Learn About Sedum

How to Sow

Sedum: Bare Root or Potted Plant Perennial

How to Plant

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun with dry, poor soil. Excellent drainage is essential for sedum.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

Planting Bare Root Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun with dry, poor soil. Excellent drainage is essential for sedum.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the bare root.
  • Set the plant such that the crown is at or just slightly below the ground level. Allow roots to fan out from the crown at around a 45 degree angle. Roots should spread out separately, like stretched fingers, from the crown, and not bunch up. It may be helpful to build a cone-shaped mound of soil in the bottom of the hole and spread the roots around it. It is important to set the roots such that the crown is roughly level with the ground.
  • Cover the roots with soil and tamp down firmly to get rid of air pockets. Fill the soil to just below the crown, where the top growth and leaves will emerge. Make sure all the roots under the crown are in good contact with the soil.
  • Water well to fully saturate the roots and soil.
  • Wait until new growth starts to appear before applying a layer of mulch.

How to Grow

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Once established sedum is very drought tolerant.

Growing tips

Growing Tips

  • Many sedums are evergreen, or their foliage turns red in winter.
  • Spreading plants are great for dry gardens, rock gardens, even gravel.
  • Flowers of taller varieties may be cut for fresh and dry arrangements.

Common Pests and Problems

Common Disease Problems

Botrytis: This fungus causes a grey mold on flowers, leaves. It thrives in cool wet weather conditions. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected plant parts, avoid watering at night and getting water on the plant when watering. Make sure plants have good air circulation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Powdery Mildew: This fungus disease occurs on the top of the leaves in humid weather conditions. The leaves appear to have a whitish or greyish surface and may curl. Burpee Recommends: Avoid powdery mildew by providing good air circulation for the plants by good spacing and pruning. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Root Rots: A number of pathogens cause root rots. Burpee Recommends: Pull up and discard infected plants. Make sure your soil has excellent drainage. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Rust: A number of fungus diseases that cause rust colored spots on foliage, stalks and husks. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Southern Blight: Also called crown rot or white mold, this fungus causes deterioration and rotting at the crown causing the leaves to turn yellow, collapse and die. There are water soaked lesions on the stem near the soil line. In high humidity, coarse cottony webbing develops over the stem base and surrounding soil. White to tan fruiting bodies resembling mustard seeds appear at the base of the plant. Burpee Recommends: Remove and discard affected plants. Consult your local Cooperative Extension Service.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects that can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps who feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

Fungus Gnats: These small flying insects feed on the organic matter in the soil, particularly in commercial potting mixes. Generally they do not damage plants and tend to be more of a nuisance. Burpee Recommends: In general these are less of an issue when the soil is dry, which is also good for sedums. Yellow sticky boards can help trap fungus gnats. There are also beneficial insects which attack fungus gnats. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.

Slugs: These pests leave large holes in the foliage or eat leaves entirely. They leave a slime trail, feed at night and are mostly a problem in damp weather. Burpee Recommends: Hand pick, at night if possible. You can try attracting the slugs to traps either using cornmeal or beer. For a beer trap, dig a hole in the ground and place a large cup or bowl into the hole; use something that has steep sides so that the slugs can’t crawl back out when they’re finished. Fill the bowl about ¾ of the way full with beer, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, the bowl should be full of drowned slugs that can be dumped out for the birds to eat. For a cornmeal trap, put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and put it on its side near the plants. Slugs are attracted to the scent but they cannot digest it and it will kill them. You can also try placing a barrier around your plants of diatomaceous earth or even coffee grounds. They cannot crawl over these.

Thrips: Thrips are tiny needle-thin insects that are black or straw colored. They suck the juices of plants and attack flower petals, leaves and stems. The plant will have a stippling, discolored flecking or silvering of the leaf surface. Thrips can spread many diseases from plant to plant. Burpee Recommends: Many thrips may be repelled by sheets of aluminum foil spread between rows of plants. Remove weeds from the bed and remove debris from the bed after frost. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls.

Vine Weevil: This insect cuts irregular notches in leaf margins and grubs feed on plant roots, sometimes causing the death of the plant. Adults are approximately 5/16 inch long, dull black with dirty yellow marking on the wing cases. The grubs are c-shaped, 3/8 inches long, with light brown heads. Burpee Recommends: Handpick adults at night, shake the plants over newspaper to dislodge them. Check under pots where they hide during the day. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pesticide recommendations.

FAQ

Sedum FAQs

Can I grow sedums in a container? Yes, they are good for dry containers in the hot sun.

Are sedum flowers good for cutting? Yes, the taller varieties. They are great dried as well.

Are sedums deer resistant? Yes, they do tend to be deer resistant.

Are sedums good pollinator plants? Yes, absolutely, bees and butterflies are attracted to sedum.

When is the best time to divide sedums? Divide spring bloomers in fall and fall bloomers in spring.

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