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How to Care for a Sedum Rubrotinctum Plant

By Cindy Hill ; Updated September 21, 2017

Sedum rubrotinctum is a commonly grown species of the sedum family often called jelly bean or pork and beans. S. rubrotinctum makes a superb container plant in frost-prone areas and can be an attractive part of fire-resistant plantings in frost-free locales. With its extreme drought resistance, S. rubrotinctum needs only minimal care to reward you with its attractive jelly bean texture, bright red summer leaves and spiky yellow flowers.

Prepare your outdoor planting site in full sun by digging out a hole twice as big as the root area of the sedum to be planted or prepare for container growing by thoroughly washing the pot in hot soapy water.

Mix 3 parts sand with 2 parts garden or potting soil, 2 parts compost, 1 part charcoal and one-half part crushed eggshell. Fill the garden hole or the container with this mixture and water lightly. Allow to settle, then top off the hole or container.

Plant the sedum plant just to the root line in the soil mix. Let a leaf cutting dry out before planting if you are propagating a new sedum; stick the cutting about an inch into the soil and keep it uniformly moist until signs of new growth appear. Place container-grown S. rubrotinctum in a south- or west-facing full-sun location and bring it inside when night temperatures fall below 40 degrees.

Water deeply once established, but allow S. rubrotinctum to dry out thoroughly between waterings. Use well or tap water because rain water may be acidic, and S. rubrotinctum requires an alkali-growing medium. Once a year in early spring, add a dilute solution of liquid fish emulsion fertilizer to the water.

Divide your S. rubrotinctum every three to five years, replacing the soil mix with a fresh batch each time to preclude excessive build-up of soil salts. Spray as needed with insecticidal soap or neem oil to control aphids, which are the chief plant pest for S. rubrotinctum when grown indoors.


Things You Will Need

  • Sand
  • Potting or garden soil
  • Compost
  • Egg shells
  • Pure wood charcoal (not charcoal briquettes), crushed, or aquarium charcoal
  • Decorative planting container or terra cotta pot, with saucer
  • Insecticidal soap or neem oil, in spray bottle
  • Liquid fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Trowel

About the Author


A freelance writer since 1978 and attorney since 1981, Cindy Hill has won awards for articles on organic agriculture and wild foods, and has published widely in the areas of law, public policy, local foods and gardening. She holds a B.A. in political science from State University of New York and a Master of Environmental Law and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.