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How to Care for a Sedum Rubrotinctum Plant

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.

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