Rock 'N Low™ 'Boogie Woogie' ground cover sedum. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Sedums, also called stonecrop, are easy-to-grow succulent plants that add color and interest to your garden in summer and fall. Their blooms attract butterflies and other pollinators, and varieties that bloom late summer to early fall provide food when other sources are scarce.

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, there's one (or more) perfect for every garden.

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

On this page:

BASICS

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:

Full sun to partial shade, depending on variety.

Bloom time:

Late summer and fall flowers.

Deer:

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

2019 Annual of the Year: Lemon Coral® Sedum

TYPES OF SEDUM

There are 3 varieties of sedum plants:

Tall border varieties (Hylotelephium or Sedum telephium)

  • Dense, domed flowers and succulent leaves on 1- to 2-foot stems.
  • Provide late-summer color with both flowers and foliage.
  • New varieties have leaves in shades of copper, dusky mauve, and dark purple.
  • Dried flowerheads on upright sedums add interest in fall and winter.
  • In colder climates, they may die back to a rosette at ground level in winter.
  • A layer of winter mulch recommended in zones 4 and 5.

Creeping ground covers (Sedum)

  • Produce clusters of brilliant, star-shaped flowers in summer.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Trailing varieties (Sedum morganianum)

  • Such as the popular houseplant donkey’s tail, also called burro’s or lamb’s tail.

SEDUM VARIETIES

Swipe to view slides

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Proven Accents® Lemon CoralBuy now from Proven Winners
Sedum mexicanum
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

7-11

Height:

3 to 10 inches tall, spreads 10 to 14 inches wide

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rock 'N Low™ 'Boogie Woogie'Buy now from Proven Winners
Sedum hybrid
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

6 to 8 inches tall, spreads 16 to 18 inches wide

Exposure:

Sun

Bloom time:

Early summer

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rock 'N Round™ 'Superstar'Buy now from Proven Winners
Sedum hybrid
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

10 to 12 inches tall, up to 16 to 20 inches wide

Exposure:

Sun

Bloom time:

Late summer through fall

Also available in lighter color, Rock 'N Round™ 'Popstar' stonecrop.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rock 'N Round™ 'Pure Joy'Buy now from Proven Winners
Sedum hybrid
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-9

Height/Spread:

10 to 12 inches tall, spreads up to 20 inches wide

Exposure:

Sun

Bloom time:

Late summer through fall

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

‘Angelina’
Sedum rupestre
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-11

Height:

3 to 6 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Photo by: Amineah / Shutterstock.

Dragon’s Blood, or ‘Schorbuser Blut’
Sedum spurium
Creeping, ground cover

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

Photo by: Blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo.

Gold moss sedum
Sedum acre
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-9

Height:

3 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Spring

Photo by: Susan Marie Sullivan / Shutterstock.

‘John Creech’
Sedum spurium
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-9

Height:

2 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Fall

Photo by: Sonia Bonet / Shutterstock.

Jelly Bean, Pork and Beans
Sedum rubrotinctum
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

9-11

Height:

6 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Photo by: Carol Cloud Bailey / Millette Photomedia.

‘Blue Spruce’
Sedum
Creeping, ground cover

Zones:

3-11

Height:

5 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Early summer

Photo by: Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.

Autumn Joy or ‘Herbstfreude’
Hylotelephium spectabile (syn. Sedum spectabile)
Tall

Zones:

4-11

Height:

Up to 24 inches

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Late summer to fall

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

‘Frosty Morn’
Sedum erythrostictum
Tall

Zones:

4-9

Height/Spread:

Up to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Exposure:

Partial to full sun

Bloom time:

Summer

Photo by: Ian Grainger / Alamy Stock Photo.

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

Zones:

3-9

Spread:

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

Bloom time:

Spring

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

PLANTING SEDUM

Planting Lemon Coral 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 light requirements of the variety you are planting. They can be grown in rocky or sandy soil, hillsides, raised beds, or in containers as long as the soil drains well.

Soil:

Well-drained soil, and most prefer slightly acidic conditions with a soil pH of 6 to 6.5. Sedums will tolerate poor soil.

How to plant:

The planting hole should be the same depth as the pot. No fertilizer needs to be added. Water after planting.

Spacing:

They 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 they have a chance to mature.

For ground cover varieties to fill in quicker and form a dense mat, 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.

SEDUM 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 plants 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:

Stonecrops prefer lean conditions. In fact, unless your soil is extremely poor, it may be best to avoid fertilizer at all. However, if needed, 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.

Watering:

They are quite drought tolerant. Water weekly from spring through fall, and may require more in extremely hot weather or if planted in a container. Wait until the soil is completely dry in-between watering. Water newly planted sedums daily for the first couple of weeks.

Propagation:

Sedums can be reproduced by division, cuttings, or seed.

  • For taller varieties, 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. They can be divided every few years.
  • For the ground cover varieties, take a clipping and place the cut end in a shallow layer of potting soil.

Pests:

Rarely bothered by pests, but aphids, snails or slugs may be attracted to them. Keep plants and surrounding areas dry to help deter them.

Diseases:

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 plants healthy.

Other problems:

Tan to brown patches appearing on the fleshy 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).


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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.
  • Creeping varieties are ideal for rock gardens, crevice gardens, living walls, and green roofs due to their low water requirement and spreading nature.
  • 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 to hang over the edge of a 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)

RELATED:
Types of Succulents
21 Low-Maintenance Plants
Autumn Gardening

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