sedum with yellow flowers

How To Grow And Care For Sedum

Most Sedums, also known as stonecrop, are tough, drought-tolerant succulents with thick, meaty leaves that come in a variety of hues. Sedum flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, and red. Additionally, they feature little, star-shaped flowers that blossom late in the growing season. Low-growing Sedum and upright Sedum are the two types of Sedum in the huge Sedum genus. Low-growing Sedum remains short and grows as a ground cover, but upright Sedum grows in vertical clusters and looks beautiful along borders. After the threat of frost has gone but before the summer heat arrives, the optimum time to plant Sedum is in the spring. Sedum grows at a modest rate in general, however, this varies by species and variety.

Read more: These 22 perennials will thrive in your garden for decades

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Growing Sedum 

There are two types of this succulent: creeping and clumping. Sedums thrive in sunny spots with well-drained soil, producing lovely blooms that bees and butterflies adore. Due to their need for adequate drainage, creeping kinds are frequently planted as rock garden plants.

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Clumping varieties also thrive in flower beds, producing lovely pink-to-burgundy blossoms in late summer. Here are some quick facts about the sedum plant:

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  • Latin name: Sedum spp.
  • Other names: Stonecrop, showy stonecrop
  • Native to: North America
  • Invasiveness: No
  • Tenderness: Herbaceous perennials
  • Sun: Full, partial 
  • Water: When required
  • Soil: Sandy, loamy, well-drained
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 3 through 10
  • When to plant: Early spring
  • Spacing: 1 to 2 feet apart
  • Plant height: 6–24 inches
  • Bloom period: Summer, fall
  • Time to maturity: 2nd season
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: Not required
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: Yes

When it comes to cultivating this plant, do remember that they require very little effort. They will flourish in settings that other plants do, but they will also thrive in less friendly environments. They’re perfect for areas of your yard that get plenty of sunlight or too little water to support other plants. Sedum is sometimes known as stonecrop because many growers remark that only stones require less care and thrive longer. The height of Sedum types varies. The tiniest are only a few inches tall, while the biggest may reach three feet. Sedums are commonly employed as ground coverings in xeriscape landscapes or rock gardens since the vast majority of Sedum types are shorter.

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Water

To keep the soil from drying up, water fresh Sedum plants once a week. If you have a lengthy period of time without rain and/or extremely high weather, Sedum plants usually don’t require any more watering once they’ve been established. Sedum plants are drought resistant due to their big succulent leaves.

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Sunlight

The majority of Sedum plants thrive in full sun, which means at least six hours of direct sunshine each day on most days. Some types may withstand partial shade, but they won’t be as hardy or bloom as profusely as those grown in full sun. Many Sedum cultivars, however, welcome a little midday shade in extremely hot, dry circumstances.

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Soil

Sedum likes loose sandy, loamy, or gravelly soil with good drainage in general. Sedum root rot may readily occur when the soil holds too much water, as is commonly the case with thick wet clay soil.

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Fertilizing

Sedum does not require supplementary fertilizer and may thrive in nutrient-deficient soil. In fact, if the soil is overly rich, the plant will become weak and leggy. If your soil is particularly poor, adding little compost will usually suffice to give your plant a boost.

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Invasiveness

Sedums are one of the most simple plants to grow from seed, stem cuttings, or divisions. Because Sedums don’t always grow true from seed, divisions or cuttings will ensure that the attributes of a plant you like are maintained after you have discovered one you like. Sedums are not invasive, despite their fast expansion. They are readily lifted and transported because of their shallow roots. They’ll overwinter in most pots if there’s enough drainage, and come out of dormancy in the early to mid-spring.

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Growing Sedum In Containers

The key thing to remember when planting stonecrops in pots is to use a well-draining soil—Sedums that are too wet may develop root rot and become mushy. Sedums, like succulents, have shallow roots, so they don’t require a large container to grow. A slow-release fertilizer in the potting soil is a good idea, but there’s no need to worry about supplementary feedings during the growing season. In fact, overfeeding might cause the plants to become leggy.

Care & Tips

Sedum plants are low-maintenance once established. Check your plants often over the summer to ensure they are not too dry, and water (lightly) if necessary. The shrub does not require any additional watering as long as your location receives rain at least once every two weeks.

Common Problems

These succulents are low-maintenance plants in the garden. It’s crucial to maintain the soil well-drained and not overly productive. Diseases like anthracnose and blight can cause the crown and stem to decay fast in damp, rich soils. There’s not much you can do once they have been infected other than till the soil to help it dry up. Stem rot causes the lowest leaves of the Sedum to become yellow and white, and cotton-like mycelium growths emerge at or near the soil’s crown. The entire plant will eventually wilt and die.

Propagating Sedum 

Sedum may be propagated easily by stem cuttings or division. Simply cut a part of the stem from a healthy plant that is 3 to 6 inches long and removes the bottom leaves for a stem cutting. Then, wherever you like, place the cut end in the dirt. Even if these prolific stems are just resting on top of the soil, they will put out roots, but transplanting them will offer them a greater chance of healthy development. Carefully dig up a matured plant and carefully take apart the roots to break it into portions to propagate through division. Replant the parts after that, ensuring sure the base of the root system is even with the soil line.

The History Of Sedum 

The name Sedum derives from the Latin word sedo, which means “to sit.” They are native to  Asia, Europe, North Africa, and Mexico, with a few being native to North America. Sedums have been popular as garden and conservatory specimens since the early 1900s, although collectors have been using them since the 1800s.

Uses For Sedum 

The most common and well-known application of Sedum is for the treatment of pain and inflammation. Coughs and hypertension are treated with ordinary Sedum. For wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, warts, eczema, and mouth ulcers, it is occasionally administered straight to the skin.

The shrub is a symbol of tranquillity and peace. As succulents have a tendency to retain water in their leaves and stems for future use, they represent timeless, eternal love.

Sedum plants are among the most forgiving plants when it comes to light and poor soil. Growing the shrub is simple, in fact, even the most inexperienced gardener may succeed. With so many types to pick from, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]
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