11 Sep

Sedum is one of the easiest plants to grow and brings great late-season color to the garden. Its large stems and thick leaves help store water, making it wonderfully drought resistant. It will grow just about anywhere, sun or shade, though I’ve had the best result in part sun (2-6 hours of sun a day). The leaves will droop a little when it’s very hot outside, especially in full sun, but usually perk back up overnight. The most common variety–showy stonecrop or ‘live forever’–forms nice tight 12″-18″ clumps and blooms pale pink. ‘Autumn Joy’ (shown here and at the top of the page) looks almost identical when it emerges in the spring, but the stems develop a dark red color; the clumps grow taller (24″) and looser; and the flowers turn a darker shade of pink. This variegated variety also forms fairly loose clumps with white, star-shaped flowers. The only care sedum requires is cutting back the dead stems each spring; the plants emerge as new growth from the ground up each year.
Sedum is extremely easy to propagate. This one and several others were started when a few stems broke off last spring as I was weeding the area. I dug small holes and planted the bare stems a few inches deep. They’ve already formed new plants and are even beginning to flower. They’ll increase in size next year and probably will reach their full mature size the year after.


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