Sedum (Sedum)

Sedum (Sedum) - Garden Basics - Flower - Perennial

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Sedum have small, fleshy evergreen or semievergreen leaves in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Their starlike flowers bloom at intervals throughout the year depending on the species and the location.

Sedums are suitable plants for rock gardens and flower borders; those with trailing stems will cascade from hanging baskets.

Sedums grow well indoors where they get four hours or more a day of direct sunlight, or from 12 to 16 hours of strong artificial light; they grow fairly well in bright indirect light. In spring, summer and fall, night temperatures of 50° to 65° and day temperatures of 68° to 90° are suitable. In winter, give them night temperatures of 40° to 50° and day temperatures up to 65°. Let the soil become dry to the touch between thorough waterings; for plants that become semidormant during the winter, such as showy stonecrop and October plant, water only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling during this period.

Feed established plants three times a year--in very early spring, late spring and late summer, using a house-plant fertilizer such as 10-20-10 at half the strength recommended on the label. Do not feed plants the rest of the year. Trailing plants rarely need repotting. Because the stems of burro's tail are so brittle, it is better to feed and water old, crowded plants more often than attempt to repot them. When repotting of any sedum is necessary, use a mixture of 1 part commercial potting soil and 1 part sharp sand. Add 1 tablespoon of ground limestone and 1 tablespoon of bone meal to each gallon of mix. Propagate in any season from cuttings or by dividing plants.

Outdoors, white stonecrop, October plant, and shoy stonecrop can be grown in Zones 3-10 except on the Gulf Coast. Most other sedums grow well outdoors in Zones 9 and 10. All need full sun or light shade. Most tolerate almost any well-drained soil, adapting to poor soil and dry locations; the exception is burro's tail, which needs protection from wind and rain. Plant at any time when the soil can be prepared, placing plants 9 to 12 inches apart. Do not fertilize.

Variety Size Features
White Stonecrop 2-3 inches Used as a ground cover. Leaves are 1/4 inch long and tinged red in winter. Blooms are 1/4 inch wide and produced in late summer
Carpet Sedum 6 inches or more Leaves are pointed and 3/4 to 1-1/4 inch long and edged in white. Yellow flowers bloom in late spring or early summer and about 5/8 inch wide.
Burro's Tail Trails up to 3 feet The flimsily attached tear shaped leaves are about an inch long and overlap so closely that the stem resembles long braids. The yellow-green leaves are covered with a powdery-blue dustlike bloom. Half inch rose colored blooms appear in spring.
Jelly Beans   Fat 1/2 to 3/4 inch green leaves with redish-brown tips that turn red in the sun contrast with clusters of yellow flowers in winter or spring.
October Plant 6-9 inches Purplish stems are covered with whorls of three round, 1/2 inch leaves with wavy edges. In the fall, rounded clusters of 1/2-inch-wide pink flowers appear at the tips. Plants die to the ground in winter.
Showy Stonecrop 12-22 inches Soft, toothed leaves up to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide are arranged in twos, threes or fours along the stems. In late summer, clusters of flowers in various shades of rose bloom.
Ghost Plant 12 inches The bluish sheened, /2- to 1-inch-wide leaves grow in rosettes on trailing stems. The 3/4-inch green-and-white flowers bloom in the late winter or early spring.

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