How to Care for Sedum

Overview

Sedum, also known as stonecrop, is a genus consisting of 400 different species of flowering succulents. The large number of species results in a wide variety of features, with some species being annuals, herbs or shrubs. Sedum have special leaves that store water, making them extremely drought-tolerant. They form flowers in the summer and fall that can be pink, red, yellow or white in color. Sedum are easy to grow in most temperate regions and require very little care to thrive.

Step 1

Plant sedum during spring as soon as the soil is thawed and workable. Choose a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day. Spread 1 inch of peat moss over the surface of the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil prior to planting to increase fertility and drainage.

Step 2

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding sedum. Start about 3 inches from the stem to allow air circulation and room for growth. Add more mulch to the layer as necessary to keep it at least 3 inches thick.

Step 3

Water sedum only during periods of extended drought, usually when 2 weeks have passed without rainfall. Soak the soil surrounding sedum thoroughly to ensure the roots can absorb as much moisture as necessary.

Step 4

Feed sedum twice per year, once in early winter and again in late spring using a slow-release fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the packaging for proper application and dosage. Water thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer to distribute nutrients and prevent root injury.

Step 5

Remove dead or faded sedum flowers to encourage the plant to form new blooms instead of seed. Pinch off the flowers as close to the stem as possible to minimize damage. Allow some flowers to turn to seed if propagation is desired.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some species of sedum are highly toxic and should never be ingested or planted in a location accessible by children or pets.

Things You'll Need

  • Sedum
  • Peat moss
  • Garden tiller
  • Mulch
  • Slow-release fertilizer

References

  • Sedum Production and Consumer Care
  • Washington State University Plant of the Month: Stonecrop
  • "New England Gardener's Guide;" Jacqueline Hériteau, Holly Hunter Stonehill; 2002
Keywords: sedum, stonecrop, sedum flowers

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.