How to Grow and Care for 'Angelina' Stonecrop

Angelina stonecrop groundcover with yellow flowers

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

'Angelina' stonecrop (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina') is a perennial, evergreen plant with succulent foliage that forms a low-growing mat. The name "stonecrop" comes from Middle English, referring to the plant's ability to grow in rocky, gravelly areas. The 'Angelina' cultivar of S. rupestre features chartreuse or golden needle-like foliage, depending on how much sun it gets (more sun equals more golden color). It sports tiny yellow flowers throughout the summer. And in the fall, the foliage takes on an orange or rust tone.

'Angelina' is generally planted in the spring, but you can grow this tough plant almost any time. It has a moderately fast growth rate, but it may take a year or two before it flowers.

Common Name Angelina stonecrop, rocky stonecrop
Botanical Name Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'
Family Crassulaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 4–6 in. tall, 1–3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Moderately moist, well-draining
Soil pH 6.0 to 7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral)
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 3-9 (USDA)
Native Area Europe, Asia

'Angelina' Stonecrop Care

Ideally, you should plant 'Angelina' in a full-sun location, in dry to medium-moisture soil that is well-drained. The plant has a good tolerance for gravelly or sandy soils. Space the plants 8 to 12 inches apart, as they will quickly spread. 'Angelina' stonecrop is a fast-growing ground cover that stays short (around 6 inches tall) and quickly spreads to form a mat. If you're looking for a plant that's well-behaved and doesn't spread into neighboring garden areas, this might not be the best choice for you. Though it's not officially considered an invasive plant, it is an aggressive grower. If any of your plants grow too voraciously, these shallow-rooted plants are generally easy to remove and control manually.

Sunshine and good drainage are essential to this plant's success. Because of its chartreuse or golden color, it looks stunning next to plants that have dark foliage. 'Angelina' is suitable for use as a ground cover, perennial border, or rock garden plant. It can be placed between stones in a retaining wall or planted in patio containers and hanging baskets.

Once established, this plant requires little in the way of watering or feeding. Just make sure it doesn't sit in soggy soil.

Angelina stonecrop groundcover with yellow flowers and buds closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Angelina stonecrop groundcover with yellow flowers in sunlight

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Angelina stonecrop with yellow flowers and tall grass

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Light

Grow 'Angelina' stonecrop in full sun if possible, though it will tolerate some shade. Its golden foliage will show the best color if grown in full sun.

Soil

This plant prefers a well-draining soil with a neutral pH. It does well in sandy and gravelly soils that aren’t very fertile. Its roots are shallow, but they can spread through small crevices in rocky terrain. 

Water

'Angelina' needs regular watering after you first plant it. Heavy clay soil or other waterlogged sites can kill the plant. But it is a drought-tolerant ground cover once established.

You might need more frequent watering for plants grown in containers than those planted in the ground. The best advice for container-grown plants is to water them thoroughly until you see water drain out of the drainage holes, and then wait again for at least five to seven days, check the soil, make sure it's dry going down an inch or two, then water thoroughly again. In the late fall and winter months, reduce the watering frequency to 10 to 14 days.

Temperature and Humidity

Suitable for USDA zones 5 to 8, 'Angelina' stonecrop is somewhat tolerant to cold weather during the growing season. It can handle temperatures several degrees below freezing and still bounce back just fine. It also tolerates high heat and humidity well if it's not stuck in standing water.

Fertilizer

Stonecrop plants generally prefer lean soil, so fertilizer is not necessary for this plant. Chemical fertilizer can cause 'Angelina' to stretch and flop. If your soil is lacking nutrients, consider using compost instead of chemical fertilizer.

Types of Stonecrop

Several types of stonecrop are easy to grow: 

  • Dragon's Blood sedum (Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut'): A good groundcover plant; grows 3 to 5 inches tall with plentiful rose-red flowers
  • Blue spruce stonecrop: (Sedum' Blue Spruce'): Cultivar with bluish foliage; grows around 6 to 9 inches tall with 1 1/2-foot spread; small, star-shaped, yellow flowers emerge in June and July; adapts to many soil conditions; requires good drainage
  • Purple emperor stonecrop (Sedum' Purple Emperor'): Dark purple foliage; grows upright at a little more than 1 foot in height and spread; sports tiny masses of pinkish-purple flowers from July to September
  • Autumn joy stonecrop (Hylotelephium 'Herbstfreude'): No longer classified in the Sedum genus; grows in average, well-draining soil with dry to medium moisture; reaches 18 to 24 inches in height and spread; features fall blooms that start pink and gradually turn to a rose red

Pruning

Most gardeners prune 'Angelina' stonecrop plants only if they feel the plants have become too large. Using hand pruners, trim off any overgrown stems. Also, remove any dead or diseased material whenever you spot it. Pruning typically can be done at any time of year without harming the plant. But as a precaution, avoid pruning during extreme hot or cold temperatures.

These plants usually do not bloom during their first year. But it will produce clusters of star-shaped yellow flowers on tall stalks whenever it does bloom. These attractive yellow flower clusters bloom in the summer on tall stalks. Once the blooms fade, it leaves behind ugly brown stalks, which you can prune whenever you like.

Propagating 'Angelina' Stonecrop

'Angelina' stonecrop plants are easily propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. You can also grow it from seeds. When left on their own, stems that break off from the main plant can fall to the ground and root with no assistance. Propagating with this method usually is successful at any point during the growing season, thanks to the plant's hardiness, but it's best done in late spring or early summer. Taking cuttings is an easy way to get new plants and keeps the parent plant from getting too crowded.

To propagate 'Angelina' stonecrop by stem cutting or leaf cutting:

  1. You will need sterilized pruning snips or scissors, a pot, and a well-draining potting mix.
  2. Snip off a piece of a healthy 2- to 5-inch stem or one healthy leaf. From the stem, remove any leaves from nodes below the soil line. Plant the cut end of the stem about an inch deep in a moistened, well-draining potting mix. Fill around the stem with soil. If using a leaf, only plant it about 1/4 inch deep.
  3. Place the plant in indirect light while waiting for it to root.
  4. Keep the soil moist while you're waiting for the roots to take hold. It can take about two to three weeks. You might even cover with clear plastic wrap to help keep the moisture level high. Humidity promotes rooting. Allow some air to circulate for an hour or so each day. Replace the plastic until rooting occurs.
  5. To check if the stem has rooted, gently tug on the stem. You should feel some resistance when pulling to indicate it has rooted. Or, you might see new leaf growth around the stem or leaf cutting. If your cutting has rooted, remove the plastic cover and transplant it to a larger pot or outdoors. If not rooted yet, keep the soil moist and give it more time. If it hasn't rooted in six weeks, take another healthy cutting and try again, making sure to keep the soil moist throughout the rooting period.

How to Grow 'Angelina' Stonecrop From Seeds

Start stonecrop from seed about four to six weeks before the last spring frost date. You can also direct sow outdoors in the early spring after the last frost.

  1. You will need a moistened seed-starting mix and seed-starting pot or tray with suitable drainage holes.
  2. Tamp down the soil in the container with your hands.
  3. Spread stonecrop seeds about an inch apart. Press each seed directly in contact with the soil.
  4. Lightly cover with a thin layer (a scattering) of soil. Moisten the top of the soil with a spray bottle and cover the pot or tray with clear plastic wrap.
  5. Put the seeds in a warm area (maintaining 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) with bright, indirect light.
  6. Alternatively, you can place the seed trays or pots under fluorescent grow lights for 16 hours a day. Germination should occur within two to four weeks.
  7. As soon as you notice seedling growth, remove the plastic cover. Keep the soil moist, place the seedlings in a sunny window or continue to give the plants artificial light for 16 hours with at least a 6-inch distance from the light source.
  8. Transplant seedlings into larger pots after several weeks of new growth. Only move them outdoors after the threat of frost is gone.

Potting and Repotting 'Angelina' Stonecrop

'Angelina' stonecrop raised in containers require more care than stonecrop grown outdoors. Spring is the best time to repot sedum. Repot stonecrop when it outgrows its current pot and appears rootbound. Stonecrop spilling out of a container is not necessarily too small for its pot. If you don't like the plant trailing out of the pot, you can snip or prune away some of the traveling stems. To check if the plant is rootbound, gently upend the plant in your hands and look at the root system. If you see a lot of roots surrounding and overwhelming the soil, it is time for a new pot.

When changing to another pot, choose a pot about 1 to 2 inches larger. Use high-quality, well-draining soil. Since stonecrop has shallow roots, it can be grown in any size or shaped pot, including shallow bowl planters, as long as it has many drainage holes.

Overwintering

'Angelina' sedum overwinters best indoors when temperatures drop below 50 F when it goes dormant. However, most sedums, including 'Angelina,' are cold-hardy and can be left outdoors throughout the winter. In the winter, when the foliage dies, remove the dead growth.

If it's in a pot, place it in a sheltered area, such as next to a building or in a grouping of other pots that can buffer some of the harsh winter winds. It's best to move the pots out of directly sunny spots since unusually warm winter days may cause thawing followed by harsh freezing days. Continual thaw and refreeze cycles can damage root systems.

Pots under the cover of snow or ice survive better than exposed plants. If you sometimes experience extreme cold snaps that go well below your plant's hardiness zone, you may want to surround the pots with thick burlap or even decide to plant your pots in the ground to help them better weather a harsh winter. It's easy enough to dig up the pots in the spring once the ground thaws.

Common Pests

Like most stonecrops, 'Angelina' is relatively free of pest and disease problems, although slugs and snails may eat the foliage. Although rare, scale insects can also sometimes appear on stonecrop plants. Scale is best treated with insecticidal soap in the earlier larval stage and neem oil in the adult insect stage. This plant is deer and rabbit resistant.

How to Get 'Angelina Stonecrop' to Bloom

'Angelina' stonecrop's yellow, star-shaped blooms come in mid-summer, attracting birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators for about four weeks. Most sedums have a light, barely perceptible sweet fragrance. 'Angelina' stonecrop usually will not flower in its first or second growing season. But, once it matures in a few years, most sedum plants are dependable bloomers each year.

To improve flowering success, cut back remaining dead stalks or branches of sedum in early spring, using sharp, sterilized pruning shears. Pruning initiates healthy new growth.

If your mature stonecrop plant is not flowering, it may not be getting enough sun. Stonecrops in the shade rarely bloom. Also, make sure that the plant is not waterlogged. Most stonecrop plants will not bloom in soggy soil conditions.

Immediately after 'Angelina' flowers fade, prune the flower stalk down to the base of its stem. It cleans up the plant and may also stimulate another round of flowers if growing conditions feel optimal to the plant.

Common Problems With 'Angelina' Stonecrop

'Angelina' stonecrop is a hardy and usually disease- and pest-resistant plant. Most problems arise if environmental conditions are not suitable for the plant.

Discoloration of Stems, Leaves Dropping

When plants appear to get discolored with small white, red, or brown bumps at the soil line, it can be caused by crown rot (also called stem rot or southern blight). This disease is caused by fungi in the soil and eventually kills the plant. This condition is often caused by periods of high humidity. It rarely occurs in houseplants but is more often an outdoor garden disease. In the garden, fungicides may help your plant; however, if you have other plants nearby, it might be best to remove and dispose of the diseased plant, so it doesn't spread.

Dead Spots on Leaves

Another fungus, botrytis mold or leaf blotch, can cause dead spots on leaves and kill flowers. This condition usually comes after periods of high humidity and warm climate conditions. Cut away dead or diseased leaves or stems using sterilized pruning snips between each cut. If the entire plant appears affected, remove and discard it.

Stems Getting Too Leggy

If your 'Angelina' plant is getting too leggy, ensure it is getting enough sunlight. Sometimes the stems are reaching out to find more sun. If it's in too shady a spot, gradually move the plant to a slightly more sunny location. Do not put it in full sun right away since it can damage the leaves not acclimated to full sun.

If your plant's lighting conditions are satisfactory, then your best solution is trimming the leggy plants. Pruning is also another good way of collecting stem cuttings and making more plants. Usually, the area where you cut will stimulate the plant to become a little bushier at that spot rather than trailing out as it had before.

FAQ
  • Can 'Angelina' stonecrop grow indoors?

    Yes, 'Angelina' can grow indoors. Most sedums make good houseplants. The plant will need at least six hours of sunlight, well-draining soil, and a regular watering schedule to keep it happy.

  • Where should I place 'Angelina' stonecrop in my house?

    Sedums need plenty of light and warmth to grow well indoors. Place them within a few feet of a south-, west-, or east-facing window where they will receive at least six hours of light. On scorching, sunny days, choose a window with filtered light, using a window shade or sheer curtain to prevent the leaves from getting burned.

  • What plants are similar to 'Angelina' stonecrop?

    'Lemon Coral' sedum is very similar to 'Angelina.' It is a bright lemon yellow sedum that looks very similar to 'Angelina.' It is brighter in color and a bit taller, growing about 8 inches tall versus 'Angelina' that tops out at 6 inches. However, 'Angelina' is an older type that is usually easier to find in most nurseries.