What are the different types of Sedum?

Soft Sedum vs Hardy Stonecrop Sedum

Soft Sedum are tropical varieties that are not frost-hardy and must be protected from cold temperatures. They are known for their easy, drought-tolerant growth and can display bold and soft pastel colors. These vertical-growing, stemmed varieties can range in height from 3.0″ to over a foot. As they grow, they tend to form a loose rosette, a dense mat of ground cover, or a trailing cascade, depending on the variety.

Hardy Stonecrop Sedum, on the other hand, are a staple of hardy succulent groundcovers. They will withstand drought, deep freezes, poor soil, full sun, and high temperatures and still reward with stunning colors and blooms. These varieties are groundcover species that stay under 6.0″, but taller S. telephium can grow up to 2 feet. They spread easily and will fill the available space with a lush, undulating carpet that is easy to maintain once it reaches the desired extent.

What does Sedum look like?

Colors, Foliage and Flowers

Sedum colors can be bold and bright or soft and pastel, and they gain vibrancy with added sunlight. Soft Sedum have possible leaf shapes including pine needles, jelly beans, and a classic rosette. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum have colorful, fleshy leaves that store water for up to three months of drought. Flowers of soft Sedum are star-shaped blooms tend to appear in early summer in shades of white, pink, or yellow. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum have profuse blooms of pink, white, or yellow that appear in the growing seasons.

How do I care for Sedum?

Light, Soil, Water and Hardiness

When it comes to care, Soft Sedum need as much sunlight as they can get and should be near bright windows. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum are better suited to full-sun than other hardy succulents and also do well in partial sun and certain varieties tolerate bright shade. For soil, Soft Sedum prefer a sandy, well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum prefer a gritty, well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Soft Sedum can survive months of drought but will rot easily if over-watered. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum, young plants will need supplemental water to establish roots, but in many regions a thick mat of mature Sedum needs only rainfall. Soft Sedum are not frost hardy and are limited to zones 9 and 10 for year-round, outdoor growth. Hardy Stonecrop Sedum are nearly all frost hardy down to -20F and can be grown in a wide range of climates.

Why choose Sedum for your garden or home?

Versatility and Low-Maintenance

In summary, Sedum is a versatile, easy-to-grow plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. They are perfect for garden beds, walkways, containers, hanging pots, green roofs, living walls, and much more. With proper care, they will reward with stunning colors and blooms. Whether you’re looking for a tropical variety to add some color to your home or a hardy groundcover to add some interest to your garden, Sedum is a great option to consider.

If you’re looking to add a succulent to your garden or home, Sedum is definitely worth considering. With its wide range of colors, forms and hardiness, it offers something for everyone. Just make sure to give it the right amount of sunlight, soil and water and you will be rewarded with a beautiful and low-maintenance plant.

Sedum clavatum is easily propagated by cuttings and can also be grown from seed 1

Scroll through these sedum succulent identification cards to learn more about how to care for the specific species you have in your collection.  I’m adding new ones frequently, so check back often! 

Sedum burrito succulent plant care and identification card

Sedum burrito

Sedum burrito (Moran, 1977) is different from Sedum morganianum ‘Burro’s Tail’ in that its leaves are shorter and rounded at the end and the flowers are completely different. 

Detailed Care Information »

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