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Sedum

Sedum

A diverse group of plants, sedums come in a myriad of shapes, colors, and sizes. Sedums make great container plants and can take extreme drought. With so many species and varieties available, sedums can be found in bloom three seasons a year.

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

 

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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

Sedum Plant Colors

Sedums come in a rainbow of colors. The foliage ranges from needle-like to broad, rounded, paddle-like leaves. Along with many different shapes, there are also a number of foliage colors. Standouts include bright chartreuse-gold; wonderful tricolor leaves with pinks, creams and greens; and even deep, shiny, almost-black leaves.

As far as flowers go, sedum blossoms are multipurpose. Pollinators love to feed on sedum blossoms, making this plant perfect for pollinator gardens. On taller blooming varieties, the old bloom stocks add winter interest to the garden. Just be sure to remove old growth early in the spring before new growth emerges.

Sedum Care

Sedums are drought-tolerant and can stand up to harsh heat. However, their biggest downfall is too much water. Because sedums have succulent leaves, they can store water for future use, and too much can cause the leaves to rot.

In the same sense, these plants need as much sun as you can give them. If they are in too much shade, they are prone to rot. More sun is also better for foliage color. Brighter light intensities bring out deeper colors in the leaves and promote better flowering.

Learn how to use sedum in your garden here.

New Innovations

Breeders are working to develop more sedums. New research underway is crossing 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

This variety 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

This Sedum variety 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

This cultivar 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

This Sedum variety 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

This variety 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

This cultivar 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

This Sedum variety 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.
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