Sedum (Sedum spp.), also known as stonecrop, is a perennial valued for its numerous, ornamental flowers, drought tolerance and dense foliage. The plant blooms during summer and fall, producing large clusters of flowers in red, pink, yellow, white and gold. The thick, fleshy leaves store large quantities of water for use during drought. Native to temperate regions around the world, sedum thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and requires only minimal maintenance.
Plant sedum during spring after the threat of frost in your area. Choose a location that receives full sunlight most of the day and has extremely well-drained soil. Avoid heavy or clay soils, as the plant will rot when water-logged.
Spread a 1-inch layer of coarse sand over the planting site and use a garden tiller to work it into the soil to improve drainage, which is necessary for the plant's performance. Space sedum plants at least 6 to 24 inches apart to allow room for mature growth.
Apply a 1-inch layer of compost to the soil surrounding the sedum, then cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch. The compost releases nutrients into the soil, while the mulch deters weeds and improves moisture retention. Begin the layers at least 3 inches from the base of the plant.
Water sedum once per week during the first month of growth to help establish the plant's root system. Decrease the frequency of watering thereafter to only during periods of extreme heat, when temperatures rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or during weeks that receive less than 1 inch of rainfall.
Cut sedum stems back to 1 to 2 inches above the soil line after the first killing frost of winter. Cover the crown of the plant with 2 to 3 inches of mulch and leave it throughout the winter months. Remove the mulch during late winter, just before growth resumes in spring.