Great Design Plant: Sedum (Stonecrop)

Bring the vibrant colors of summer to the garden with sedum. Prolific blossoms make notice in summer months, but bold evergreen foliage solidifies this diverse genus of succulents as year-round eye catchers in the garden. Pick from fluorescent fleshy floor covers or dusty vertical shrubs to fill and protect garden nooks or even just as a accent.

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Botanical name: Sedum spp
Common title: Stonecrop
USDA zones: 3 to 10, depending on species (find your zone)
Water necessity: Little to moderate
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: two to 24 inches tall, depending on species
Benefits and tolerances: Flowers attract birds and butterflies; drought tolerant;bull tolerant where noticed
Seasonal curiosity: Blooms summer to fall; special citrus foliage
When to plant: Plant cuttings in early summer; divide in spring

Shown here: Sedum ‘Birthday Party’, zones 4 to 10

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Distinguishing attributes. Sedums are about color. And while vibrant colors of blue, green and even pink are normal of succulents, I feel as the color paired with the more herbaceous texture creates a plant that is unforgettable. With over 400 species of sedum to choose from, a vast array of color, size and leaf shapes exist. Whether you choose bigger, more upright varieties similar to the one displayed here…

Shown here: Sedum‘Thunderhead’, zones 4 to 10

Debora carl landscape layout

… or smaller, trailing species, sedums solve garden dilemmas on multiple fronts.

The New York Botanical Garden

Sedums are also famous for their blossoms. They typically flower from late spring through fall and continue the plant for a little while. Borne on large terminal clusters are vibrant pink, yellow, white and even red petite blossoms.

Shown here: Sedum‘Herbstfreude’, zones 3 to 10

Wheat’s Landscape

The best way to use it. Use bigger, erect varieties of sedum to lineup paths or edge planting beds. Their taste for sandy soils makes them appropriate for rock gardens. Don’t hesitate to cut a few stems and bring them indoors to get a seasonal bouquet.

Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc..

Smaller sedums are generally used as ground covers. While they do not spread broadly, they will attractively cover modest areas of rock gardens, including colorful and unusual texture to a gravel path or patio. Sedums are also used on green roofs.

Shown here: Sedum acre, zones 3 to 8

Debora carl landscape layout

If your climate, soil or simple lack of outside spaceprevents you from incorporating sedums into your garden layout, why not do something similar to what Debora Carl has done ? Low-growing sedums cascade nicely in indoor planters, making excellent gifts or dining table centerpieces.

Shown here: Sedum ‘Angelina’, zones 3 to 10

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Planting notes. Plant in gritty, well-drained soil that has been tilled, and include compost before planting. Grow sedum in full sun to partial shade, depending upon the species. Provide moderate extra water if summers are dry. Otherwise, sedums require minimal watering and are tolerant of dry dirt. They spread easily through cuttings and needs to be planted in late spring or early summer. While sedums don’t tolerate any foot traffic, even as ground covers, they’re resilient and otherwise will grow on their own. Divide every few years to disperse your sedums through your garden or share with your friends!

Shown here: Sedum‘Thunderhead’, zones 4 to 10

See more amazing design plants

See related