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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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Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
6 inches or several feet wide, depending on variety
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.
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.
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.