Sedum (SEE-dum) (Stonecrop) are a staple of hardy succulent groundcover. They will withstand drought, deep freezes, poor soil, full sun, and high temperatures and still reward with stunning colors and blooms. Plant these forgiving growers in almost any bright or sunny space and watch as they transform garden beds, walkways, containers, hanging pots, green roofs, living walls, and much more.
- Form: Most varieties are groundcover species that stay under 6.0", but taller S. telephium can grow up to 2 feet. The ground cover varieties spread easily and will fill the available space with a lush, undulating carpet that is easy to maintain once it reaches the desired extent.
- Foliage: Sedum have colorful, fleshy leaves that store water for up to three months of drought. Their colors change through the seasons with a range of oranges, reds, greens, blues, and purples represented.
- Flowers: Profuse blooms of pink, white, or yellow are unleashed in the growing seasons to the delight of birds and butterflies.
- Light: Sedum are better suited to full-sun than other hardy succulents. They also do well in partial sun and certain varieties tolerate bright shade. Indoor growing is more challenging but possible near a very sunny window or under a dedicated grow light.
- Soil: Choose a gritty, well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Sedum will thrive even in shallow, lean, and sandy soil and do not typically need added fertilizer.
- Water: Young plants will need supplemental water to establish roots, but in many regions a thick mat of mature Sedum needs only rainfall. If the soil is porous, these plants can take extra water in the spring through fall growing season (more info)
- Hardiness: Nearly all stonecrops are frost hardy down to -20F (zone 5), and a selection will tolerate -30F (zone 4). Many are evergreen, but some varieties will lose their leaves and go dormant in the winter, reemerging in spring with an explosion of color, attractive foliage, and blooms (more info).
- Propagation: Sedum regrow easily from cuttings. Use a sharp, clean knife to cut the top 2.0" off, strip lower leaves from the cutting, and transplant into moist sandy soil.
Notes from the Nursery
"Sedum [are] always popular with gardeners who realize plants do not have to be ostentatious, expensive, or difficult to grow to be charming" (Ray Stephenson, Sedum: Cultivated Stonecrops).
With just a sunny location and good drainage, Sedum can spread well in unforgiving spots. Try planting them in retaining walls, around stepping stones, or along pathways to suppress weeds.
For more information, check out The Plant Lover’s Guide to Sedums by Brent Horvath: “Few plants can compete with Sedums for sheer range of colors and versatility, not to mention beauty.”
PLEASE NOTE: Many hardy Sedum are unavailable or shipped semi-dormant October through March. The best Sedum selection is available April through September.