Caring for Sedum & Stonecrop Plants
Stonecrops and Sedums are a group of plants belonging to the family Crassulacae. Generally incredibly tough, well adapted marvels of evolution. One of the most sought after characteristics and what makes them so appealing to landscapers and gardeners, is the very fact that they require a minimal amount of care as well as withstanding harsh conditions. Many stonecrops have a vigorous habit, causing them to smother emerging weeds, this is particularly useful in sunny rock gardens and borders.
Most Stonecrop plants have rubbery, succulent leaves for the purpose of conserving water in times of low rainfall and dry periods, this is a key feature of all Stonecrop plants. They vary in height and size but are mostly low growing ground-covers. The blooms consist of tiny star shaped flowers which are bunched on the ends of protruding stems which are largely attractive to pollinating insects such as butterflies and bees. Regarded as Alpines, they are extremely easy to care for. To understand this and ensure a thriving rock garden we have laid out some basic details on what care – or lack of – that we have found sedum to thrive on.
Although planting at any time of year is ok, they tend to do best planted in Spring before most of the species begin flowering. If planting directly into a rockery, border or patio, aim to choose a location with full exposure to the sun and avoid any areas with prolonged wet or damp soil (for moisture loving plants see shade loving plants). They are most happy in well drained, sandy soils and all types enjoy as much sun as possible. When compromising with sun exposure, choose shorter spells of full sun rather than light shade all day. The quick growing types will do best in shaded areas.
Cultivating new plants is generally quite easy. Each type has it’s preferences so it is always a good idea to do some background research before potentially harming your plants.
Some Sedums, namely those with a vigorous ground-covering habit can even be re-generated by snapping stem pieces off and placing lightly into the ground. New roots will be sent out sometimes within a few days under timid conditions. Plants can be easily propagated using this method including Sedum Album, Reflexum, Spurium, Acre, Kamstchaticum and many others within the succulent family.
Soil should be composed of a coarse, airy mix of part general purpose compost with part sand/perlite or pebbles for free drainage in order to resemble it’s natural habitat as much as possible. Each plant will have it’s preferences for soil content, but this recipe will keep most species happy and healthy…
We reccommend a ratio of:
- 1/2 Compost
- 1/4 Sharp sand
- 1/4 Coarse substrate (such as vermiculite or perlite)
Best in hot, dry and exposed conditions. Watering is usually only needed during very dry summers. When watering in planters, be mindful to water other plants away from the perimeter of Stonecrops. It is recommended to at least allow the soil around the roots to dry out completely before watering again. Note: Too much water can cause stonecrops to become prone to diseases.
Adding fertilizer is rarely necessary. These plants will get plenty of nutrients occurring naturally in the soil and even perform better in low nutrient conditions. A very small feed of general N,P,K (10-10-10) solution may be beneficial during winter months for a boost if growth seems to be slowing.
Note: While this guide covers the basics of Stonecrop care, each species may have a slight variation of condition preferences. For a more comprehensive understanding for a specific plant you should cross reference from our sale profiles below.
Buy Sedum Herbstfreude ‘Autumn Joy’£2.99 Select options
Sedum Album ‘Coral Carpet’£2.99–£6.99 Select options
Sedum Ellacombianum£2.99 Select options
Sedum Pluricaule£2.99 Select options
Sedum Reflexum Rupestre£2.99 Select options
Sedum Sexangulare£2.99–£6.99 Select options
Sedum Spurium ‘Purple Winter’£5.99 Select options