Sedums are easy-to-grow succulents that add color and interest to your garden in summer and fall. There are hundreds of varieties of sedums and most require “little more than a sunny spot in well-drained soil,” according to Brent Horvath, author of The Plant Lover's Guide to Sedums. With the many color, size, and blooming options, we're sure you'll find one (or more) to fit perfectly in your garden.

On this page: Sedum Basics | Types | Planting Instructions | Care | Landscape Design Tips | Pictures | Container Recipes

SEDUM BASICS

Photo by: Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.

Zones:

Varieties available for zones 3-11.

Height/Spread:

Taller varieties can grow to be 2 feet tall and wide; creeping sedums (ground covers) range 2 to 6 inches tall and up to 24 inches wide.

Exposure:

Many sedum plants prefer full to part sun of 6 or more hours per day/ However, there are varieties that need partial shade and sun protection.

Bloom time:

Late summer and autumn.

Flower color:

Varies by type.

Deer:

Although they do appear on some deer-resistant plant lists, sedums may still be nibbled on if there isn’t a better food source available. Well-established sedums will almost always bounce back after some deer damage.

2019 Annual of the Year: Proven Accents® Lemon Coral® Sedum

TYPES

There are 3 varieties of sedum plants:

  • Tall border varieties (Hylotelephium or Sedum telephium) with dense, domed flowers and succulent leaves on 1- to 2-foot stems.
  • Creeping ground covers (Sedum) that produce clusters of star-shaped flowers.
  • Trailing varieties (Sedum morganianum) such as the popular houseplant donkey’s tail, also called burro’s or lamb’s tail.

The tall border varieties provide late-summer color with both flowers and foliage, with new varieties having leaves in shades of copper, dusky mauve, and dark purple. Dried flowerheads add interest into fall and winter when left intact. In colder climates, they may die back to a rosette at ground level in winter. These taller sedums generally behave like perennials and do well in zones 4 or 5 to 9, with a layer of winter mulch recommended in zones 4 and 5.

Groundcover sedums are often grown for their colorful foliage that comes in shades of blue, plum, red, purple, silver, gray-green, orange, coral, yellow, gold, green, or variegated, as well as their brilliant flower display in summer. They are well suited for ground cover, rock walls, roof gardens, living walls, tucked into strawberry pots, or draping over the edges of containers or hanging baskets.

PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS

Planting Lemon Coral Sedum in Containers

Learn more about Proven Accents® Lemon Coral® Sedum

When to plant:

Spring, summer and fall are all good times to plant, just not on overly hot days.

Where to plant:

Check the requirements of the variety you are planting, but most are sun-lovers and will want 6 or more hours per day. Sedums can be grown in rocky or sandy soil, hillsides, raised beds, or in containers as long as the soil drains well.

Soil:

Sedums require well-drained soil, and most prefer slightly acidic conditions with a soil pH of 6 to 6.5.

How to plant:

The planting hole should be the same depth as the pot the sedum is being planted from. No fertilizer needs to be added. Water after planting.

Spacing:

Sedums tend to be slow growers, so allow them time and space to spread out. Don’t plant too closely to aggressive growers that might take their space before the sedum has had a chance to mature. For ground cover varieties to fill in quicker, plant a little closer together, but not touching. Taller border varieties should be planted approximately 15 inches apart to allow enough room for their mature size. Overcrowding can lead to poor plant health.

CARE

Pruning:

Sedums are very low maintenance and pruning isn’t necessary. You can clean them up a bit after winter by removing any dead or damaged branches or foliage; this will also help keep your sedums healthy. For taller border varieties, pinch new growth in spring to promote branching and shorter growth; this will help keep them from getting leggy and drooping. Deadheading sedums in fall isn’t necessary, as the flower heads provide fall and winter interest. Ground cover types can be trimmed to stay within their boundaries. If you don’t want seedlings from these creeping varieties, the flower heads can be removed after blooming in summer.

Amendments & Fertilizer:

Sedums prefer lean conditions. In fact, unless your soil is extremely poor, it may be best to avoid fertilizer at all. If you do need to add some nutrients to the soil, it is best to apply an organic fertilizer at half-strength during the growing season or a light layer of compost. Chemical fertilizers tend to cause stretching and flopping on taller varieties. Mulch should not be applied up against the base of the plant because this can cause rot.

Watering:

Sedums are quite drought tolerant, but do need some water. They do their best with weekly watering from spring through fall, but may require more in extremely hot weather or if planted in a container. Make sure not to overwater them though, as that can be fatal. Wait until the soil is completely dry between watering. Newly planted sedums should be watered daily for the first couple of weeks.

Propagation:

Sedums can be reproduced by division, cuttings, or seed. For taller sedums, division is the easiest and is best done in early spring. Dig the plant up and divide into wedges, making sure to get some new budding areas within each section. Replant the sections. Sedums can be divided every few years. For the creeping ground cover varieties, take a clipping and place the cut end in a shallow layer of potting soil.

Diseases and Pests:

Sedums are rarely bothered by pests, but aphids, snails or slugs may be attracted to them. Keep plants and surrounding areas dry can help deter them. Sedums can be susceptible to disease, and younger plants are more affected. Cleaning up dead plant material and clearing weeds will go a long way in keeping your sedums healthy. Tan to brown patches appearing on leaves may resemble disease or a pest infestation, but could also be from edema (swelling) if the plant has been overwatered or conditions are excessively humid or wet (the leaves swell and burst causing the spots to appear).

SEDUM VARIETIES TO TRY

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Photo by: Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.

‘Herbstfreude’or Autumn Joy
Hylotelephium

Zones:

4-11

Height:

Up to 24 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Late summer to fall

Color:

Grey-green foliage, light green stems, with pink flower buds opening to a copper color

Photo by: Jonathan Ward / Millette Photomedia.

‘Carl’
Hylotelephium

Zones:

4-9

Height:

Up to 24 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Mid-summer

Color:

Grey-green foliage, rose-color stems, with bright pink flowers

Photo by: Maria Evseyeva / Shutterstock.

‘Purple Emperor’
Sedum

Zones:

3-7

Height/Spread:

Up to 15 inches tall and 18 inches wide

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Early to late summer

Color:

Dark purple leaves with pink flowers

Other:

Fast grower

Photo by: Garden World Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.

‘Frosty Morn’
Sedum erythrostictum

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

Up to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Color:

Variegated green and white leaves with white to light pink flowers

Photo by: PeterVrabel / Shutterstock.

‘Matrona’
Hylotelephium telephium

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

Up to 30 inches tall and 24 inches wide

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Color:

Gray-green leaves, burgundy stems, pink flowers

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rock 'N Grow® 'Popstar'Buy now from Proven Winners
Sedum hybrid

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

8 to 10 inches tall, up to 24 inches wide

Exposure:

Sun

Bloom time:

Late summer through fall

Color:

Blue-green foliage with salmon-pink flowers.

Also available in a darker-hued counterpart, 'Superstar' stonecrop.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rock 'N Grow® 'Pure Joy'Buy now from Proven Winners
Sedum hybrid

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

10 to 12 inches tall, up to 20 inches wide

Exposure:

Sun

Bloom time:

Late summer through fall

Color:

Light green leaves with bubblegum-pink flowers.

Photo by: Hans / Pixabay.

October Daphne
Hylotelephium sieboldii

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

10 inches tall, up to 12 inches wide

Exposure:

Full sun to part shade

Bloom time:

Fall

Color:

Blue-green leaves with red edges late in the season, turning bright orange in fall, pink flowers in fall

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Proven Accents® Lemon CoralBuy now from Proven Winners
Sedum mexicanum

Zones:

7-11

Height:

3 to 10 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Color:

Chartreuse foliage

Photo by: Garden World Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.

‘Angelina’
Sedum rupestre

Zones:

3-11

Height:

3 to 6 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Color:

Chartreuse foliage with yellow flowers

Photo by: Amineah / Shutterstock.

‘Schorbuser Blut’ or Dragon’s Blood
Sedum spurium

Zones:

3-9

Height:

4 to 6 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Late summer

Color:

Green leaves edged with red, turn darker red in cool fall weather, with deep red flowers

Other:

Evergreen in warmer climates

Photo by: Blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo.

Gold moss sedum
Sedum acre

Zones:

3-9

Height:

3 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Spring

Color:

Green foliage with yellow flowers

Photo by: Susan Marie Sullivan / Shutterstock.

‘John Creech’
Sedum spurium

Zones:

3-9

Height:

2 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Fall

Color:

Green foliage that turns deep burgundy in cool weather, pink flowers

Photo by: Sonia Bonet / Shutterstock.

Jelly Bean, Pork and Beans
Sedum rubrotinctum

Zones:

9-11

Height:

6 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Color:

Pink-tinged, gray-green foliage that resembles jelly beans with white flowers

Photo by: Carol Cloud Bailey / Millette Photomedia.

‘Blue Spruce’
Sedum

Zones:

3-11

Height:

5 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Early summer

Color:

Blue foliage with yellow flowers

Photo by: Ian Grainger / Alamy Stock Photo.

Donkey’s Tail, Burro’s Tail, Lamb’s Tail
Sedum morganianum

Zones:

3-9

Spread:

Trailing variety, may have branches up to 2 feet in length

Bloom time:

Spring

Color:

Gray-green

Other:

Trailing variety, good for containers and hanging baskets, and as a houseplant

LANDSCAPE DESIGN TIPS

Because of the many varieties, sedums can be used in multiple ways in the garden. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tall and groundcover varieties are perfect for container planting, especially in colder climates where they can be moved indoors over winter.
  • Both types are also great for raised beds, hillsides, or sandy soil.
  • Creeping varieties are ideal for rock gardens, crevice gardens, living walls & green roofs due to their low water requirement and spreading nature.
  • Use very small varieties of stonecrops for fairy gardens and bonsai displays, such as Sedum hispanicum cultivars or S. dasyphyllum (Corsican stonecrop).
  • Cut flowers from the tall border varieties make beautiful additions to floral displays, as well as when dried.
  • Tall varieties don’t spread, but are spectacular in a mass planting.
  • Good companion plants include coneflower, black-eyed Susan, Russian sage, goldenrod, dwarf aster, geranium, and yarrow.

CONTAINER RECIPES

Sedum, especially the trailing types, make great additions to containers and hanging baskets. They are perfect for using as a spiller that hangs over the edge of the pot. Check out these three ideas for combining them with other plants to make eye-catching container arrangements.

East Coast Swing

Get This Look

Featuring: Proven Accents® Lemon Coral® (Sedum mexicanum)

Monte Carlo

Get This Look

Featuring: Angelina (Sedum rupestre)

Nighthawk

Get This Look

Featuring: Proven Accents® Lemon Coral® (Sedum mexicanum)

Last updated: July 12, 2019

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Types of Succulents
Autumn Gardening

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