Sedum is one of the most versatile garden plants out there and has the added bonus of being drought-tolerant. Here's everything you need to know about growing sedum.


Sedum is known for its dense, colorful, and textured foliage. These impressive plants are like succulents, as they retain moisture in their leaves and stems. Sedum is known for its ability to fill in the garden with thick, low-growing foliage—creeping sedum groundcovers can even climb over rocks in containers or garden beds. Sedum is a hardy, attractive option that will bring color to the garden for three seasons.

Sedum Types

detail shot of chartreuse sedum groundcover

Sedum falls into two types, defined by their growth pattern. Creeping sedum, also known as stonecrop, makes a good groundcover in rock gardens and through cracks in walls. Sedum groundcover plants are hardy, fast-rooting plants that will do well wherever they touch ground. Upright sedum, the second type, forms tight clumps of foliage that do not spread. This type of sedum can be divided in spring. Depending on the variety, upright sedum grows to be between 1 to 3 feet tall.

sedum fosterianum oracle close-up

Sedum Varieties

With plenty of sedum varieties in different colors, shapes, and sizes, there is sure to be a variety for every garden. Foliage ranges from chartreuse or gold to pinks, creams, greens, and almost-black hues of purple. The thick, fleshy leaves come either rounded and paddle-like or long and narrow like needles. Some sedum varieties have pollinator-attractive blooms in red, yellow, or white.

stones surrounded by sedum groundcover
spurium tricolor sedum leaves close-up
purple emperor sedum blooms and foliage
Right: Credit: Richard Hirneisen

Sedum Groundcover Colors

While basic green sedum groundcover can do the trick, it's exciting to pick a colorful groundcover to take over open spaces in the garden. Succulent groundcover sedum is a great option for drought tolerance. One of the best gold sedum groundcover varieties is 'Angelina'—the needle-like foliage looks like spruce branches but boasts hues of gold, chartreuse, and even copper. As far as multicolor sedum groundcovers go, 'Tricolor' is a favorite variety of many. The flat foliage takes on ivory, mint, and rosy hues. For darker hues, look to 'Purple Emperor'. This purple sedum groundcover has dark foliage and bright pink flowers.

adding soil to garden bed with sedum

Planting Sedum

Most sedums like to be planted in full sun, but some low-growing sedum groundcover varieties can tolerate part shade. Avoid planting sedum varieties next to big bushes that disrupt sun exposure. Smaller varieties of sedum can be grown in a pot and transplanted into the ground, while larger varieties need room to grow and spread out and can be stunted in containers. Sedums can be planted from seed or can be propagated from division and cuttings

Sedum flowers typically come up in June. If foliage is your focus, pinch off the flowers to allow the plant's energy to go toward the leaves. Because the leaves retain moisture, be careful not to overwater sedum—too much water can choke the roots and lead to rot.


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