Sedums – low maintenance plants


SedumsI have been collecting sedums for years and still covet these unusual, low maintenance plants. The vast majority of sedums are superb perennial survivors and as the are succulent (store water in their leaves) will tolerate very dry conditions, poor or thin soil and readily grow from cuttings. Some eco-houses have been built with a carpet of sedums as a protective, natural roof covering. They come in so many shapes and forms, that building up a ‘portfolio’ of varieties is truly addictive and provides an easy medium for presents for your friends, family and neighbours. Swapping is also highly recommended.

I must confess on many occasion, on spotted a variety of sedum not in my collection growing on a wall, I have taken the odd cutting or two. They are so incredibly easy to propagate. In some cases, a single leaf can rapidly form a perfectly healthy plant. For the best results, I have found that they prefer a well-drained soil – John Innes compost is perfect for them.

In my garden I have tonnes of Sedum confusum– a fast growing and hardy sedum with round glossy, radioactive green leaves and yellow flower bracts. When they become a ‘leggy’, I simply tear them out, snap off and collect the top growths and push them (as they are) into the ground – no hormone rooting powder, no special care. With the usual 100% survival rate,  it forms an instant designer carpet of green! I can be very creative with this and mix other varieties such as the metallic grey and red of the Sedum spathulifolium or the pale pastel green of the Sedum reflexum and form a patterned display.

Certain varieties can be used to surpress weeds. Sedum spathulifolium, Sedum glaucophyllum, Sedum caeruleum, Sedum acre all have a very dense habit, forming a thick carpet of uninterrupted green. They will look great in spring with crocuses or dwarf daffodils growing through them or filling the gaps between summer annuals.

Most sedums will grow anywhere. On dry stone walls, in solitary pots or even in hanging baskets. I quite often use sedums to fill gaps in my winter displays; to that matter, I might just get carried away this year and fill them with nothing but sedums! They will be perfectly forgiving, should I forget to water these hardy little plants.

If you have a few hours spare, I found that this website ( is a great place to discover the vast array of sedums available.

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