Sedums, also known as stonecrop, are one of the easiest and most beautiful varieties of plant you can grow in containers. They are not used all that often, so by choosing to use a sedum, you can really make your container designs unique.
They come in lots of different colors, sizes and textures, and sedums, like succulents, can withstand rough conditions and even extreme neglect. They define a drought tolerant plant.
Sedums run the gamut—some are tall, some neatly mounding and some are sprawling ground covers. While many of them will produce stunning flowers in the fall, when they are most appreciated, almost all are worth planting for their foliage, which can turn gorgeous colors as the weather gets cold.
Sedums Growing Conditions
Sedums are extremely tolerant of the cold weather and look great from spring through fall and into winter. Most are perennial, and many are hardy even in temperatures as low as -45 degrees Fahrenheit. Sedums range in height, from low-growing to about two feet tall. The low-spreading to medium varieties look attractive in pots, and some of the larger varieties are striking when paired with blousy, soft grasses.
Sedums can look fantastic as a single plant in a mixed container. Given their range of habit, form and color, it may take some experimentation to find a mix you like, but you really can’t go wrong with almost any sedum.
When they flower, they can be butterfly and hummingbird magnets.
How to Care for Sedums
Neglect is the best care for sedums, as long as they have well-draining soil. They like full sun but will tolerate some shade.
When planting sedums in a container, choose a pot with large drainage holes. Like succulents, sedums have roots which are pretty shallow, so they don’t need a huge pot to thrive. It's not a bad idea to add a slow release fertilizer into the potting soil, but there's no need to worry about supplemental feedings during the growing season.
Sedums Container Design Suggestions
You can dress sedums up or dress them down— they can look great in very formal containers as well as stuck in any rough and tumble container you may have. Try putting the low-growing ones in cement or hypertufa pots, or see if you like the way they look in troughs. Try experimenting by pairing your sedums with other succulents or mixing different types of sedums in the same pot.
Since most sedums are very hardy (check your plant tag to find the hardiness zone), you can leave them outside if they are in a pot that can survive the ravages of winter. If you are leaving the plant in its pot, make sure that it is rated for two USDA zones colder than the one where you live. Because the plants’ roots are above the ground, these will get colder than one that is planted in the ground. You can also protect them by wrapping them in burlap.