Sedum

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 spathulifolium succulent plant identification card

Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’

Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ is one of the few cold hardyhardy Able to withstand most climatic conditions all year without protection, often qualified with a minimum temperature succulents in cultivation. It propagates easily and is perfect for fairy gardens!

Detailed Care Information »
sedum clavatum tiscalatengo gorge sedum succulent plant care guide and identification card

Sedum clavatum

Sedum clavatum propagates easiest by stem cuttings taken in the fall or spring. It looks great all year round and in cooler temperatures, the stress colors really show on the tips.

Detailed Care Information »
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 »

Sedum Care Guide

The key to sedum succulent care is leaving them alone. Seriously. Few succulents require less attention than sedum. They are a diverse genusgenus a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family, and is denoted by a capitalized Latin name native to higher elevations and thrive in rocky, mountainous environments where many other plants would die. Many sedum species are referred to as stonecrop because they appear to grow right out of the rocks. 

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Their active growing season is in the cooler spring and fall months so be sure to water them regularly during this time. When they are dormant in the summer, don’t be surprised if they generally look kinda shabby or are more sensitive to excessive heat.

Sedums propagatepropagate breed specimens of a plant by natural processes from the parent stock like taking stem cuttings, leaf cuttings or seeds freely by fallen leaves as well as by seeds and stem cuttings. They spread quickly on the ground, so they make covering slopes a breeze. Sedums typically have shallow root systems and grow best when crowded in groups. The best time to propagate sedum stem cuttings is after they have flowered.

If you are growing your sedum indoors in containers, be sure to give them as much sun as possible by placing them near a sunny window or under grow lights to prevent them from stretching (etiolation). Most types of sedum can handle some shade, but do need lots of light.

Sedum are some of the hardiest succulents there are. Many hardy sedum varieties can survive temps down to -10°F (USDA Zone 6) although they’d do best if kept in a frost free environment.  Tender sedum varieties like S. clavatum or S. adolphi are better suited for higher zones if grown outdoors.

Sedum succulents thrive in gritty, inorganicinorganic not consisting of or deriving from living matter soil mixes. The more grit, the better when it comes to sedum as their natural habitathabitat The natural home of a plant. is on rocky ledges in the mountains. Never let the soil your sedum is planted in become waterlogged and make sure your pots always have a drainage hole so you can properly water using the drench and dry method. See the Guide to Soil for Succulents for more information about the different amendments that people use for their succulents and where you can buy them.

Sedum seriously are low maintenance and don’t like strong fertilizers. If you do fertilize them, do it while they are healthy, actively growing and dilute dilute dilute! Also, be sure you choose a fertilizer which is low in nitrogen as indicated by that first NPK number. Make sure to thoroughly water your sedum after you fertilize because they are susceptible to burning. Read on about fertilizing succulents in general here.

Sedum succulents can go longer between waterings than other succulent varieties as they store lots of moisture in their fat leaves. Make sure your pots have a drainage hole so that you can use the drench and dry method of watering. Avoid getting water on the leaves especially in humid areas because any trapped water can cause rot to occur. Sedum can be particularly susceptible to root rot when left in wet, soggy soil so make sure they are well ventilated and in gritty soil, especially in humid areas. General succulent watering info can be found here.

Sedum generally  aren’t very heat tolerant, but love the sun and need at least 6 hours of it every day. If you’re in a particularly hot area, protect them from the harsh rays of the sun during the hottest part of the day. They do need lots of light in order to maintain their colorful leaves. They will turn green if kept in low light.

Keep them in the brightest light possible to avoid stretching as when they stretch out, or etiolate, they become weaker and susceptible to pests and disease. Do not expose your sedum to the sun abruptly. Doing so can cause irreversible sunburn. Slowly acclimate it over the course of a week or two. 

If you’re growing sedum indoors, be sure to provide it with lots of ventilation because stagnantstagnant having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence air leads to a buildup of harmful bacteria and fungus which can lead to rot. A fan and open shelving would be helpful here.

Sedums are prone to mealy bugs, aphids, slugs and snails. Fungus gnats are also a pest that hampers sedum and is a sign that your soil is too damp.

Sedum comes from the Latin word “sedeo” which means “to sit.” This is a fitting name because sedum are fantastic ground covers and trail over rocks and walls.

Sedum comes in a huge variety of forms including long trailing types like Burro’s Tail or creeping ground cover like Sedum spurium. Sedum dendroideum is even tree-like and grows upright. Their leaves range from thick and fleshy to small and thin. Their flowers generally have five petals and they are known to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

No, sedum are not monocarpicmonocarpic A succulent that dies after one bloom. Examples are Sempervivum and Agave species.. See my guide to identifying death blooms.

Today, sedum are being used as “green roofs” and are planted on top of buildings to provide insulation, a habitat for wildlife and to lower urban air temperatures. They also reduce stormwater runoff.

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