'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. 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'|
|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)|
|Hardiness Zones||5a-9a (USDA)|
|Native Area||Europe, Turkey|
'Angelina' Stonecrop Care
Ideally, 'Angelina' should be planted 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 eight to 12 inches apart. 'Angelina' stonecrop is a fast-growing ground cover that stays short (around four inches tall) and quickly spreads to form a mat. Though it's not officially considered an invasive plant, it is an aggressive grower. However, these shallow-rooted plants are generally easy to remove and control manually.
Sunshine and good drainage are essential to this plant's success. '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. Because of its chartreuse or golden color, it looks stunning next to plants that have dark foliage. '
Once established, this plant requires little in the way of watering or feeding. Just make sure it doesn't sit in soggy soil.
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.
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.
'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 5a to 9a, '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 with good soil drainage.
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.
Most gardeners prune 'Angelina' stonecrop plants only if they feel the plants have become too large or after the blooms fade leaving bare stalks. Using hand pruners, trim off any overgrown stems. Also, remove any dead or diseased material. 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.
Propagating 'Angelina' Stonecrop
'Angelina' stonecrop plants are easily propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. You can also grow them 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 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:
- You will need sterilized pruning snips or scissors, a pot, and a well-draining potting mix.
- Snip off a piece of a healthy two-to-five-inch 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.
- Place the plant in indirect light while waiting for it to root.
- Keep the soil moist while you're waiting for the roots to take hold. It can take about two to three weeks. You can cover the pot with clear plastic wrap to help keep the moisture level high. Allow some air to circulate for an hour or so each day. Replace the plastic until rooting occurs.
- To check if the stem has rooted, gently tug on the stem. You should feel some resistance when pulling to indicate it has rooted. 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.
- You will need a moistened seed-starting mix and seed-starting pot or tray with suitable drainage holes.
- Tamp down the soil in the container with your hands.
- Spread stonecrop seeds about an inch apart. Press each seed directly in contact with the soil.
- 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.
- Put the seeds in a warm area (maintaining 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) with bright, indirect light.
- 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.
- 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 six-inch distance from the light source.
- 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 grown in a container requires more care than stonecrop grown in the garden. Spring is the best time to repot sedum when it has outgrown 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 one to two 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 drainage holes are present.
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.
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. Remove 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.
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 extremely hot, sunny days, choose a window with filtered light. Use a window shade or sheer curtain to prevent the leaves from getting burned.
What plants are similar to 'Angelina' stonecrop?
'Lemon Coral' and 'Lemon Ball" sedum are very similar to 'Angelina.' They are a brighter lemon yellow color and a bit taller. 'Lemon Ball' is also more heat tolerant. However, 'Angelina' is an older type that is usually easier to find in most nurseries.
Succulent Lemon Sedum Thrive in Sunny Locations. Mississippi State University Extension