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Sedum

Sedum

A truly diverse group of plants, sedums come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Sedums are also extremely versatile, make great container plants, and can take extreme drought in a garden setting. With so many species and varieties available, you will have no problem finding a sedum in bloom three seasons out of the year.

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Light:

Part Sun, Sun

Type:

Height:

Under 6 inches to 3 feet

Width:

6 inches or several feet wide, depending on variety

Flower Color:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

3-10

Colorful Combinations

Sedums come in a rainbow of colors. Whether foliage or flower, there is a smorgasbord of sedum options. The foliage itself can be anything from needles to rounded, paddle-like leaves. Along with different shapes available, foliage can be found in a number of colors: bright chartreuse-gold, pinks, creams, greens, and even deep, shiny, almost-black foliage. When not in bloom, sedums are still a standout in the garden.

What Should I Plant Together?

As far as flowers go, sedum blooms are extremely multipurpose. There are so many varieties and species of sedum that you can easily find one for each growing season and always have one in bloom. This is great for pollinators, as they love to feed on sedum blooms. Sedums also add vibrant color during otherwise drab seasons. On taller blooming varieties, you can leave old bloom stocks on the plant to add some winter interest to the garden. Just be sure to remove any old growth early in the spring before new growth emerges.

Sedum Care Must-Knows

Sedums tend to be forgiving plants. They are extremely drought tolerant and can stand up to harsh heat. Their biggest downfall, however, is too much water. Be sure not to overwater your sedum, especially if you're notorious for killing your plants with kindness. Because they have such succulent leaves, sedums can store water for future use, and too much water can cause the leaves to rot. See more on watering succulents.

In the same sense, these plants need as much sun as possible. If they are in too much shade, rot can be an issue again. More sun is also better for interesting foliage color, as intense light brings out deeper colors in the leaves and promotes better flowering.

There are two main types of sedum—creeping and upright. The creeping varieties of sedum make great groundcovers in rock gardens and through cracks in walls. Many creeping types of sedum will root wherever they touch ground, and they can easily fill a space. Upright sedums form tight clumps of foliage and don't spread. This sort of sedum can be easily divided in spring to make more plants.

New Innovations

Sedums have always been popular, but they have become even more relevant as of late. Whether it's a miniature variety of sedum for fairy gardens and terrariums or large blooming varieties for outdoor gardens, sedums have worked their way into mainstream culture. This is great for breeders, as more sedum varieties and possible hybrids are being studied every day. One particularly new development is the crossing of sedums with another genus called Orostachys. This has created a new hybrid known as Sedoro.

See our favorite sedum varieties.

More Varieties of Sedum

'Angelina' Sedum

Sedum 'Angelina' is a quick-growing groundcover with golden, needle-like leaves that turn orange in fall. It grows 4 inches tall. Zones 6-9

'Autumn Charm' Sedum

Sedum telephium 'Autumn Charm' shows off rose-pink flowers in late summer and autumn and lovely white-edged foliage. It grows 15 inches tall and wide. Zones 4-8

'Autumn Joy' Sedum

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is a classic. Its 2-foot-tall stems carry gray fleshy leaves and are topped with green broccoli-like heads of flower buds that open pink and turn rusty red by fall. Zones 3-8

'Black Jack' Sedum

Sedum 'Black Jack' has sturdy 24-inch-tall deep-purple stems clothed with succulent dark purple leaves. Pink flowers cluster in 5- to 8-inch-wide heads. It thrives in full sun in Zones 3-8

'Frosty Morn' Sedum

Sedum 'Frosty Morn' bears stunning, silver-edged gray-green leaves and clusters of pink flowers in fall. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 3-9

Kamschatka Sedum

Sedum kanschaticum has evergreen foliage, making it an effective groundcover. The yellow flowers look great over the rich green foliage. It grows to 4 inches tall. Zones 3-9

Ogon Makinoi's Sedum

Sedum makinoi 'Ogon' has mats of small, pink-flushed gold leaves on creeping stems. Yellow green flowers are produced in summer. This is a fine groundcover plant in rock and crevice gardens. It grows 8 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 7-9

'Purple Emperor' Sedum

Sedum 'Purple Emperor' bears rich purple foliage and clusters of pinkish-purple blooms in late summer and fall. It grows 2 feet tall. Zones 3-7

Sedum acre

Sedum acre is an evergreen that grows 2 to 3 inches tall and has dark green foliage with yellow flowers in summer. Zones 4-9

Sedum cauticola

Sedum cauticola is a Japanese species with lovely silvery, blue-green leaves and pink-purple flowers in autumn. It grows 2 inches tall. Zones 5-9

Sedum sieboldii

Sedum sieboldii has blue-green leaves blushed with purple. In fall, it produces clusters of rosy-pink flowers. This groundcover grows 4 inches tall. Zones 6-9

Sedum spathulifolium

Sedum spathulifolium is a quick-spreading selection to 4 inches tall that has silvery-gray foliage and bright yellow flowers in summer. Zones 5-9

'Tricolor' Sedum

Sedum spurium 'Tricolor' bears green leaves edged in pink and white. The pink flowers appear in summer. Zones 3-8

Variegated Kamschatka Sedum

Sedum kamtschaticum 'Variegatum' has lustrous green (with a flush of pink), spoon-shaped leaves frosted with white along the edge. Its bright yellow starry flowers bloom from summer into fall, gradually becoming orange. It grows 4 inches tall. Zones 3-8

'Vera Jameson' Sedum

Sedum 'Vera Jameson' offers purple foliage and pinky-rose flowers in late summer or early fall. It grows 1 foot tall. Zones 4-9

Plant Sedum With:

Fountaingrass
Like so many grasses, fountaingrass is spectacular when backlit by the rising or setting sun. Named for its especially graceful spray of foliage, fountaingrass also sends out beautiful, fuzzy flower plumes in late summer. The white, pink, or red plumes (depending on variety) continue into fall and bring a loose, informal look to plantings. This plant self-seeds freely, sometimes to the point of becoming invasive.
Russian sage
With its tall, wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers and silvery foliage, Russian sage is an important player in summer and fall gardens. It shows off well against most flowers and provides an elegant look to flower borders. The aromatic leaves are oblong and deeply cut along the edges. Foot-long panicles of flowers bloom for many weeks. Excellent drainage and full sun are ideal, although very light shade is tolerated. Plant close to avoid staking, since the tall plants tend to flop.
Black-eyed Susan
Add a pool of sunshine to the garden with a massed planting of black-eyed Susan. From midsummer, these tough native plants bloom their golden heads off in sun or light shade and mix well with other perennials, annuals, and shrubs. Tall varieties look especially appropriate among shrubs, which in turn provide support. Add black-eyed Susans to wildflower meadows or native plant gardens for a naturalized look. Average soil is sufficient for black-eyed Susans, but it should be able to hold moisture fairly well.
Artemisia
Grow artemisias for the magnificent silver foliage that complements nearly all other perennials and ties together diverse colors within the garden. They're nothing short of stunning next to white or blue flowers. They thrive in hot, dry, sunny conditions, such as a south-facing slope. Several spread rapidly to the point of being aggressive, so consider limiting yourself to varieties listed below that are well-behaved.

Sedum and Succulents in Containers

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