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Sedum Sedum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SEE-dum
Description

Sedum is a genus of succulent, herbaceous perennials with fleshy, flat or rounded leaves depending on the species. In general, the plant is upright and spreads along the ground. The genus has over 300 species, though many have been moved to the genus Hylotelephium. Genus name comes from the Latin word sedeo meaning to sit in reference to the habit of many of the sedums species to sit and sprawl over rocks.

It can be grown as a houseplant, ground cover, or interiorscape or landscape. When grown outdoors, most species need sun to part sun. They are easy to grow indoors with bright direct light from a window or grow light. Use a coarse, well-drained soil, preferably a cactus mix. Sedum tolerates rocky and poor soils well, establishes itself quickly, and most species are cold tolerant. The succulent leaves make them drought and dry soil tolerant. They can be damaged by deer.

The taller Sedum species produce large clusters of flowers, in white, yellow, pink, or red and can be used in borders or pollinator gardens. The low-growing species are generally grown for their foliage and spread by rooting stems and work great on a slope, rock garden, ground cover, hanging baskets, and even green roofs. Sedums withstand only light foot traffic. The leaves tend to fall off easily; however, the fallen leaves can be used to propagate new plants.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Slugs and snails. Avoid wet or poorly drained conditions. Taller sedum species with large flower heads are susceptible to flopping. Site in full sun and pinch back in spring to force thicker stems.

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Souto Sun Garden Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Crevice Garden Wild Side- A Shady Garden Water Garden Gazing Ball Garden Coastal Shady Garden Xeriscape Dry Sun Garden Dry Stream Garden Backyard Planting Water Garden Gazing Ball Garden Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Souto Sun Garden Fence Planter Dry Stream Garden Sun and Shade Demo Garden, Buncombe County Water Koi Pond Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Crevice Garden Sea of Daylilies Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Backyard Patio Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Parking Lot Berms Backyard Planting Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Greenhouse Beds
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'African Sunset'
    16 inches tall, glossy, smooth, purple foliage, red stems and flowers.
  • 'Birthday Party' Sedum 'Birthday Party'
    Bright pink flowers with lime green leaves
  • 'Blue Spruce'
    Low growing, blue foliage, grows quickly.
  • 'Chocolate Drop'
    Mounding, 12 inches tall, brown leaves, pink flowers.
  • 'Cutting Edge'
    Short, clumping, vigorous, patent PP28926.
  • 'Dazzleberry'
    Compact, blue-grey foliage, large red flowers.
  • 'Firecracker'
    Hardy, compact, red foliage, strong stems, pink flowerheads.
  • 'Garnet Brocade'
    Compact, 14 inches high, bronze foliage, red flowers.
  • 'Hopewell'
    16 inches tall, mounded, blue-grey leaves, pink flowers.
  • 'Lime Twister'
    Compact, variagated foliage, bright pink flowers.
  • 'Lime Zinger'
    Hardy, compact plant, small green leaves with red borders.
  • 'Matrona' Sedum 'Matrona'
    Pale pink flowering plant with fleshy, gray-green leaves and purple veins and stems
  • 'Mr. Goodbud'
    Large, purple flowers or red stems, red-tinted foliage.
  • 'October Sunset'
  • 'Peace and Joy'
    In the Pure Joy series; red margins, late summer bloom of magenta flowers on foot long stems.
  • 'Pillow Talk'
    Patent pending; purple-red stems, 6 inch wide pink blossoms.
  • 'Plum Perfection'
    Mounding, grey-green dense foliage, pink flowers.
  • 'Purple Emperor'
    Upright, 15 inches high, masses of pink-purple flowers in late summer.
  • 'Rock Star'
    Patent PP29036; pointed foliage, late blooming pink flowers.
  • 'Rosy Glow'
    8 inches tall, bluish green leaves, clusters of dark ruby flowers.
  • 'Soft Cloud'
    Patent applied; grey-green foliage, pink flowers last until winter.
  • SunSparkler® Series
  • 'Thundercloud'
    Patent 21,833; pointed foliage, star-shaped white flowers.
  • 'Touchdown Teak' Sedum 'Touchdown Teak'
    Glossy red-brown to purple-brown leaves, red stems, with rose-red flowers and low habit
  • 'Twinkling Star'
    Patent 21507; upright, compact, yellow-green flowers.
'African Sunset', 'Birthday Party', 'Blue Spruce', 'Chocolate Drop', 'Cutting Edge', 'Dazzleberry', 'Firecracker', 'Garnet Brocade', 'Hopewell', 'Lime Twister', 'Lime Zinger', 'Matrona', 'Mr. Goodbud', 'October Sunset', 'Peace and Joy', 'Pillow Talk', 'Plum Perfection', 'Purple Emperor', 'Rock Star', 'Rosy Glow', 'Soft Cloud', SunSparkler® Series, 'Thundercloud', 'Touchdown Teak', 'Twinkling Star'
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#semi-evergreen#succulent#easy to grow#wildlife plant#colorful leaves#low maintenance#green roof#fall interest#rabbit resistant#hanging baskets#cpp#well-drained soil#children's garden#playground plant#groundcover#pollinator plant#fantz#poor soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#shallow soil tolerant#container plant#easy to grow houseplant#hsc#hsc-s
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'African Sunset'
    16 inches tall, glossy, smooth, purple foliage, red stems and flowers.
  • 'Birthday Party' Sedum 'Birthday Party'
    Bright pink flowers with lime green leaves
  • 'Blue Spruce'
    Low growing, blue foliage, grows quickly.
  • 'Chocolate Drop'
    Mounding, 12 inches tall, brown leaves, pink flowers.
  • 'Cutting Edge'
    Short, clumping, vigorous, patent PP28926.
  • 'Dazzleberry'
    Compact, blue-grey foliage, large red flowers.
  • 'Firecracker'
    Hardy, compact, red foliage, strong stems, pink flowerheads.
  • 'Garnet Brocade'
    Compact, 14 inches high, bronze foliage, red flowers.
  • 'Hopewell'
    16 inches tall, mounded, blue-grey leaves, pink flowers.
  • 'Lime Twister'
    Compact, variagated foliage, bright pink flowers.
  • 'Lime Zinger'
    Hardy, compact plant, small green leaves with red borders.
  • 'Matrona' Sedum 'Matrona'
    Pale pink flowering plant with fleshy, gray-green leaves and purple veins and stems
  • 'Mr. Goodbud'
    Large, purple flowers or red stems, red-tinted foliage.
  • 'October Sunset'
  • 'Peace and Joy'
    In the Pure Joy series; red margins, late summer bloom of magenta flowers on foot long stems.
  • 'Pillow Talk'
    Patent pending; purple-red stems, 6 inch wide pink blossoms.
  • 'Plum Perfection'
    Mounding, grey-green dense foliage, pink flowers.
  • 'Purple Emperor'
    Upright, 15 inches high, masses of pink-purple flowers in late summer.
  • 'Rock Star'
    Patent PP29036; pointed foliage, late blooming pink flowers.
  • 'Rosy Glow'
    8 inches tall, bluish green leaves, clusters of dark ruby flowers.
  • 'Soft Cloud'
    Patent applied; grey-green foliage, pink flowers last until winter.
  • SunSparkler® Series
  • 'Thundercloud'
    Patent 21,833; pointed foliage, star-shaped white flowers.
  • 'Touchdown Teak' Sedum 'Touchdown Teak'
    Glossy red-brown to purple-brown leaves, red stems, with rose-red flowers and low habit
  • 'Twinkling Star'
    Patent 21507; upright, compact, yellow-green flowers.
'African Sunset', 'Birthday Party', 'Blue Spruce', 'Chocolate Drop', 'Cutting Edge', 'Dazzleberry', 'Firecracker', 'Garnet Brocade', 'Hopewell', 'Lime Twister', 'Lime Zinger', 'Matrona', 'Mr. Goodbud', 'October Sunset', 'Peace and Joy', 'Pillow Talk', 'Plum Perfection', 'Purple Emperor', 'Rock Star', 'Rosy Glow', 'Soft Cloud', SunSparkler® Series, 'Thundercloud', 'Touchdown Teak', 'Twinkling Star'
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#semi-evergreen#succulent#easy to grow#wildlife plant#colorful leaves#low maintenance#green roof#fall interest#rabbit resistant#hanging baskets#cpp#well-drained soil#children's garden#playground plant#groundcover#pollinator plant#fantz#poor soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#shallow soil tolerant#container plant#easy to grow houseplant#hsc#hsc-s
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sedum
    Family:
    Crassulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia
    Distribution:
    Europe, Turkey, Northern Africa, North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees enjoy the nectar. Birds enjoy the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Edibility:
    The stems and leaves can be eaten raw when very young and tender.  Later, until they flower, they may be eaten after briefly cooking. Not poisonous, but when eaten in quantity, can cause stomach upset.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit follicular, membranous or leathery, often surrounded by a persistent membranous corolla, opening on the adaxial side, Seeds mostly minute, usually with fleshy endosperm.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The small flowers usually have 4-6 petals. There are typically twice as many stamens as petals. Inflorescence is cymes and star-shaped. Color varies by species.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are fleshy, flat to terete, opposite to whorled, or alternate; variable in shape, size, and teeth by species. Frequently cylindrical.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Covered with a powdery bloom (glaucous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are erect, decumbent, or tufted, usually more or less glaucous and fleshy.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Foot Traffic
    Heat
    Poor Soil