What Are Sedum Perennials?


Quick Answer

Sedum, often called stonecrop, is a succulent perennial featuring fleshy foliage that stores water, which makes it very drought-tolerant. A perennial garden favorite, sedum is available in a variety of species, ranging from tall upright plants to groundcovers less than 2 inches high.

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Full Answer

Sedums are available in more than 400 different species with wide-ranging features, including herb, shrub and mat-forming characteristics. Tiny star-shaped flowers appear in clusters and sprays on many sedums, with bloom times beginning in summer and bloom colors deepening as the season moves into autumn. Colors are generally pink, red, white, yellow and gold, depending on the variety.

Sedums, which are easily grown in most temperate regions, thrive with little care. They require well-drained soil and do best in full sun, although they tolerate some shade. Sedum varieties are excellent additions to the xeriscape garden. Tall varieties add drama to a perennial border, while low-growers are often planted in rock gardens and containers.

Plant sedum plants in the spring, spacing them from 6 inches to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety. Before planting, dig up the area with a garden fork, loosening the soil to a 12-inch depth, mixing in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball for each sedum plant. Carefully tip out the plant from its container and place it gently in the hole with the top of the root ball level with the soil surface. Fill in the hole around each plant, gently firming the soil. Water thoroughly, and apply a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to retain moisture and control weeds. After the first frost, cut off the plant stems, leaving only 2 inches above the ground. Divide sedum plants every three to four years in the spring.

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