If you haven't started using Stonecrop Sedums in your garden you are missing out on plants that provide some dramatic color and texture. These tough little plants additionally serve as a unique ground cover.
These Sedums are not known for their flowers, but more for the foliage that has a wide spread and unusual leaf structure. Some flowers are so small you will need a magnifier to see.
Sedum rupestre "Angelina" has a striking chartreuse color, whose tips turn orange and red in the fall. This plant has a twin with the same needle like foliage called Sedum rupestre "Blue Spruce". As the name denotes the color is a deep blue green.
Stonecrops like poor soil, but will grow most anywhere. They seem to do best when there is an aggregate for them to crawl over and require little soil to attach themselves to the ground. These long lived, fast spreading plants like rocks, hollows in old tree stumps, and pieces of bark. They also will grow in regular garden soil.
Even though these Sedums spread quickly they are not invasive. The roots are shallow and the plant is easily lifted out of the ground. One bonus to cutting the plants back occasionally are the trimmings that you can root. Lay 2-3 inch pieces on some soil and anchor with a pebble or small rock. Keep the soil moist until the roots take hold.
There are sedums in this category for every zone. Most of the ones that grow in cold climates do not like hot direct sun in the summer afternoon. They usually do well with five hours of morning to midday light. Their water needs are minimal, dryer is better.
If you are looking for a plant that will grow in the shade and you live in no higher than zone 7, then Sedum ternatum will thrive. This cold hardy species is native to the eastern US and is considered a woodland plant. It may take some time to establish a sizeable bed of this since the plant is small. When it blooms you need to get down on the ground and look closely at the flower, these are a petite masterpiece.
Most summers I plant at least a few dozen cuttings of stonecrops around the garden and house. I never seem to run out of small spaces for one of my favorite ground covers.
Cover the Earth
Exploring the world of ground covers and what to consider when choosing plants to fill in the empty and barren spaces that persist in so many garden.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express WRITTEN permission from the author of this site is strictly prohibited. EXCERPTS and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Essentially Gardening with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.