Pork and beans succulent

Sedum rubrotinctum – Jelly Bean, Pork and Beans

Jelly Bean (Sedum rubrotinctum) (Clausen): A long-time favorite soft sedum from Mexico. This stemmed grower has round, fleshy leaves that spiral up its stem. It varies in color from green to red, with the brightest pigments showing when it’s grown in bright sunlight. It makes it a wonderfully colorful accent in potted arrangements.

Jelly Bean is an excellent grower as long as it is not left in heavy, moist soil. It is exceptionally tolerant of full sun and drought, but it does need protection from frost. Fortunately, Jelly Bean can easily overwinter indoors if it is in a container with a drainage hole and has gritty, well-draining soil. Water deeply, but only when the soil is completely dry.

Over time, Jelly Bean will form prolific clumps and the stems will become long enough to gently cascade from containers. In spring, it produces clusters of tiny, yellow flowers that attract pollinators. This variety is one of the easiest to propagate and it will readily grow roots from both stem cuttings and leaves.

PLEASE NOTE: Some evidence suggests that S. rubrotinctum may cause mild digestive irritation if consumed in large quantities.

Full Tender Sedum Guide

Jelly Beans. Pork and Beans. What sounds like a delicious meal plus dessert is actually a succulent! Sedum rubrotinctum is a lively plant that requires little more care than a rock. It’s perfect for neglectful gardeners.

Sedum rubrotinctum’s leaves resemble beans – jelly or otherwise. These plump beans are green, but turn red on the tips when given full sun. The red tips are actually a sign of minor stress. Don’t you stress though! As long as it doesn’t get sunburned, this succulent is perfectly fine being colorful.

There isn’t much to growing the Jelly Beans succulent. To ensure your success though, here are all the details you need for this fun plant.

Recommended Products to Care for Sedum rubrotinctum:

  • Cute Farms Succulent, Cacti, Aloe Fertilizer
  • Gonicc 8″ Pruners

Quick Care

A bug hanging out on the jelly beans plant. Source: ClareSnow

Common Name(s) Jelly-Beans, Jelly Bean plant, Pork and
Beans, Christmas Cheer, Stone Crop plants
Scientific Name Sedum rubrotinctum
Family Crassulaceae
Height & Spread 12″ (30 cm) tall
Light Full sun to partial shade
Water “Soak and dry” method – typical water needs for succulents
Soil Well-draining potting mix
Fertilizer 1/2 strength, balanced, liquid fertilizer
Pests & Diseases Pest resistant, root rot

All About Sedum rubrotinctum

In the spring, Pork and Beans celebrates with yellow, star-shaped flowers. The woody stems like to spread out and take up space, so they make great ground covers. Pork and Beans also grows well in containers.

This Mexico native is actually a hybrid of Sedums pachyphyllum and stahlii. It thrives outdoors in zones 9-11 but can tolerate some frost. If your zone’s temperature drops below 20° F, plant Jelly Beans in a container so you can bring it inside if needed.

If you have pets or small children, be careful! Jelly Beans may seem like a tasty treat, but this plant is poisonous to humans and animals.

Types of Jelly Beans Plant

Sedum rubrotinctum hasn’t been heavily developed by growers for variations. The most common variety is referenced by its botanical name, and it has one named cultivar. There’s no difference in care between these two.

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’, ‘Pink Jelly Beans’

The base version of this plant is red, but ‘Aurora’ has leaf tips in lovely shades of pink. This gives the plant a soft, intricate look.

Pork and Beans Care

Sedum rubrotinctum has a shiny, distinct look – like a jelly bean. Source: Dingilingi

As mentioned, Pork and Beans is extremely easy to care for. With a good setup and schedule, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Light & Temperature

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for Pork and Beans. The more sun exposure your succulent gets, the deeper its colors will be. Remember though that Pork and Beans can get sunburned if exposed to full sun and high heat.

If your succulent lives indoors, keep it by a south, east, or west-facing window. Pork and Beans is frost tolerant, but can’t handle temperatures below 20° F.

Water & Humidity

When it comes to water, Sedum rubrotinctum needs the “soak and dry” method. This means that you wait for the soil to dry out completely and then water it thoroughly. Your succulent should never be sitting in water for long periods of time.

Overwatering is a common problem in succulents. Watch for mushy, discolored, and dropping leaves. When underwatered, the leaves will become wrinkly and shriveled.

As for humidity, Pork and Beans prefers good air circulation in the spring and summer. Other than that, it’s not picky.


Jelly Beans is tolerant of most soil types – as long as it isn’t drowning. For best results, give it a well-draining cactus and succulent soil. You can buy this or make your own by mixing potting soil and perlite.

Some plants are finicky about pH levels, but Jelly Beans doesn’t care much about those details. This plant is about as low-maintenance as it gets.


Fertilizer isn’t a requirement, but always helpful. If you choose to, give your Pork and Beans ¼ – ½ strength fertilizer (balanced or low in Nitrogen).

For optimum benefits, use a high-quality succulent fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. You can also apply fertilizer if your Pork and Beans hits a growth plateau.


Sedum rubrotinctum will need to be repotted if it outgrows its container. The stems are sprawling, so don’t worry if they hang off the edge of their container. What you’ll want to watch for are the roots. Sedum rubrotinctum can handle being rootbound but grows best with space.

The leaves fall off easily, so don’t be surprised if there are casualties. With these, you might as well try no-effort propagation by setting them on the soil next to your newly repotted plant (they usually root on their own).

Sedum rubrotinctum can cause skin irritation, so gloves are highly recommended.


Pork and Beans is so easy to propagate that sometimes it propagates itself! Fallen leaves root where they land and stems grow roots while still connected to the plant. This makes for fast and easy propagation for gardeners.

To propagate from leaves and stems, choose a healthy part of the plant. For leaves, gently twist them off the stem without leaving any part behind. Stems can be cut an inch or two from the top.

After you’ve gathered your cuttings, let them dry out for a few days. During this time, keep them out of full sunlight so they don’t get burned.

After the wounds have dried, place them on top of or in well-draining soil. Mist the cuttings with water until the roots are firmly in the soil. Gradually give the new plant normal water and sun as it matures.


If your Jelly Beans is getting bigger than you want or has some unappealing stems, you can easily prune it. This is entirely cosmetic though.

To prune, use sharp pruning shears that will make a clean cut without crushing the stem. Keep the cut area dry until it calluses over in a few days.


The pork and beans plant in a botanic garden. Source: mark6mauno

Jelly Beans is fairly resistant against pests and diseases and its growing problems are typical for succulents. Overall though, this is a tough plant that shouldn’t give you much trouble.

Growing Problems

Dropping Leaves: It’s pretty normal for Pork and Beans to drop leaves when handled or even brushed against. However, this can also be a symptom of overwatering. If the fallen leaves seem mushy or discolored, check the soil to make sure it’s draining properly. If it isn’t, stop watering until it dries out or repot with dry soil.

Wilting: If your Sedum rubrotinctum is drooping or the leaves are wilted and wrinkly, it’s underwatered. Give it a good soak and it should revive in a day or two. It may be tempting to keep the soil wet for a while, but you should let it dry out before soaking again.

Etiolation: Stretched out stems are common in succulents. This is caused by a lack of sunlight. If you notice your Pork and Beans is growing tall and thin, move it to a sunnier location. If the damage is done and you’re stuck with long stems, prune them back so they can regrow normally.


Sedum rubrotinctum rarely attracts pests. To further prevent any from showing up, keep the plant and soil as dry as possible.


Like most succulents, Jelly Beans is susceptible to root and stem rot. This is usually caused by too much moisture in the soil or on the leaves. Rot can easily make the plant vulnerable to fungal diseases and bacteria. Once infected, these spread quickly so it’s important to fix it right away. Symptoms include wilting, discoloration, and mushy flesh.

The most effective control method is to remove the rotted sections. With a sterile knife, remove any sections of the stem or roots that appear diseased. If this includes the majority of the plant, you’ll be better off removing and using the healthy stems for propagation.

After eliminating the rotted parts, repot your Jelly Beans in new, dry soil. Let the wounds callous over before watering the plant. Prevent rot from happening again by not overwatering.


Q. Is Sedum rubrotinctum poisonous?

A. Yes! Not only is this succulent toxic to humans and pets, it can irritate the skin. If you have pets or children, this may not be the plant for you.

Q. Why are the leaves falling off my Jelly Beans succulent?

A. The leaves fall off easily when the plant is moved or brushed against. However, this is also a sign of overwatering. If the fallen leaves are discolored or mushy, you’ll need to adjust your watering schedule.

Q. How do you revive a dying succulent?

A. The most common cause of death in succulents is overwatering. If your plant is mushy and discolored and the soil is retaining water, you need to lay off the watering can. Repot the succulent in dry soil and give it a couple of days before watering again.

Other causes of succulent death are underwatering and rot. Underwatered plants need a more consistent watering schedule. Rotted sections need to be removed.

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:
Rachel Garcia
Succulent Fanatic
Kevin Espiritu
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Grow Sedum Rubrotinctum Indoors

Botanical Name: Sedum rubrotinctum

Many plants in the Sedum family make good houseplants. Because of its easy-growing nature and good looks, S. rubrotinctum is one of the most popular of this clan to come indoors.

Plump, rounded leaves give this popular succulent the common name Jelly Bean Plant.

Jelly Bean makes a beautiful, colorful addition to a succulent dish garden. Stems will eventually grow long enough to trail over the side of the container, so you can display your plant in a hanging basket if you want.

In spring, you can expect Sedum rubrotinctum to bloom with bright-yellow, star-shaped flowers. No blooms? Your plant may still be too young or not getting enough sunlight.

Let it bask in the sun. Move your plant outdoors for the summer, if you want. This good-natured succulent can take the heat. Those bright green leaves will even get more beautiful, turning red at the tips after sun exposure.

Repot in spring, only when your plant gets too crowded. Handle this plant carefully — those leaves may fall off at the slightest touch. But don’t toss them out… you can propagate the leaves for more plants. Just poke the cut end into moist potting medium and they’ll root easily.

Dropped leaves? Jelly Bean Plant will drop its leaves if it is either over-watered or under-watered. Use a pot with drainage holes so you can water thoroughly without drowning the plant. If you want to cover up a plain nursery pot, just slip it into a cachepot — a decorative container without drainage holes. See “Water” tips below.

Buying Tips

Sedum rubrotinctum is easy to find in garden centers, plant shops and online. You may find it listed with common names Jelly Bean Plant or Pork and Beans. One new cultivar that’s getting attention is ‘Aurora’ which has pink-tinged leaves instead of red.

Sedum Rubrotinctum Care Tips

Origin: Mexico

Height: Up to 8 in (20 cm)

Light: This hardy succulent thrives in bright, indirect light to full sunlight. Don’t have a sunny window? Use a grow light. If you move your plant outdoors for the summer, make the move a gradual one; indoor-grown plants can sunburn easily.

Water: Water thoroughly throughout the growing season, allowing the potting medium to dry out between waterings. Water sparingly in winter when growth is slow. It’s better to err on the dry side — this desert succulent is more tolerant of dry potting medium than wet.

Humidity: Average room humidity or drier. Humidity isn’t really a concern with this desert native.

Temperature: Average room temperatures (65-75°F/18-24°C). If you move your plant outdoors for the warm months, don’t worry — it can take the heat. Bring it back indoors when nighttime temps drop to 50°F/10°C.

Soil: Sandy, fast-draining medium, such as cactus potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly in spring and summer with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer specially made for succulents, diluted by half.

Propagation: Easy to grow from stems or leaves. Allow the stem or leaf to dry for about a day, so it doesn’t ooze sap. Poke a short stem or a leaf into lightly moist potting medium and S. rubrotinctum will readily grow roots in about 3-4 weeks. Keep the plant out of direct sun until it shows new growth.

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Caring For Jelly Bean Plants: How To Grow A Sedum Jelly Bean Plant

Succulent growers love the sedum jelly bean plant (Sedum rubrotinctum). Colorful chubby, little red-tipped leaves that look like jelly beans make it a favorite. It is sometimes called pork-n-beans because the leaves sometimes turn bronze in summer. Others refer to it as Christmas cheer. Whatever you call it, jelly bean sedums make for an unusual plant in an arrangement or in a pot by itself.

About Jelly Bean Sedums

Jelly bean plant facts indicate this plant is a cross of Sedum pachyphyllum and Sedum stahlii, As such, it’s another candidate for neglect and does best without too much attention.

Six- to eight-inch (15-20 cm.) stems grow upward and lean when leaves weigh it down. Small yellow flowers appear abundantly in winter to spring during the early years of growth.

Planting and Caring for Jelly Bean Plants

Grow the sedum jelly bean plant in containers or plant it in the ground. Those in areas with cold winters might grow it as an annual or dig up and transplant into pots in autumn. Sedum is easy to plant, in most cases burying a stem is all you need to get it started. Avoid watering for a week or two after planting.

Sedum jelly bean plant needs a sunny spot to maintain colorful leaves. Sedum varieties often grow in areas of the landscape where nothing else survives because of hot, dry conditions. You can also use the jellybean plant in partially shaded areas for a pop of color, just plant someplace where a few hours of the sun can reach the plant. In the hottest climates, this succulent needs some shade in summer. Jelly bean sedums turn green all over when not enough light reaches them.

Succulent jelly bean care involves limited watering. If rain is available to the plant, additional water is probably not needed. When possible, allow an extended dry period between waterings. Grow this specimen in fast-draining soil mixes, such as sand, perlite, or pumice mixed with peat and a limited amount of potting soil.

Pests are rare on jelly bean plant. Keep an eye for mealybugs and scale, and if you see them, remove with an alcohol-soaked Q-tip. Fungus gnats are usually a sign that the soil is too damp, so lighten up on watering.

Scientific Name

Sedum rubrotinctum R.T.Clausen

Common Names

Jelly Bean Plant, Jelly Bean, Pork and Beans, Brown Beans, Christmas Cheer, Banana Cactus


Sedum x rubrotinctum

Scientific Classification

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


Sedum rubrotinctum, also known as Sedum x rubrotinctum, is a popular succulent perennial, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, with sprawling stems that are covered with tightly packed bean-shaped leaves. The leaves are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, glossy green with red tips that turn to bronze in the summer months. Flowers are small, star-shaped, yellow and appear in spring.

Photo via 360doc.com


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

When growing Sedums, keep in mind that these plants need very little attention or care. They will thrive in conditions that many other plants thrive in, but will do just as well in less hospitable areas. They are ideal for that part of your yard that gets too much sun or too little water to grow anything else. A common name for Sedum is Stonecrop, due to the fact that many gardeners joke that only stones need less care and live longer.

Sedum is easily planted. For shorter varieties, simply laying the plant on the ground where you want it to grow is normally enough to get the plant started there. They will send out roots from wherever the stem is touching the ground and root itself. If you would like to further ensure that the plant will start there, you can add a very thin covering of soil over the plant.

For taller varieties, you can break off one of the stems and push it into the ground where you would like to grow it. The stem will root very easily and a new plant will be established in a season or two.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sedum.


Sedum rubrotinctum is native to Mexico. It has also been classified as a hybrid plant of Sedum pachyphyllum and Sedum stahlii, named Sedum x rubrotinctum.


  • Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’


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

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Sedum rubrotinctum (SEE-dum roo-broh-TINK-tum) jelly bean plant is one of the many types of sedum plant species belonging to the family Crassulaceae.

It has been classified as a distinct species since 1948.

With its origins in Mexico, China, and Japan this succulent plant gets its nickname from the appearance of its leaves that look like small jelly beans.

Other common names include:

  • Jelly Bean succulent
  • Pork and Beans plant

Some classify it as a hybrid of Sedum pachyphyllum and Sedum rubrotinctum. It is a long living plant though as it ages, it takes on a more straggly looking appearance.

Sedum Rubrotinctum Plant Care

Size and Growth

The Pork and Beans succulent is relatively fast growing compared to other varieties and grows up to one foot tall.

It has an upward growth with the leaves spaced closer towards the ends of the stems.

The leaves are ½” to 1 ½” inches long and look almost like bent thumbs.

Flowering and Fragrance

Yellow flowers blossom during spring when provided with the appropriate environmental conditions. Jelly beans grow in flat clusters and do not have any discernible fragrance.

However, without enough light, the leaves will not change color, let alone bloom.

Light and Temperature

For the leaves on this colorful succulent to display the beautiful reddish hue they take on as a protective layer, they require plenty of natural full sun.

In the summer, place the plant outdoors in semi-shade to keep it from getting too much scorching sunlight.

The plant does best in cool temperatures between 50° to 55° degrees Fahrenheit. Keep plants outside in the winter months.

Jelly bean plants will withstand light overnight frost without too much damage. For best results protect plants from freezing temperatures.

Indoors, keep plants in an environment that is not overheated; otherwise, the leaves stretch and lose their shape.

Watering and Feeding

This plant doesn’t require a lot of water even during the summer months.

During the winter months, the plant uses water stored in the leaves and doesn’t require additional watering for several months during the season.

Jelly Bean plant should be fed once during the growing season.

Soil and Transplanting

A good well-drained soil like a pre-made cactus potting mix is ideal for the jelly bean plant.

Adding extra drainage with extra perlite or pumice will help the plant thrive.

Repotting should be done every spring.

Rubrotinctum Sedum Propagation

Propagate the jelly bean plant in several ways:

  • Through leaf cutting
  • Stem cuttings
  • Dividing the plant itself

The easiest way to propagate is through stem cuttings. Break off side stems or cut off some tip shoots.

Once you’ve removed the lowest leaves, cover the cut with fungicide, poke the cuttings into individual pots with moist cactus soil.

Keep an eye on them and water it regularly until the plant takes root.

Leaf cuttings are a slower way of propagating but works just as well. Use mature leaf cuttings and lay them in moist cactus soil with some added sand.

Eventually, new plants will grow from the base of each leaf. Once plants reach one inch tall, repot the plantlets.

When older plants become full, propagate by dividing plants in spring.

Set out pots with good well-drained soil and carefully tear apart roots from the plant and repot individually.

Jelly Bean Plant Pest or Disease Problems

The Jelly Bean Plant is not susceptible to many pests and diseases.

However, if overwatered the plant can rot. Rot begins with mushy brown spots that move upwards.

In order to avoid this, allow the soil to dry between watering.

Another sign of the plant deteriorating is the leaves turning pale yellowish-green instead of taking on a reddish hue.

This signals that the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight and needs to be moved to a brighter location.

Suggested Uses for Jelly Bean Sedum

This is a great decorative plant because of its interesting shape and color.

Plant them individually or grow with other cacti in a dish garden.

Jelly Bean Plant

Jelly Bean Plant

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Jelly Bean Plant foliage

Jelly Bean Plant foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 6 inches

Spacing: 10 inches


Hardiness Zone: 9a

Other Names: Pork And Beans


Rounded, bright, lime green leaves that take on striking red coloration in full sun; excellent for rock gardens and containers; leaves are toxic if eaten; does not tolerate frost

Growing Place Choice Plants

Our Growing Place Choice plants are chosen because they are strong performers year after year, staying attractive with less maintenance when planted in the right place.

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Ornamental Features

Jelly Bean Plant is bathed in stunning yellow star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in mid spring. Its attractive succulent round leaves remain lime green in color with showy red variegation throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Jelly Bean Plant is a dense herbaceous evergreen 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. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Jelly Bean Plant is recommended for the following landscape applications;

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

Planting & Growing

Jelly Bean Plant will grow to be only 5 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 14 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium 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, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.

Jelly Bean Plant 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. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

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