How To Plant Stonecrop Ground Cover

Sedum, often known as “stone crop flower,” thrives in full to part sun. While creeping varieties can thrive in partial shade, taller hybrids require full light for the finest flowering.

Soil: Sedums prefer a pH range of neutral to slightly alkaline soil that is extremely well-drained. Root and stem rot can result from wet, heavy clay.

Tall growing sedums should be spaced 1 to 2 feet apart. Depending on the kind and how rapidly you want it to fill in an area, space low-growing, creeping sedums 6 to 12 inches apart.

Sedums should be planted in the spring after the risk of frost has passed. Till the end of the summer, you can still plant transplants in northern regions. Planting season is spring or fall in drier regions.

How quickly does stonecrop grow?

The ‘Angelina’ stonecrop (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’) is a low-growing mat of succulent foliage that is perennial and evergreen. The word “stonecrop” is a Middle English term that describes a plant’s capacity to flourish in rocky, gravelly terrain. Depending on how much sun it receives, the ‘Angelina’ cultivar of S. rupestre has needle-like leaves that is either chartreuse or golden. It blooms with small yellow flowers all summer long. Additionally, the foliage develops an orange or rust hue in the fall.

Although “Angelina” is typically planted in the spring, it may be grown virtually year-round. Although it grows reasonably quickly, it could take a year or two before it blooms.

Spreads stonecrop readily?

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and other upright sedum types are well known among gardeners as great plants for adding color to the hot, dry days of late summer and early autumn. But in hot, arid regions where other plants struggle to survive, a number of low-growing sedum types also make excellent ground cover plants.

The Sedum genus contains 400–500 species, often known as sedums, or stonecrops, and is a member of the Crassulaceae family, which is distinguished by plants with thick, succulent leaves. Many of these species are commonly used as garden plants. Stonecrop refers to a group of plants that not only withstand dry, rocky soil but actually thrive in it. Sedums grow to a height of between 2 inches and 3 feet. While some species do well in warmer temperatures, others are only hardy up to USDA hardiness zone 3. Sedums can be annual or perennial, but they are all fleshy succulents. Sedums function so effectively in arid environments because they retain moisture in their leaves. All sedums have flowers, but they are mostly grown for their foliage, which has fascinating green hues that are uncommon in most other plants.

All sedums are incredibly simple to grow and multiply, and the only way to hurt them is to overwater them or place them in soil that is too wet. A single branch or even a leaf inserted into the ground will immediately take root and grow into a new plant with upright variations. Low-growing sedums are excellent ground cover plants because they quickly cover the ground, are not invasive, and have shallow root systems that make them simple to remove.

For your ground cover requirements, here are 10 sedum, or stonecrop, varieties to take into account.

Fun Fact

Many of the plants marketed as sedums are no longer considered sedums in the botanical sense. Plant biologists routinely shift species to new genera, and on occasion they will eject plants from an excessively big genus and create a new one specifically for them. In the horticultural industry, sedums are still frequently used to refer to a group of plants in which some common species have been moved to new genera. For instance, the well-liked sedum “Autumn Joy” is now officially known as Hylotelephium “Autumn Joy.”

Where should stonecrop be placed?

There are several creeping sedums that work best as stonecrops in extremely dry environments (e.g., Sedum tetractinum, S. scre, S. album, S. kamshaticum and many others). Sedum ternatum, for example, cannot withstand drought, so be cautious when choosing a creeping sedum for a dry location. You should drastically cut back on watering after the active growing season has over to avoid winter rot. When in question about whether to water a stonecrop, err on the side of not watering it at all.

What type of Soil is best for Sedums?

Any kind of stonecrop plant you purchase should be planted in well-drained soil. Sedums that grow tall or creep will both decay in moist, heavy soil. Sedum plants thrive in raised beds, sandy soil, hillside slopes, rock gardens, crevice gardens, containers, and green roofs because to their preference for well-drained soil.

How Much Sun Should Sedums Receive?

Most sedums prefer full or partial sunlight (5 or more hours of direct sun per day). Sedum ternatum is one of a few stonecrop species, which are forest plants that prefer to grow on top of rocks in dappled shade. Additionally, dappled sunlight is necessary for some of the highly variegated sedums (like S. alboroseum ‘Lemonade’) with their light green, yellow, and white leaf.

What makes sedum and stonecrop different from each other?

Everything depends on how they are arranged. For purposes of identification, the gardener just needs to keep in mind the three classifiers of genus, species, and cultivar. A group of closely related species is referred to as a genus.

Within the genus category, species are a more precise classification that have viable progeny. For instance, Sedum is the genus and glaucophyllum is the species of Appalachian stonecrop that thrives in rocky, alkaline soil, respectively, in the name Sedum glaucophyllum.

The sedum that has been chosen for favorable characteristics is further categorized by a cultivar. On the plant tag, Sedum glaucophullum ‘Dazzleberry,’ so the plant would look burgundy rather than green.

Understanding the distinctions between sedum, succulents, and cactus will be made easier by being aware of these classifications. Succulent is a descriptive term for a plant trait rather than a scientific classification. Succulents may retain water in arid regions or soil conditions because some of their leaves, roots, or stems are thickened and fleshy. There may also be plants with succulent characteristics and a typical plant stem within the same species. Numerous plants have succulent traits that enable them to cope with dry environments. Due to their dry origins and special characteristics, succulents can withstand drought.

Another succulent trait that cactus exhibits is the retention of water within the structure of the plant. Typically, cacti have thorns. Hobbyists who raise cacti and succulents frequently distinguish between them based on whether or not they have thorns rather than strictly on the botanical classification, which is sometimes more difficult to perceive. Members of the Cactaceae family include cacti. Confusion is increased since plants may have adaptations to dry circumstances that make them seem related.

Sedum is a genus of flowering plants that also exhibits the succulent traits of having leaves and stems that can store water. Sedums belong to the family Crassulaceae. Due of its stone-like look, sedum is also known as stonecrop. White flowers are present on Appalachian stonecrop. Sedums, which have 600 species in the Northern Hemisphere, include shrubs, annuals, perennials, and creeping herbs. Succulent traits can be found in both sedum and cacti, despite the fact that they belong to two separate plant families.

It might be wise to look for cultivars with succulent traits if one wants to create a rock garden or grow drought-tolerant plants. These plants have interesting body shapes and are lovely. There are many different kinds of flowering, creeping, low-growing, or towering plants that, once established, require little maintenance.

When may I sow stonecrop?

Sedums have everything! This perennial produces clusters of star-shaped flowers that bloom from midsummer to fall, along with lush, luscious green leaves. It attracts pollinators and is simple to maintain. How to plant sedum in your garden is provided here.

About Sedum

Sedum, a genus of succulents with fleshy stems and succulent leaves commonly known as “stonecrop,” is one of the easiest perennial plants to grow. This sedum cultivar is suitable for practically all gardens because it is a hardy plant that thrives in shallow soil.

Based on how the plants develop, we like to split sedum into two primary categories: low-growing sedum and upright sedum.

  • Sedum that grows slowly spreads throughout the ground and only grows to a height of a few inches (or less). As a result, they are ideal for use as ground covers along pathways, in rock gardens, or cascading over stone walls.
  • Sedum that is tall or upright often grows in tall, upright clumps with dense clusters of tiny reddish-pink flowers in their huge flower heads. They make excellent candidates for border gardens or pollinator gardens due to their height and lovely blossoms. Despite upright sedum’s recent reclassification into the Hylotelephium genus, it is still frequently referred to as a “sedum.”

Although they prefer full sun, Sedum may tolerate partial shade. Plant sedum in full sun to enhance overwintering potential if you live somewhere with long, cold winters (Zone 5 and colder).

Although sedum thrives in sandy or poor soil, it needs to be well-drained to prevent fungus problems. If cultivated in soil that retains too much moisture, it is highly prone to developing root rot. Additionally, overly fertile soil can promote lanky growth, which can cause upright sedum species to bloom with a top-heavy appearance.

When to Plant Sedum

  • Typically, sedum is purchased in plugs or pots and then planted in the garden. Sedum is best planted in the spring, after the risk of frost but before the summer heat arrives.
  • In early spring, sow sedum seeds in average to rich soil that is well-drained. (Learn more about adding amendments to the soil and getting it ready for planting.)

How to Plant Sedum

  • Depending on the kind, space plants anywhere between 6 inches and 2 feet apart. While upright sedums tend to keep more compact, low-growing sedums will quickly fill in any gaps.
  • When planting whole plants or divisions, dig a hole deep enough so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil’s surface. Then, insert the plant, and then cover the area around it with soil. Avoid burying upright sedum stems in particular as this can cause rot.
  • Planting cuttings: Sedum is easily propagated through cuttings, just like other succulents. Under the right lighting and watering conditions, the cutting should easily root if the cut end is simply inserted into the soil.
  • Sedum plants require little maintenance once they are established. Check on your plants frequently over the summer to make sure they are not getting too dry, and water them (sparingly) if necessary. Sedum shouldn’t require extra watering if your area receives rain at least one every two weeks.
  • After flowering, prune the plants to keep their shape or confine them to a single location.
  • Advice: After blooming, leave upright sedum flowers alone for more winter interest. They will produce lovely seed heads.
  • To stop your plants from spreading, remember to divide them in the spring or fall. Divisions and cuttings root easily all summer long.
  • Sedum humifusum has stunning, bright yellow flowers and produces an excellent ground cover.

Do you prune stonecrop in the autumn?

Sedum plants, which belong to the Crassulaceae family, are popularly regarded as succulents that are simple to grow. There are many different shapes and sizes to pick from, making it easy to find the right one for your gardening project. Sedum plants don’t necessarily need to be pruned back unless they are becoming out of control and wild. Sedum plant pruning can sometimes enforce thicker plants and can control out-of-control development if you need a very neat appearance. Knowing when to prune sedum plants won’t harm them, but it will assist keep the starry flowers that most kinds produce.

Sedum can be pruned whenever you choose in warmer climates without damaging the plant’s health. However, the majority of pruning is done to get rid of the old flower heads and control the plant. On some of the slower growing species, pruning late into the summer may result in the removal of upcoming flower heads. Old flowers can always be taken out. The bloom head is a pleasing feature on some of the larger species, like Autumn Joy stonecrop, and it will continue through the winter. You have the option of taking these out in the fall or delaying your removal until the first few days of spring.

The leaf will wither and develop adorable small fresh rosettes in spring in colder climates. By pruning sedum plants to the new development, it encourages the emergence of this new growth and creates a more orderly plant.

Is stonecrop a noxious weed?

This plant is also referred to as spreading stringy stonecrop for a reason. For its chartreuse foliage and yellow blossoms, as well as for its capacity to thrive and control weeds even in challenging areas like rocky slopes or hot, dry, shallow soil, some people like stringy sedum groundcover.

In addition to doing well between pavers and stepping stones, stingy stonecrop can withstand some foot trampling. Though stringy stonecrop is a bee magnet, keep in mind that it might not be the best plant for play areas for kids.

If you desire a neat, well-behaved landscape, think again before planting stringy sedum groundcover. Stringy stonecrop may be very invasive in gardens and is capable of out-competing even the most timid perennials. In some parts of the eastern and southern United States, it has turned into a significant issue.

Is the sedum ground cover walkable?

Sedum groundcovers are excellent for sunny, exposed areas since they are drought- and heat-resistant. These hardy plants are strong enough to withstand foot activity and require very little maintenance. If you want to cover bigger areas, check for sedum “tiles” that you can spread out like sod or tuck individual plants between pavers. Sedum comes in a wide range of sizes and shapes, but the best groundcovers are the shorter, creeping types. Such kinds as “Dragon’s Blood,” “Tricolor,” “Blue Spruce,” “Kamtschaticum,” or “Fuldaglut” should be sought out. The majority of sedum groundcovers also produce lovely, bee- and butterfly-attractive blooms in the late summer.

Full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil, and drought-tolerant plants are ideal for growing

How large can a stonecrop grow?

Award-winning Sedum ‘Brilliant,’ which is incredibly well-liked, is one of the toughest and easiest border sedums to grow. This upright type has flat clusters of bright, light pink blooms with long filaments that extend over the ends of the petals that are 3–4 inches across (7–10 cm) in size. They turn rust crimson in the early fall. The foliage is glaucous below, smooth, and light green, and it looks fantastic all year long. This exceptional perennial is simple to cultivate and grows as an 18–24 in. tall and broad (45–60 cm) cluster of succulent, dense foliage topped with blossom buds that resemble broccoli. In the middle to late summer, these tightly packed buds will gradually open to produce tiny, star-shaped soft pink flowers. As they age and die in the fall, these flowers will gradually become rusty red and finally coppery-rust. 1993 recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit