When to plant sedum?

18 Succulent Sedum Plant Varieties With Brilliant Pictures

No garden or landscape is complete without the presence of the hardy, easy-to-grow, and succulent sedum plants. They exhibit a number of beautiful varieties. Gardenerdy briefs you on 18 sedum plant varieties with their pictures.

What’s in a name?

Sedum’s botanical name means “to sit”, and is referred to as rocky stonecrop in England based on its ability to creep along rocks and for the way it rests on cliffs.

Sedum is a large genus of leaf succulents belonging to the Crassulaceae family. It is commonly known as stonecrops. It is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere in the form of herbs and shrubs. It flourishes in any well-drained, sunny patch and is extremely easy to grow. The succulent nature of its foliage enables it to withstand drought and neglect. The plant is also salt-tolerant.

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The foliage color ranges from green through yellow, red, burgundy, and blue, while flowers can be white, yellow, pink, or red. They grow in different forms, i.e., from low ground cover, creeping type plants, to those of an upright stature.

Sedums are one of the most favored perennials in American gardens due to the ease in growing them and their hardy nature. They are an excellent choice as a border plant, container plant, or as a roof plant. They attract a wide range of butterflies and are rabbit-resistant. They are not usually bothered by pests or diseases except the odd outbreak of aphids, which is usually taken care of by ladybugs.

Sedum Varieties

Fuldaglut – It requires abundant sunlight, and grows up to a height of 3 inches. It bears tiny rose-red, star-shaped flowers on mixed colored foliage that turns red in August.

Graveyard Moss – It requires partial shade and grows up to a height of 5 inches. It produces bright yellow flowers in May-June.

Coral Carpet – It requires partial shade and grows up to a height of 4 inches. The light pink/white flowers bloom amid small, coral, fleshy leaves in early summer.

Flaming Carpet – It grows to a height of 8 inches and blooms in summer. It is quite hardy, heat and drought tolerant, and will grow in almost any soil.

Blue Spruce – It grows up to 9 inches in height, and produces yellow star-shaped flowers in June. It is often used in rooftops and containers.

Purple Emperor – It won the 2002 ISU Perennial Award for Best New Introduction. It exhibits a dark reddish-purple foliage and dusty rose flowers in large clusters. It grows to a height of 16 inches.

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Lidakense – It forms small rosettes that grow in low clumps, and produce deep pink/magenta flowers in late summer and fall.

Lime Zinger – Its apple-green leaves have an edging of cherry red and grow to a maximum height of 6 inches. It produces large clusters of pink flowers from late August through September.

Autumn Fire – It has thick, red-colored flowers in late summer and fall. It grows to a height of 30 inches.

Dragon’s Blood – It requires partial shade and grows to a height of 7 inches. Its bronze foliage is covered with red blooms in summer.

Pure Joy – It grows up to 13 inches in height. It shows small, serrated, blue-green leaves forming a rounded, low mound. Bubblegum pink flowers are seen in August and September.

Chocolate Drop – It grow to 8 inches in height and exhibits lightly crenated dark chocolate brown leaves with soft rose-colored flowers.

Autumn Joy/ Herbstfreude – One of the most popular perennials, it boasts light green leaves and deep rose flowers. It grows to a height of 25 inches.

Sea Urchin – It prefers partial shade and grows to a height of 7 inches. Its silver-green leaves are edged in white, and has bright yellow blooms.

Cape Blanco – It forms tight, tiny rosettes that spread low. The foliage is silvery and blue that later turns crimson.

Rosetta – Its leaves are clustered together in the shape of roses on arching stems. White flowers bloom at the end of each branch in late summer. This plant can be 16 inches tall.

Red Wiggle – It grows to a height of 6 inches, and produces low-growing, needle-like leaves that start out as green and later turn red. It produces yellow blooms.

Weihenstephaner Gold – It needs to be grown in partial shade. It is a low-growing sedum that reaches a height of 6 inches. It is popular due to its yellow flowers that bloom in early summer.

Uses of Sedums

Ornamental
Due to their attractive appearance and hardiness, numerous varieties are cultivated as garden plants.
The cultivars―Herbstfreude, Bertram Anderson, Matrona, and Ruby Glow―have been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Food Source
The leaves of Sedum reflexum, also known as stone orpine , are often used as herbs or in salads in Europe. They have a slightly sour, astringent taste.

Sedum divergens was consumed by the First Nations people in Northwest British Columbia. It is also used in salads by the Haida and the Nisga’a people.

Medicinal
Sedum acre was used to cure epilepsy and dermal afflictions. It was also used in ancient Greece as an abortifacient.

Roofing
Sedums can be used as a roof covering in green roofs, where they are preferred to grasses as they are low-maintenance plants.

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Sedum

Give your garden some water-wise good looks with the sedum clan. Each sedum plant has specialized leaves—slightly thickened—that serve as water-hoarding devices. These leaves enable sedums to withstand droughty growing conditions and high heat while still looking great. You’ll find many different sedum varieties for sale, showcasing a rainbow of leaf colors and plant forms.
Most sedums grow best in full sun, although partially sunny spots can work, too. These workhorse plants withstand high heat and humidity, which makes them great candidates for Southern and Southwestern gardens. They can also take windy conditions. All of these tolerances that sedum plants display are due to the unusual thickened leaves. This group of plants is also known as stonecrops, which are famous for their fleshy leaves and starry flowers.
Sedums flower at some point in the growing season, opening wonderful star-shaped blooms in shades of yellow, white, red, pink and gold. The flowers typically appear over a long window, like from summer through fall. Pollinators mob the nectar-rich blooms, making sedum plants a terrific addition to butterfly or wildlife gardens.
Sedum varieties come in all sorts of sizes. You can find sedum groundcovers that creep and crawl along soil. This group includes goldmoss stonecrop (Sedum acre), which grows to 3 inches tall and opens bright golden-yellow flowers in spring. This sedum roots where you drop a leaf and can quickly fill in a stony slope. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ two-row stonecrop (Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’) opens rich pink blooms above bronze leaves that turn burgundy in autumn.
Other sedum varieties grow four, six or even 18 inches tall. One of the most popular stonecrop sedums is ‘Autumn Joy’ showy sedum (Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’). This perennial favorite grows 12 to 18 inches tall and forms clumps up to 24 inches wide. The flowers provide three seasons of strong interest. ‘Black Jack’ showy sedum (Sedum spectabile ‘Black Jack’) has almost black leaves topped with 8-inch-wide flower clusters. It’s a strong addition to any perennial planting.
Sedum hardiness varies by species. Many are hardy in Zones 4 to 9, although a few, like Kamchatka stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum), native to Russia, are hardy to Zone 3. ‘Angelina’ sedum (Sedum reflexum ‘Angelina’) is one of the less hardy sedum varieties, surviving winters in Zones 6 to 9. It has almost neon chartreuse leaves that look like loose bottlebrush heads.
Many sedum varieties bring a strong sculptural texture to plantings. These plants boast low-maintenance personalities. Most are a plant-it-and-forget-it type of perennial. The one recipe for disaster with sedum plants is tucking them into soggy soil. Poor drainage is a killer for sedums. Make sure soil drains well for best growth.

Sedum (SEE-dum) commonly known as “Stonecrop” or “spreading Stonecrop”, is a flowering perennial succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) family.

There are over 400 different Sedum plant varieties. One sedum variety many know is the Donkey Tail (Sedum morganianum).

These easy-care, low-water plants are found in the Northern Hemisphere, but some members are native to South America and Africa.

Stonecrop Sedum Care

Size & Growth

Growth and spread of Sedum plants vary significantly from species to species. The low growing sedum plants may spread several feet but only grow a few inches high.

Upright varieties may grow as tall as 3′ feet and may need from 6″ inches to 2′ feet of surrounding area to grow and spread freely.

Check the specifics of the variety you choose to be sure to provide enough space and headroom.

Flowering & Fragrance

Generally speaking, Sedum flowers are five-petaled and star-shaped.

The plant’s growing and bloom time stretches from early spring through late summer and into mid-autumn, depending upon the species.

Flowers range in color from white to intense purple. Flowers are generally lightly scented and are quite attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

Foliage

Like the flowers, the leaves of Sedum vary greatly according to species. Shapes range from bean shaped to spatulate with a rosette growth pattern.

Foliage colors may range from light green to red to purple. Some plants have solid green foliage, and some are variegated. Some change colors with the seasons or in response to environmental stimuli.

Light & Temperature

Depending upon the variety, Sedum does best in full sun to partial shade. Many succulent sedum varieties are amazingly frost tolerant and will reappear every spring, even after long winters covered by snow.

Sedum tolerates a wide range of temperatures and is hardy in the United States from USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9.

Be sure to check the needs of the individual plant selected, before leaving it outdoors through a snowy winter.

When kept as a houseplant in the wintertime, keep temperatures high and consistent. When temperatures drop below 50° degrees Fahrenheit indoors, plants start to go dormant.

Keep indoor Sedums in a sunny window or under artificial lights at temperatures between 60° and 70° degrees Fahrenheit through the winter.

Watering & Feeding

Because these plants are drought tolerant succulents, they prefer deep, infrequent watering. Established plants may not require watering at all.

Be sure to check on the plants often to make certain they do not become too dry between waterings.

When you do water, use a soaker hose or other method of deep, ground watering. Avoid getting the leaves, stems, and flowers wet.

As long as you plant Sedum in a quality soil amended with a good supply of organic compost, fertilizing may not be required.

At the end of the growing season when Sedum dies back, mulch over the area with a rich, organic compost. The compost will feed the soil and protect the plants through the winter.

When you grow sedum plants in containers, fertilize using a weak solution designed for cactus or succulents.

As long the plants are divided annually and provided with fresh soil fertilizing is not necessary. Too much fertilizer is far worse on Sedum plants than no fertilizer at all.

Soil & Transplanting

Sedum plants are commonly called Stonecrop because they don’t need rich soil to survive. Some sedums can grow between stones or in gravel.

Even so, if you’re keeping Sedum as a garden plant or houseplant, give it soil to help it to do its best.

In the garden, be sure the soil is light and well draining. Work in organic, compost matter, coarse sand and/or fine gravel as needed to provide a light, well-drained soil.

When kept as a houseplant, use a prepared cactus or succulent mix or make your own potting soil, combining coarse sand and/or coco coir.

Grooming & Maintenance

Once plants become established, they will not need much care. Prune as necessary to maintain or prevent unwanted spread.

Plants may be divided in the spring or in the autumn to help control their spread.

Deadheading does not promote blooms, so enjoy the flowers as they appear. Pinch off dead blossoms as you wish.

When plants finish flowering, cut them back to maintain the shape you desire. When they fade trim them back.

How To Propagate Sedum

You have many options when planting Sedum. These succulents can be grown from seed or cuttings or by division.

Seeds may be sown directly in average to rich, well-drained garden soil early in the spring. Keep the soil evenly moist.

The seed should germinate within a couple of weeks.

As the seedlings grow, thin out the weaker individuals. Thinning provides more growing space of 6″ inches to 2′ feet per plant for the stronger individuals.

When growing from divisions, divide the parent plant into two or more sections. Whether planting in a container or the garden, be sure the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil.

Propagating Sedum from cuttings couldn’t be easier. Start cuttings at any time throughout the growing season.

Just poke a hole in garden or container soil and insert the cut end of a bare stem. A good cutting for rooting is clear of leaves on the bottom couple of inches with 2-4 healthy leaves on the top.

Keep the soil evenly moist, and the cutting should put out roots and begin to flourish within a matter of days.

Outdoors, creeping sedums will set down roots on its own. Look closely at the plant and locate sections that have started to grow roots.

Carefully cut these sections free and replant them in a container or a new location as you wish.

Sedum Main Pest or Disease Problems

If over watered or overcrowded, Sedum may be subject to infestation by scale insects and/or mealybugs. Slugs and snails may also be problematic outdoors.

As with all succulents, overwatering, overcrowding and lack of good air circulation can lead to root and stem rot.

To avoid these problems, be sure to give your plants plenty of space to grow and spread.

Use an appropriate pesticide to deal with mealybugs and scale insects indoors. Outdoors, encourage natural predators, such as ladybugs and lacewings.

Pickoff slugs and snails by hand. Thin plants to reduce hiding places and improve air circulation. Reduce watering to make the environment less welcoming to slugs and snails.

Crushed eggshells and/or diatomaceous earth sprinkled on the ground around affected plants may discourage these gastropods.

Is Sedum Considered Toxic or Poisonous To People, Kids, Pets?

For the most part, Sedum is edible and quite tasty.

One exception, Sedum rubrotinctum, (aka: Jelly-Beans or Pork and Beans) is a hybrid and not a true Sedum. Its leaves are poisonous, and its sap may cause skin irritation.

Is Easy To Grow Sedum Considered Invasive?

The plant spreads rapidly and could, conceivably, be considered invasive in just the right setting.

However, it is not officially considered invasive at this time.

Suggested Sedum Uses

For the most part, Sedum is happy whenever it grows in full sun, loamy, sandy soil. This hardy, attractive plant does well in the garden, in containers or as a houseplant.

When outdoors, it draws butterflies and other pollinators.

The best use of these succulents depends upon the variety you choose.

With so many varieties available, select the ones suitable for your application. Low growing Sedum does very well as a groundcover and makes a great addition to xeriscaping and rock gardens.

Creeping varieties are also a good choice for filling in cracks between past pavers or rambling alongside footpaths.

These plants have small root systems, allowing you to plant them in these challenging locations by:

  • Poking a hole in the soil
  • Inserting a cutting
  • Keeping the soil moist as the plant takes root

Rambling varieties, such as Donkey’s Tail, make great succulent hanging baskets. Tall sedum varieties do well as back borders in flower gardens. Some sedum types are good for use as cut flowers.

13 Top Sedum Plant Choices

Sedum acre – Goldmoss Stonecrop

Goldmoss Sedum acre has bright yellow 5-petalled, almost star-shaped flowers.

An evergreen, small, mat-forming plant, light green to yellow, thick, conical, leaves which have a peppery taste. Gold and variegated forms exist.

Sedum Album – White Stonecrop

The White Stonecrop aka Sedum album is a small, pretty, fragrant, star-shaped sedum with white flowers.

Album produces a thick plant with abundant clusters rising above the mat of foliage. It is attractive to butterflies and bees.

Sedum spurium “Dragon’s Blood” Stonecrop

Sedum spurium (two-row stonecrop) blood stonecrop or Voodoo is a native of Eastern Europe.

This trailing plant produces compact, colorful rosettes in shades ranging from deep, burgundy red to variegations in pink, white and green.

Sedum hispanicum – Spanish Stonecrop

The Spanish Sedum Stonecrop does very well planted between rocks and pavers.

Its medium green leaves are small and needle-like, and the quickly spreading plant reaching a maximum height of only a couple of inches.

Sedum Kamtschaticum

Sedum kamtschaticum (Russian stonecrop) a dense perennial sedum plant used as a groundcover, container plant, or in a rock garden. Also used as a border or for mass plantings.

Sedum Dasyphyllum – Corsican Stonecrop

Sedum Dasyphyllum creates a carpet tiny round leaves of powdery bluish-green and sprout star-shaped flowers.

The plant color changes to a purple hue during winter.

Suitable for growing on green roofs, in dry walls’ crevices and between stepping stones.

Sedum reflexum – Blue Spruce

The Sedum reflexum (blue spruce sedum) is another good, low growing choice. This variety also has pretty yellow flowers, with bluish green foliage resembling that of the spruce tree.

Sedum adolphii – Golden Sedum

The Golden Sedum (Sedum adolphii) is a handsome, short, fleshy, yellow-green leaves tinged red; sprawling plant. A valuable addition to any collection.

Sedum pachyclados – Gray Stonecrop

Pachyclados presents great bunches of tiny rosettes in a pretty shade of gray-green. Flowers are like tiny white stars.

A drought tolerant plant great for use as a groundcover in full sun to partial shade and needs very little water.

Sedum morganianum – Donkey’s Tail

The burro’s tail is a native of Mexico. This plant is an excellent choice for a hanging basket.

The “Burro’s tails” can grow to be as long as 4′ feet in a period of six to eight years.

This plant is sensitive to frost and does best in warmer climates and indoors.

Sedum sieboldii – October Daphne

The sieboldii Sedum is an attractive small, sedum with a low, spreading growth habit.

Sieboldii grows in circular mounds sending out horizontal branches from a center crown. The leaves are about 3/4″ inches around and blue-green growing in sets of three.

Deep pink leaf edgings, intensify as the season progresses. Fall leaf colors of pink, yellow, orange or bright red depending on light intensity.

Sedum spurium Tri Color – Spurium Tricolor

The tricolor stonecrop is a good choice as a ground cover. The plant has light green leaves with white edging tinged with pink.

The pink blossoms are attractive to butterflies but resist deer and rabbits.

Sedum x rubrotinctum – Pork & Beans

Sedum rubrotinctum – Jelly Bean plant, Pork and Beans succulent is a sprawling plant with fat, red, bean-like succulent leaves providing lots of attractive color. It’s a good choice for a rock garden.

Plant in areas where pets and children will not tamper with it.

Sedum spathulifolium – Cape Blanco

Sedum spathulifolim (broadleaf stonecrop) is an excellent sedum for coastal gardens. It is a native of the coasts of California and does very well in poor soil.

It grows in compact rosettes of silvery blue-green leaves.

Sedum rupestre – Angelina

Sedum Angelia displays pretty yellow flower heads on blue-green leaves. This plant is exceptionally tolerant of drought conditions and a good choice for covering large spaces when xeriscaping.

Autumn Joy (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ )

Sedum Autumn Joy is a beautiful, upright variety that does well as a back border or in containers.

The plant grows to be approximately two feet high with pretty green leaves and showy pink blooms.

Sedum Autumn Fire

Sedum Autumn Fire has intense brick red color in the fall. Tighter growth habit and thicker foliage than ‘Autumn Joy’. Strong upright stems.

Sedum Purple Emperor

Purple emperor is an excellent choice if you want year-round interest in your garden.

The flowers are an attractive dusty pink, and the leaves a deep shade of burgundy. The plant grows about a foot high.

Sedum telephium – Matrona

Telephium (Sedum matrona) is an upright species with a height of about two feet and a spread of one to two feet.

Leaves range in color from medium green to deep burgundy. Purplish/pink flowers are a nice addition to a bouquet.

Sedum Divergens – Old Man’s Bones

Native to northern California. Creeping, low growing succulent, excellent groundcover.

Sedum Divergens “Old Mans Bones” forms dense clumps or mats making a nice potted bowl or basket plant. In summer, plants are filled with bright yellow flowers.

Sedum Clavatum – Tiscalatengo Gorge Sedum

An attractive succulent perennial, Sedum clavatum grows as a groundcover in solid mats. The bluish-green leaves are edged in pink or red in a rosette fashion.

Summary

Sedums come in all shapes and sizes, tiny, trailing, bushy and upright. Size and shape vary highly among the species. But, all have fleshy leaves,

The flowers are starlike and usually small but with large clusters.

Smaller sedums provide texture, color and make lovely additions to rock gardens or planted as ground covers.

Try at Least 3 Varieties –

I consider at least 3 varieties of sedums a must-have for any perennial bed. (In case you’re new to all this and don’t know what a perennial is —–they’re plants that last more than just one season. They will return to greet you the next spring.)

One of the easiest plants to grow, Sedums don’t require a lot of water and they like sun. Their major soil requirement is to have it well drained.

The show starts in late August. This is Autumn Joy with Artemesia and Helianthus.

You’ll Never Want to be Without Them

They come into their own starting in August. Once you see their display and the interest they add in late summer and early fall, you’ll never want to be without them. And you don’t have to be— because they are also one of the easiest plants to propagate. Once you get your first plant going, with a few minutes of attention in the spring, you’ll have all the free sedums you want in years to come. Just break off a stem and push into the ground. They root easily.

The show continues with Autumn Joy in mid-October.

Autumn Joy is dramatic with mums as it deepens in color in late October.

Beneficial and Beautiful

Sedums are beneficial as well as beautiful since they supply food for our pollinators, the bees and butterflies. In my borders I can hear the hum of hundreds of bees as they work the sedums.

I had one visitor ask me if I put all those butterflies on the plants. They weren’t moving very much, so I guess she thought they were artificial.

A variety of creatures sharing Autumn Joy flower-heads in early September.

As if that weren’t enough, they’re covered with “hover” flies when in bloom. Hover flies are good guys that eat aphids most of the time and feed on the pollen of sedum and other pollen-rich flowers when aphids are not on the menu.

Plant sedum around your garden to keep these “good guys” resident, so they’ll be there to eat the aphids when and if they appear.

Even after the cold weather turns the flower heads brown, they provide a nice spot of interest during the winter.

Showing the proper posture for Sedum Autumn Joy. This group will be nice winter interest for this border.

Recommendation #1 – Autumn Joy

The common name for sedums use to be “Stonecrop”. But after Sedum “Autumn Joy” appeared on the scene the common name has become sedum for the majority of people. Autumn Joy is without doubt one of the most popular perennials of all times. The strong 24 inch stems (sometimes taller) are topped with flower heads that change color from pale pink to rose to rusty red as they mature.

Autumn Joy with Helianthus the first week in September. It has gone from green to pale pink to rose. Viewing the borders in mass is spectacular.

If we have lots of rain in the spring, Autumn Joy in my borders tends to start getting taller than I think they should. (I suspect its because I have very fertile soil.) Most of the time I cut them back so they won’t get so lanky that they fall outward and show the center.

Autumn Joy got too tall here and fell over. Not the ideal, but still makes a show.

Rust colored late September Autumn Joy and Artemesia.

Recommendation #2 – Sedum Matrona

Medium to Tall (2 1/2′). Robust pale pink flowers are borne on ebony red stems. A strongly upright grower with deep gray green foliage and contrasting stems makes it a welcomed addition to any border. So excellent with grasses and asters!

The upright posture of Matrona and its dark stem color makes it a striking accompaniment for other perennials.

Close up of Sedum Matrona in early September.

Recommendation #3 – Sedum Neon

The brilliant rose-pink color of the heads and the fact that they are brilliant pink after Autumn Joy and others have turned deep rust in late September, gives this sedum its front and center position in my border. Very noticeable especially once the other sedums are deeping in color. Neon is the right name. I plan to start more next spring.

The flower heads of Sedum Neon are still brilliant rose in late September when Autumn Joy and Matrona are deep rust color.

Sedums make great cut flowers. And although they do not retain their color – but rather – turn some shade of brown or rust – their dried heads are especially nice for fall wreaths.

A New Variety to Try

I plan to add a recent introduction called Sedum Purple Emperor. The pictures I’ve seen of its rich dark purple-black leaves and stems topped with dusky pink 5-6″ flower heads are very appealing. This award winning variety is a striking combination of foliage and bloom! Said to be 15″ tall and upright which are two desirable characteristics that I was looking for.

My Final Words

If you don’t already have sedum to brighten your late summer and fall garden – plan to try it. If you already have some — plant a new variety. It can add another dimension to your perennial border.

Late September Sedum Autumn Joy with pink phlox.

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