As summer’s long hot days give way to fall’s shorter, cooler ones, sedums are having their moment of glory, many bursting into starry flowers, or subtly changing leaf color.
Beautiful plants that thrive on neglect, sedums are commonly known as stonecrops. Many are super cold-tolerant, and are fine overwintered outside. Plant them into the ground or in containers, in partial to full sun, making sure to amend soil so that it has excellent drainage. For more on how to plant sedums in containers, here’s ashort video.
Of course, start with everyone’s favorite ‘Autumn Joy’sedum, shown at right (and channel your inner Paula Pryke by using them as cut flowers with autumn grasses!) but also check out these six varieties we recommend for plantingright now.
Striking, deep bronze to black foliage— the darkest-leaved sedum available— with masses of reddish-pink, late-summer flower heads. Herbaceous perennial.
Partial to full sun. Reaches up to 20 in. tall.Zone: 3 – 9
Use: Add clumps to beds of late bloomers such as asters and coreopsis, or use in containers.
Keeping Sedums Happy
Sedums hail from the mountainous regions of Europe, parts of Russia, and Eastern Asia, which means they like soil that’s not too rich, and drains well. Add pumice to garden beds and container mixes (here’sgood infoon how much).
Low-water doesn’t mean no-water: during dry times, water small pots about once a week and large pots about every two weeks.
Feed yearly at the beginning of the plant’s growing season with a well-balanced organic fertilizer at half the recommended dosage.
In fall, allow seed heads that follow flowering to remain into winter (’cause they look awesome, and feed foragers).
In spring, shear stems back to just above soil line; new growth will appear from the plant’s crown.
In late spring to early summer, cut sedums back by half to produce bushier plants that flower a little later. While you’ll delay flowering, the resulting thicker stalks can help support the heavy flower heads to come.
After three or four years rejuvenate overgrown plants by dividing in spring – dig them up, split into smaller pieces and replant.