How to Trim Back an Autumn Joy Sedum


Autumn Joy sedum (Sedum x 'Autumn Joy'), is a tall, perennial succulent with juicy, grayish-green leaves. In late summer, Autumn Joy will produce dense pink flowers that turn a coppery-rust shade by autumn. Often, Autumn Joy sedum will become so long and leggy due to lack of sunshine or poor soil that the plant will lean over. When this happens, a good pruning will return Autumn Joy to its original glory. Autumn Joy can also be trimmed back once or twice in early summer to contain its size and keep the plant neat and tidy.

Step 1

Disinfect your pruning shears to prevent the transfer of bacteria and disease from plant to plant. Wipe the pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or a mix of one part household bleach and nine parts water. Use pruning shears with sharp blades, as dull blades can damage the stems.

Step 2

Prune long, leggy Autumn Joy down to 2/3 of its size. The flowering may be somewhat delayed, but the Autumn Joy will soon rebound.

Step 3

Maintain a compact, bushy shape by trimming Autumn Joy as needed in early summer. Use the pruners to trim the top of the plant, staggering the height of the plants to promote a natural appearance. If necessary, Autumn Joy can be pruned twice in spring and summer, but don't trim the plants after mid-July.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rubbing alcohol or household bleach and water


  • University of Florida: Sedum x 'Autumn Joy'
  • University of IllinoisExtension: Pinching and Pruning -- A Perennial Primer
  • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension: Pruning Ornamental Plants
Keywords: autumn joy, succulent, autumn joy sedum

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.