by division, dig as deep as the clump you’re planting.

When growing from the tiny seeds, scatter a few in the rock garden or soil and keep moist until you see sprouts. When roots develop, an occasional misting will suffice, and soon the ground cover is ready to take off on its own, climbing rocks and devouring weeds in its path. Dragon’s Blood stonecrop forms a mat as it spreads, keeping weeds shaded and choked out. If you want to grow taller specimens within the mat, keep the sedum detained with pruning and even pulling.

Should an unwanted spread begin, block the roots. Blocking only goes so far for keeping Dragon’s Blood contained, but it has not reportedly spread to the point of being invasive. If you’re concerned about the spread, keep Dragon’s Blood sedum plants in outdoor containers. They are an attractive addition to any sun/part sun spot in your outdoor garden and well-worth growing somewhere.

Plant Finder

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop in bloom

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop foliage

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 4 inches

Spacing: 14 inches

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 2a

Other Names: Two Row Stonecrop

Description:

A vigorous perennial groundcover with small succulent foliage which emerges colorful shades of red, eventually fading to dark green; flowers a sea of deep cherry red in summer, spreads rapidly to form a dense low mat; needs a dry and sunny location

Ornamental Features

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop is smothered in stunning rose star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from early to mid summer. Its attractive tiny succulent round leaves emerge burgundy in spring, turning dark green in colour with distinctive dark red edges. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous dark red in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 14 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a ‘spiller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Sedum Dragon’s Blood Sedum Spurium Seeds

Sedum Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop Sedum Spurium is a herbaceous perennial plant native to the Caucuses. Sedum Dragon’s Blood seeds can be started indoors or directly outdoors, and also commonly called Caucasian Stonecrop and Two Row Stonecrop, this variety of Sedum Spurium spreads to form thick, low carpet of small, bronzy-green to beet-red leaves that are simple, smooth-margined, and succulent. Sedum Dragon’s Blood blooms with extremely showy clusters of ruby-red star flowers that appear in summer and fall.
Sedum Dragon’s Blood is grown primarily as an excellent creeping ground cover plant that is particularly great for hot, dry sites with poor soil. Caucasian Stonecrop is also a popular succulent to grow in rock gardens, containers, borders, sunny banks or slopes, along walkways or foundations. Sedum Spurium seeds produce the sprawling, low to the ground, evergreen perennial that grows well in poor, rocky, and sandy soils, preferring a lot of sunlight and very little water.

PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS
Sow Indoors: Winter/Spring (6-8 weeks before last frost)
Sow Outdoors: Spring/Fall
Seed Depth: Surface sowing – press seeds slightly into the soil
Germination Time: 14-28 Days

Description:

Sedum (Spurium Coccineum) – Grow Sedum Dragon’s Blood seeds for an easy-to-grow herbaceous perennial ground cover which can be grown in a container or used in mass plantings. Sedum ground cover plants are exceptionally tolerant of heat and drought and also tolerate to cold and humidity.
Red stonecrop Sedum is a fast growing ground cover with brilliant red flowers in late summer. It is a succulent with needle-like leaves that turn an orange-red color in fall. Red stonecrop ground cover creates a dense mat 3 – 5 inches tall that spreads quickly within contained regions. You don’t have to worry about it spreading to unwanted areas outside of where you want Sedum ground cover plants
The Sedum Dragon’s Blood plant will tolerate poor, dry soil. Low growing Sedum is used for containers, borders, edging and as a dense spreading ground cover plant. Perennial Sedum plants are great in rock gardens as they will grow in shallow, poor soil and perform well. The Sedum Dragon’s Blood plant is easy to remove by simply pulling it out as it is shallow rooted.
Season: Perennial
USDA Zones: 3 – 10
Height: 3 – 5 inches
Width: 12 – 15 inches
Bloom Season: Summer
Bloom Color: Crimson red
Environment: Full sun

Sedum spurium coccineum is the most robust sedum for creeping spread and for floriferousness. With deep crimson blooms and bronze-green leaves it thrives and spreads in droughty rockery edges in full sun.
In July, dense clusters of showy crimson blooms smother the evergreen plants. Usually about three to four inches tall, the flower stems raise three or four inches above the leaves. The flowering can be so dense that the leaves are completely hidden.
You might also find it sold under the marketing names ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or ‘Purple Carpet’ or by its German name ‘Schorbuser Blut.’
Sedums are low maintenance, durable and interesting. They enhance the appearance of green roofs, vertical walls and rockeries due to differing leaf forms, flower colours and extended flowering period. If started early, it forms a nice dense ground cover the very first season. If the weather is favourable it will flower within six months.
The plants successfully complement other rock-garden components, use them in alpine gardens, troughs and pots. They can be used as a groundcover between flagstones and they are especially suitable for green roofs or living walls.
S. coccineum is evergreen through winter, the bronze-tipped green leaves turn rusty red in chilly autumns. When the flowers & stems go brown, they will linger quite some while and for tidiness sake may need to be removed. If left, the sedum will self-seed in August or September.
It will tolerate a bit of shade but prefers lots of sun if it is to bloom well. As drought-tolerant succulents they are hardy and easy to grow, requiring minimal care, only full sun and good drainage to thrive.

Sowing: January-March or June-August for flowering the following year
Seeds can be sown in spring or late summer at temperatures around 10 to18°C (50 to 65°F). Cold temperatures (10°C / 50°F) will increase the cultivation time. In spring the plants start to grow at 15 to 18°C (60 to 65°F).

Sowing Direct: For a Green Roof or Rockery
Prepare a fine weed free free-draining bed. Mixing seed with fine sand will aid even distribution. Sow seed evenly over the surface. Gently rake the seed bed so the seed comes into contact with the soil mix and gently water in. For green roofs, use a soil mix specifically for the purpose. For wintering the root development should be very good, small seedlings need to be frost free at around 3 to 5°C (37 to 41°F) so if you are growing seedlings through the winter outdoors, outdoor fleece cover will be needed to keep them frost free.

Sowing Indoors: In Pots
Sowing directly into small pots is recommended. Use seed spoons if you have them or mix the fine seeds with fine sand to aid even distribution. Fill pots with an acid-free, free-draining soil seed compost. Tap the pot to settle the compost, but do not firm the mixture down. Stand the pots in water, moisten thoroughly and drain. Seeds should be scattered very lightly over the surface.
Sedums require light for germination. Cover seed lightly with vermiculite after sowing.
If possible, place in a propagator otherwise, secure a polythene bag around the pot or cover the container with glass or and place in a warm place. Many people make use of a warm place such as the airing cupboard, or near the kitchen boiler. Care should be taken to prevent the pots drying out from below. Keep soil slightly moist but not wet. Some people stand the containers on a tray of damp sand, so that they do not dry out.
The seeds germinate best at temperatures of 18 to 22°C (65 to 72°F). Most seedlings appear within 14 to 21 days.
Be careful to keep the top of the compost damp but not wet. As soon as the first seeds have germinated, remove the plastic or raise the lid slightly to permit circulation of air.
Six to eight weeks after sowing transplant or thin out to 1 to 3 plants into a 9 to 10 cm pot or about 3 to 5 plants into an 11 to 15 cm pot. Avoid very large pots, because the substrate in pots that are too large will be permanently wet and wetness can cause growth inhibition and a poor root development.

Cultivation:
Sedum tolerates high temperature and dryness, but the roots are very sensitive to wet substrates. Plant in acid-free free-draining soil in a sheltered, sunny position.
Low to moderate fertilization levels are required. Use a complete balanced fertiliser, avoid high ammonium and high nitrogen levels. (Very high nitrogen levels in substrate cause shoot stretching and the shoots fall apart). Don’t fertilize after mid September.

Plant Uses:
Beds and borders, City, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Gravel, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance, Rock Gardens, Green Roofs.
Sedums look good in containers and in combination with other succulents such as sempervivum, echeveria or stonecrop. You can also display them with “steppables” such as mosses, ajuga, or creeping thyme.

Sedum for green roofs or vertical walls:
Green roofs generally use sedum and other alpines to provide a natural finish to a roof. Sedums are at home in poor soil and have drought-tolerant capabilities that are second to none. The plants are very hardy, and can withstand great ranges of temperature and weather.
Sedums are able to close off their pores in the presence of hot, bright sunlight, and at night, open up to put out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide.
The plants have roots that are between 7 to 10cm (3 to 5in) deep. They do not need mowing, weeding or deadheading. During the spring and summer they will flower and attract many insects especially bees and butterflies.

Origin:
Most sedums are native to Asia, but sedum spurium is native to Caucasus and Iran.

Nomenclature:
The genus name Sedum is derived from the Latin word sedo meaning “to sit”. This refers to the manner in which some species of this genus attach themselves to rocks and walls and stony ledges.
The species name spurium (spuria/spurius) means ‘false or doubtful’. A species sometimes is so called because has other names
Coccineum is derived from the Latin coccineus, meaning ‘scarlet-coloured’, named for the crimson flowers.
The common name ‘Two-row stonecrop’ is named for the two alternate rows of leaves that run up its short, compact stems.

Scientific Name

Phedimus spurius ‘Dragon’s Blood’

Common Names

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop

Synonyms

Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’, Phedimus spurius ‘Schorbuser Blut’, Sedum spurium ‘Schorbuser Blut’

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Phedimus

Description

Phedimus spurius ‘Dragon’s Blood’, formerly known as Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’, is a fast-growing ground cover that emerges with red succulent leaves, then turns to dark green with a purplish tinge and continues into late summer in a shade of red. The clusters of bright pink, star-shaped flowers are a wonderful addition to this already interesting plant.

Photo via huadian360.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 4a to 9b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).

How to Grow and Care

When growing your Caucasian Stonecrop, you need to keep in mind that you have to give it sun and fertilizer and you do have to water it sometimes even though it’s drought-resistant. You can give it a balanced, low-number fertilizer to help with poor soil and you can even help it out with deadheading the dried flowers.

It isn’t hard to grow Caucasian Stonecrop under the right circumstances, but these plants are forgiving even in the wrong ones. Sometimes the soil isn’t as permeable as it should be, but the roots of this plant can actually push through it. Other times the sun doesn’t come out as often and while this can possibly stunt the growth of the plant over prolonged time, you can still have a healthy Caucasian Stonecrop.

The soil does need to be well-drained. Very good drainage is important for preventing root rot or fungal diseases… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Caucasian Stonecrop (Phedimus spurius)

Origin

Phedimus spurius ‘Dragon’s Blood’ is a very popular cultivar of Phedimus spurius.

Links

  • Back to genus Phedimus
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

Photo Gallery

Photo via ascotvalegardencentre.com.auPhoto via sedumphotos.netPhoto via elainezengplants.wordpress.com

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