Are you looking to get a succulent to decorate your indoor or outdoor space? Look no further. There is an array of the world’s best colorful succulents that you can choose from. Succulents add life to any garden and are the dream of every gardener seeing that they require very little care.
What Are Sedum Succulents
Sedum belongs to a large genus of succulent plants growing mostly in the northern hemisphere in rock environments and parts of the southern hemisphere like South America and Africa.
Sedums are usually diverse in that they make for annual, biennial as well as perennial ground covers, shrubs, and subshrubs alike. They are characterized by thick stems and colorful leaves that may be small, needle-like, flattened, cylindrical, and sometimes large.
The color for the foliage changes with seasons from green, yellow, blue, purple, and red. The flowerers are usually star-shaped and consist of five petals that grow in clusters and come in different shades from white, pink, yellow, and red.
Sedums are sun-loving plants that attract bees and butterflies alike and will usually blossom during fall and summer. If you own a sedum succulent, the best care you can give them is to leave it alone to thrive.
Sedum succulents require less care compared to other succulents although once in a while fertilizing will help your succulent have a more vivid and rich color.
Benefits of Growing Sedum Succulents
If you grow succulents, allowing them to thrive is fun and enjoyable. This is because most succulents require little care to thrive.
For instance, Haworthia succulents can thrive even in the frigid mountains. So, what are the benefits of growing a sedum succulent in the first place?
Require Very Little Care
Compared to other succulents, sedum succulents require the least care. What this means is that you don’t need to water or fertilize them as much. Leaving them alone is the best thing you can do for them.
They Are Hardy
Sedum succulents have been known to thrive in rocky and mountainous regions which means that they can survive anything when planted in a garden.
Make Great Cut Flowers
Sedum succulents are colorful plants with the foliage changing color based on the season where they can be red, purple, yellow, or green.
The flowers will grow in clusters and come in a variety of shades such as red, white, and yellow and will even blossom into gorgeous pink succulents that will turn your garden into a winter wonderland.
How Do Sedum Succulents Work
Sedums are commonly referred to as stonecrops or spreading stonecrops and are flowering perennial succulents that belong to the Crassulaceae family.
There are more than 400 varieties of the Sedum plant. They are easy to care for requiring very little watering and tend to survive even in rocky areas.
Pros and Cons of Growing Sedum Succulents
- There are so many varieties of sedum succulents that make the plant suitable for all kinds of garden designs. The low-growing ones for instance can be used as ground covers as well as in rock gardens while the taller varieties are great as back borders.
- Sedums are also hardy and easy to care for. They are drought-resistant succulents that grow like weeds requiring very little care.
- The leaves and flowers of most sedums are usually edible and are used in soups, green salads, and smoothies.
- Crushed leaves and other extracts of sedum plants are also used in herbal medicine to treat all manner of ailments. For instance, the plant can be used to treat skin ulcers, itchy rashes, pimples, warts, and dermatitis.
- While sedum succulents grow like a weed and require less care, they don’t do so well when exposed to heavy foot traffic. The stems and leaves are very fragile and end up breaking easily.
- Sedum lawns also attract rodents and birds that might end up damaging the fragile leaves and stems if foot traffic won’t do it.
Types of Sedum Succulents
Sedum succulents come in a variety of colors from pink to green with the two main types being clumping sedums and creeping sedums.
Clumping sedums refer to a sedum succulent variety that has large, round, blue-green, or blue-grey leaves.
They produce striking pink foliage before going dormant during the winter months. In early autumn they produce dark pink flowers that attract bees and butterflies.
Creeping Sedum (Stonecrop)
The creeping sedum is also referred to as stonecrop due to its ability to thrive in rocky regions.
The creeping sedums grow along the ground like weeds and are commonly used in rock walls, rock gardens as well as roofs.
Features of Sedum Succulents
Have you ever experienced the positive effects of growing rare succulents? Sedum succulents are unique in that compared to other succulents, they require less attention when they are growing.
Here are some of the features that make a sedum succulent, a gardener’s first choice of succulent.
Sedum succulents are the most versatile with the stonecrop perennial family being large enough to include low growing succulents, tall spiked flower producing succulents, and trailing succulents.
Form and Size
Stonecrop sedums are usually rosette-shaped and will produce flowers that rise above the foliage base.
The leaves of sedum succulents are usually thick and semi-gloss with fleshy leaves clothing the stems. During autumn and early summer, the succulents produce tiny flowers in clusters that range in color from green, pink, yellow to red.
Flowers and Fragrance
The flowers of sedum succulents are pastel-colored and are rich in nectar which is one of the main reasons why they attract bees, butterflies, moths, and other kinds of pollinator insects.
Sedum succulents just like premium black succulents are great ornamental flowers for a reason. Their flowers remain fully blossomed for long periods and may even remain during the winter months.
Sedum Succulent Requirements
The good thing about sedum succulents is that they can survive in even freezing temperatures with most varieties being hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5a up to 9b, and can do well in even -28°C temperatures.
Some varieties can even tolerate temperatures that are down to USDA hardiness zones 4a, -34.4 °C.
Likewise, sedum succulents also do well in extreme heat and drought-prone areas. When you are growing them indoors, make sure that you maintain temperatures of between 15 and 20 °C during the winter months.
Normally, sedums will go dormant when temperatures drop below 10 °C.
Sedum succulents will thrive better in areas where they are exposed to full sun for at least 6 hours a day.
Most varieties can thrive even with partial shade but will not do well in deep shade. If you are keeping a sedum indoors, make sure that you place the pot under artificial lights or near a sunny window.
Just like other succulent varieties, sedum succulents’ survival also depends on where they are grown.
All sedum succulents make great container plants as long as the soil mixture drains well. The last thing you want is standing water because this will lead to overwatering and eventual decay of the plant.
The tall dark sedums look great when growing in patio containers while mat-forming sedums can be grown together with taller succulents.
If you are growing sedums indoors, make sure that the container has drain holes and that it is placed near a sunny window.
Some varieties of sedum succulents make great ground covers since they spread fast. This doesn’t mean, however, that tall sedums don’t make great groundcovers because some varieties do.
At the end of the day, whatever ground cover you choose, make sure that you care for it and protect it from foot traffic.
Wall Gardens and Roof Gardens
One of the best features of sedum succulents is that they are cold-hardy and don’t need to be watered as much. What this means is that sedums are perfect for wall gardens, crevice gardens, and rooftop gardens alike.
Sedums can survive extremely dry conditions but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be watered. They thrive well when they are watered regularly from spring through fall. Like other succulents, only water your plant when the soil has dried completely.
Young sedums need more watering during the first few weeks so that they can develop a strong root system. When you are watering your plants, make sure that you don’t wet the stems, leaves, or flowers because this may cause them to rot.
When it comes to space needs, it will depend on the variety of sedum succulents that you are growing. The sedums that make great ground cover require a lot of space since they tend to spread fast like a weed.
Container sedums, on the other hand, don’t need as much space. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the container is large enough and that it is placed near a sunny window.
Naturally, sedums don’t do well when they are growing in waterlogged soil. As such, good drainage is vital to prevent the roots from rotting.
When you are planting sedums, always choose a well-draining potting mix. The fact that sedums thrive even in poor, shallow, rocky, or sandy soil makes them a great choice for green roofs.
Sedums don’t require much in terms of care. However, during spring, it wouldn’t hurt to use a well-balanced organic fertilizer.
Your sedums will survive even without any feeding as long as they are annually divided and fresh soil is provided throughout.
As the growing season comes to an end, Sedums begin to die back which is when you are supposed to mulch over the area using organic compost.
The compost is meant to feed as well as protect the plants during the winter months.
Sedum propagating is very easy. Just poke the container soil or a hole in the garden and insert the cut end of a good bare stem.
A good cutting should be free from leaves a couple of inches from the bottom and have healthy succulent leaves at the top.
Pest and Disease Control
If sedums are overcrowded or overwatered, they are likely to attract scale insects as well as mealybugs.
You are also likely to have problems with snails and slugs with outdoor sedums. Snails and slugs are, however, easy to control.
In terms of diseases, when exposed to high humidity and when left to sit in standing water for long, sedums are prone to rotting, mold diseases, and rust.
Pruning is not something you have to worry about when it comes to sedum succulents. The only time pruning is necessary is if the sedums are getting out of control.
You are, however, free to do some cleaning up during winter that could involve removing dead or damaged branches and leaves.
How to Grow Sedum Succulents
Step 1 – Use stem cuttings
One of the easiest ways of propagating sedums is by using stem cuttings. Take the cuttings during the spring period which is when the plants are actively growing. Leave the cutting to callus for a few days and then place it in a well-draining potting mix. Water sparingly until the plant has developed a root system.
Step 2 – Use the leaves
The leaves of a sedum plant are potential new plants. Only choose the healthiest leaves and remove them from the plant.
Like the stem cuttings, allow them to callus for a few days before placing them in a well-draining soil mix. Rooting should take place after two to three weeks.
Step 3 – Division
When sedums have flowered, that’s when you divide the plants. This division is a simple way of doubling your plants and should be done every two to three years to keep the plants healthy and control their size.
Step 4 – Propagating using seeds
This is the slowest method of propagating sedums but it’s still an exciting process just like when using leaves and stem cuttings.
The best time to sow the seeds is during summer or spring and make sure you sow them in a well-draining soil mix.
Keep the soil moist by watering sparingly until the seeds germinate and maintain temperatures of 15 and 21 °C.
How to Care for Sedum Succulents
Step 1 – Make sure the soil is well-draining
Sedums thrive in a well-draining soil mix. Most varieties can however survive cold temperatures and rainy weather. It is extreme heat and not getting enough sun that can have negative effects on their growth.
Step 2 – Make sure your plants are getting enough sun
Sedums thrive when they are exposed to at least 5 hours of direct sun per day. As such, if you have indoor sedum, the best thing you can do is to place the pot near a sunny window.
Step 3 – Water sparingly
Sedums don’t need to be watered daily as this can cause the roots, leaves, and stems to start rotting. Rather, water then sparingly and only do it when the soil is dry.
When you are watering, make sure that you don’t get water on the stem and leaves to prevent rotting.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
If you are thinking about buying sedum stems or leaves to propagate, more spending doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be getting better quality.
The only thing you need to make sure of is that you are getting fresh stems and leaves that are free of rot and rust.
The same goes for the seeds. Go for the highest quality of seeds which in some cases would mean spending a little more.
Do’s and Don’ts With Sedum Succulents
- When you are propagating sedums, make sure that you do that in a well-draining soil mix.
- When you are watering your sedums, make sure that you do that when the soil has dried out competently.
- If you have indoor sedums, place the pot near a sunny window since most sedum species thrive when they are exposed to about 5 hours of direct sunlight or artificial light every day.
- Water the sedums making sure that water doesn’t get on the leaves and the stems as this can cause them to start rotting.
- While most sedum species can thrive in rainy conditions, make sure that you drain any standing water because this can cause the roots to start rotting.
- Do not overcrowd the sedums when you are propagating them as this can attract pests as well as snails and slugs.
FAQ About Sedum Succulents
Are succulents and sedums the same?
Succulents usually have stems, roots, and leaves that are fleshy and thick and tend to retain water during arid conditions. Sedums on the other hand belong to the Crassulaceae family and are a genus of flowering plants that have the same characteristics of retaining water in the stems and leaves.
Do sedums like sun or shade?
All sedum species thrive well in sunny spots in the garden but there are a few varieties that can tolerate light shade. No sedum, however, will thrive in complete shade, and doing so will result in sparse growth and leggy stems.
Do sedums dieback in winter?
Yes, sedums tend to die back during winter and will return in spring. In warmer climates, however, sedums remain green and flowering throughout winter.
How do you keep sedum from getting leggy?
Sedums can get leggy after some time. To prevent this, use sharp pruners and prune the stem back to about an inch from the soil. This should be done during early spring and make sure you don’t touch on any new growth.
Is sedum toxic or poisonous to people, kids, pets?
Sedums are not toxic to people but they can be mildly toxic to children and pets.
Are sedums invasive?
Some sedum ground covers can be invasive because they grow and spread fast like a weed. You can control this by pruning and dividing the plants a few times a year.
Can you walk on sedum ground cover?
Yes, you can walk on sedum ground covers but there are a few things you must keep in mind. For one, never walk on sedum ground covers during winter months when they are frozen. Likewise, when walking on the ground cover, make sure that you spread your weight to avoid putting too much pressure on the plants. While at it, do not walk on the sedums any more than you have to, and avoid walking on them when they are not actively growing because they are prone to damage during those months.
If you love succulents, then planting stonecrop sedums should be something you’ve thought about for a long time. Sedums thrive all year long and can be grown as ground covers, in containers, wall coverings and rocky and rooftop gardens alike. Their flowers also last long and attract pollinator insects like bees and butterflies which only adds to the beauty of any garden.
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