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pale pink Sedum plant in flower with a bee
If you want reliable succulents that come in a range of leaf colours, forms and patterns, you can’t go past sedum. Perfect for pots and containers, these bomb-proof plants will add year-round interest to your garden with a minimal amount of work.

What you need to know about sedum

Name: sedum, stonecrop, Sedum species and varieties.

Height: from around 1cm to 0.5m, depending on variety.

Foliage: evergreen.

Climate: cold temperate, warm temperate, arid/semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical.

Soil: prefers well-drained soil.

Position: full sun.

Flowering: tiny white flowers to showy large pink ones, depending on variety.

Feeding: rarely required.

Watering: once established, very rarely requires watering, except in extended very dry periods.

Appearance and characteristics of sedum

Sedum is a group of fleshy leaf succulents that are quite variable. Some are tight ground covers, while others can look like small shrubs. Foliage colour also varies, with leaves of yellow, grey, green and purple, with many combinations of these colours. All varieties of sedum feature leaves that are thick and store moisture, giving the plant solid drought resistance.

close up image of pink sedum in flower

Uses for sedum

Most often, sedum is used as ground covers, particularly in hot and dry areas. The different foliage colours and types mean various types can be grown next to each other to provide a contrast in texture and colour.

A number of varieties of sedum have quite showy flowers, and some, like “Autumn Joy”, are seen in massed plantings for their pink autumn flowers.

These plants do very well in pots and containers, and are often seen in with other succulents in mixed plantings in pots.

How to plant and grow sedum

Soil

As with most succulents, the real key to success with sedum is getting the soil right. It is essential that it is free-draining. If your soil is heavy or sits wet, add some gritty sand to it, and also raise the garden bed up a little. If growing in a container, use a cacti and succulent potting mix, as this has been formulated for just these sort of plants.

How to plant sedum

  1. Plant out so that the plants sit at the same level as they did in their pots, and no deeper.
  2. Water them in, then leave off watering until really necessary.
  3. Use a fine pebble as a mulch to reduce the chance of rot. This will also help show off the lovely foliage.

Different types of sedum can be planted in the same part of the garden, or in the same container. Their different characteristics will offer contrast and year-round interest.

Caring for sedum

Sedum really doesn’t need much work. It is important to grow it in a sunny spot, as shade will make it lose its lovely compact habit. Watering is rarely required, although you will need to give it a drink in the hottest and driest weather. Frequency will depend on your location and the position of the plants—those in containers in a hot courtyard will dry out much more quickly than those in the ground. Once a fortnight will probably be more than enough.

Pruning sedum

Pruning is generally not required. However, flowering forms that have their flowers at the top of tall stems—such as “Autumn Joy”—will look much neater if the dead flower stems are removed.

Diseases and pests

Occasionally, sedum may be attacked by insects, but these can be removed by hand or by using a garden insecticide.

How to propagate sedum

Dividing sedum

The easiest way to propagate most sedum plants is by dividing existing clumps. Most forms will put down roots as they grow across the ground. Once established, simply lift the existing clumps and break them apart, making sure each new section has roots attached, then plant out or pot up.

Growing sedum from cuttings

Some sedum plants can be grown from cuttings.

  1. Take a length about 10–15cm long and strip off the bottom two-thirds of foliage.
  2. Place the cutting into a pot of propagating sand and keep moist.
  3. Roots should form in just a few months.

If you like this then try

Bonsai: the Japanese art of growing miniature trees and landscapes.

Cactus: the classic dry-adapted plant, which comes in many forms.

Desert rose: lovely flowers on a succulent plant that’s great for growing in pots.

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

 

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.