Plant of the Week - September 6, 2012 Stonecrop/Sedum

Stonecrop Sedum

Stonecrop/Sedums come in any shapes and sizes, but what they all have in common is that they are succulents, soft almost cactus-like foliage, blooms and flowers.  It’s a great plant to enjoy for it’s ornamental values but also because it brings in all of those little winged visitors that we like to enjoy in our gardens.  Sedums are an absolute first class perennial that you will enjoy growing in your garden with exciting and promising splendor to enjoy in your garden.

Depending on the variety they can tolerate very cold temperatures, but what they really love is a bright, sunny spot.  Sedums are very low maintenance, drought tolerant and do great in gravel and sandy soils.  These plants can multiple quickly and easily giving you a full plant.

Stonecrop/Sedum put on such a great display for a very long time.  It brings in butterflies and later on, small birds because of the seeds. It provides such a long season of interest.  It emerges in the spring time with succulent green leaves that are familiar with the sedums that need very little water or looking after.

Every spring, as the snow melts and the ground begins to thaw there will be some clean up that needs to be done because we have left the sedum heads for the winter interest.

When the new growth has begun it is certainly time to get out and remove the seed heads as they will interfere with the new growth and the general appearance of the plant.  You will also want to allow the plant to have a good clean start to the season.

In the summer when the flowers develop they come out first as a soft green color gradually taking on their bright colors.  As they mature they take on deeper and deeper colors, eventually to take on warm brown tones for the winter time.

Each of these flower heads is packed with lots of little star shaped flowers and bursting with nectar that butterflies love to come and sip on.  Then later on when the flower sets seeds, little birds will come and enjoy the seeds throughout the winter time.

There is really a place for it in so many gardens.  If you aren’t growing it you should really think about getting a plant or two.  Here are a few of our favorites among the many varieties we grow:

Autumn Joy Stonecrop
A clump forming upright perennial with spoon-shaped succulent leaves. Flat topped clusters of flowers resemble broccoli and bloom pink and mature to copper red. Excellent addition to borders or in Container. A good cutflower. Drought tolerant. Attracts butterflies.

Xenox Autumn Stonecrop
Xenox produces small heads of dusty pink flowers held over a mound of smoky grayish-blue foliage. Flowers appear in late summer or early fall. This fairly compact perennial makes a great addition to the front of the border or in Container. Attracts butterflies.

Dragon's Blood Stonecrop
A vigorous mat forming evergreen perennial with green and purple tinted succulent foliage and deep pink flowers that bloom in late summer. A good groundcover in the rock garden, edging the border or in Container. Drought tolerant once established.

Tricolor Dragon's Blood Stonecrop
A vigorous mat forming evergreen perennial with green, cream, and pink succulent foliage and pink flowers that bloom all summer. Provides year round color accent. Excellent groundcover on hot dry slopes and in Container. Drought tolerant once established.

Autumn Fire Stonecrop
This Canadian selection is an improvement on the older Autumn Joy with a taller habit and stronger stems. Autumn Fire produces green clusters of buds in midsummer, gradually opening into huge dusty pink flower heads, deepening with age. An outstanding cut flower.

Angelina Stonecrop
A low growing perennial that forms an evergreen mat with small spiky bright yellow succulent foliage. Yellow flowers in summer. Useful in rock gardens, edging along borders or in Container. Drought tolerant once established.