Creeping Red Sedum Growing Tips

Creeping red sedum (Sedium spurium) is an excellent plant choice for those areas of your garden that have poor or rocky soil. Sometimes called "Dragon's Blood," this succulent is also beautiful when used in borders, rock gardens (the sedum genus is often nicknamed "stonecrop" for its ability to grow on rocks) or on hillsides as a ground cover. Creeping red sedum is popular for its red flowers, burgundy fall foliage and its ease of care.

Choose the Right Location

Choose the right location for your creeping red sedum. Although a hardy groundcover, it does not tolerate foot traffic very well. Do not plant it in areas where it will be trampled. Plant creeping red sedum in the spring, when the ground has thawed, and plant each flower about a foot apart from the next. They will quickly spread to fill that empty space. Creeping red sedum can grow in almost any type of soil, but it prefers well-draining soil that is exposed to at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Proper Care

Creeping red sedum is a hardy plant that will thrive even if you almost ignore it. Water when the top two inches or so of the soil is dry. In fact, the only real danger to this hardy plant is standing water in the soil, which will quickly rot the sedum's fragile roots. It's best to err on the side of letting the soil dry out rather than watering it too much. Fertilization is not needed, although it can aid in the plant's first year of growth. The succulent blooms in the fall, and once the blooms fade you can cut them back if you want to clean up the area. Otherwise, there is nothing you need to do to prepare them for winter. The foliage will stay greenish-burgundy all winter long, even in below-zero temperatures.

Be Patient

Creeping red sedum can take a while to establish itself. The plant may become spindly and fail to bloom during its first season. This is because creeping red sedum spends most of its energy the first year on establishing a good root system. Encourage this by feeding the plant a fertilizer rich in nitrogen after planting the new plants in the spring. Be patient with the succulent, and it should really take off during its second year of growth. In fact, it will grow so quickly that you may have to monitor it to make sure it does not invade and kill nearby desirable plants.

Keywords: creeping red stonecrop, Dragon's Blood, sedium spurium, growing tips

About this Author

April Sanders has been an educator since 1998. Nine years later she began writing curriculum. She currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education.