Sedum is a succulent , very hardy perennial plant of the family Crassulaceae. It comes in several species and a multitude of varieties. Its thick, branched stems form a tuft erect and flared 30 to 60 cm. The oval leaves, non-persistent, are thick, fleshy. At the beginning of summer, the flower buds are grouped into almost flat green bunches at the end of the stems. At the end of summer, the numerous small star-shaped flowers with 5 petals open, white, pink or purple. They last until frost, taking rusty colors in winter, and remain decorative.
The Sedum telephium plant plump called “sedum recovery” is everywhere in France, in the wild, both fresh mountain and countryside, on the slopes along the edges, in the ditches, between rocks, although it is more rare in the south. It was considered a wild vegetable until the middle of the last century, especially since it grows in colony, and harvests are abundant. Do not hesitate to invite this savage in your garden. The tuft, adult, measures 30 to 60 cm. The thick, smooth, toothed, dull, bluish green leaves are present on stiff, brittle, upright and branched stems. The blooming corymbs of purple pink mixed with green are from July to September.
It is not because these sedums bloom from May to October that they are to neglect before: as of March, the lovely foliage anime massive and potées . And when the flowers fade and the foliage disappears, the dry stems remain decorative. The tuft, well structured, remains clear if the soil is not too rich.
Low sedums use as garden carpet
Sedum Acre known as goldmoss stonecrop
Height: 5 to 10 cm. Flowering: May to JulyVery vigorous carpet (to be avoided in small rockeries) of ovoid leaves with a small spur, disappearing under the multitude of yellow flowers. The variety ‘Aureum’ has more or less yellow foliage. The pepper of the walls can be used for the greening of the roofs.
Height: 10 to 15 cm. Flowering: June to AugustThe leaves of this sedum are cylindrical and green; its white flowers are united in soft cymes. The foliage of ‘Coral carpet’, bronze, turns purple in autumn.
Height: 15 to 20 cm. Flowering: June to JulySmall dense tuft of spatulate leaves with orange-yellow flowers. ‘Variegatum’ has leaves lined with creamy yellow. Flowering can sometimes go up a bit.
Height: 10 to 15 cm. Flowering: OctoberSometimes marketed as a pot, this sedum forms a small clump with round blue leaves, sometimes pink margins, arranged along stems at the end of which fuchsia flowers bloom in round umbels. We often find ‘Mediovariegatum’ which is distinguished by its yellow variegation in the middle of the leaves.
Height: 10 cm. Flowering: July to AugustCarpet of semi-evergreen leaves, flattened, oval, green, with pink flowers. Its vigor allows it to cover large areas. Supports partial shade
– ‘Album Superbum’: light green foliage and white flowers.
– ‘Atropurpureum’: leaves tinged with purple and purple flowers.
Height: 50 cm. Flowering: September to OctoberStill called ‘Autumn Joy’, this sedum offers wide and flat umbels of red-brown flowers. Very decorative in autumn and until winter. Like consistent soils.
Height: 60 to 70 cm. Flowering: August Vigorous, massive, this variety forms a large tuft of green foliage washed with coppery red. Inflorescences flattened, pinkish white, remaining decorative until October. In very well drained soil and in the sun.
Height: 50 cm. Flowering: August to September Tuft erect and round, with oval and bluish leaves. Wide light pink umbels. For consistent soil.
– ‘Brilliant’: crimson red flowers.
– ‘Carmen’: dark pink flowers.
Size of the sedum
In November or December, the foliage disappears completely leaving only the stems and dried flowers. The strain will start again at the arrival of spring. Do not cut these dry stems before winter. They enliven the garden during the bad season, with their caramel or brown inflorescences which are disguised nicely under frost or snow. In addition, the seeds provide lodging and food to the small fauna. Wait at the beginning of March to fold down these stalks at ground level.
Species and varieties of Sedum
There are Sedum with port crawling or lurking, treated in another form , like Sedum acrid, the pepper of the walls.
- Characteristics: Purple foliage almost black.
- Flowering: Bright pink.
- Characteristics: Blue foliage.
- Flowering: Pink then brick.
‘Herbstfreude’ syn. ‘Autumn Joy’
- Characteristics: Green leaves, variegated pale yellow.
- Flowering: Pink flowers.
- Characteristics: Light green shaded with purple with pink hues.
- Flowering: Pink pearl.
- Characteristics: It forms bushy tufts of 50 to 60 cm in all directions. Bright green foliage.
- Flowering: Purple pink.
‘Hylotelephium spectabile ‘Iceberg”
- Features: Blue-green leaves.
- Flowering: White.
- Characteristics: Light green foliage blue.
- Flowering: Dark pink flowers.
Sedum spectabile ‘Carmen’
- Characteristics: Blue foliage.
- Flowering: Dark pink flowers.
Sedum telephium ‘Atropurpureum’
- Features: Blue-green leaves.
- Flowering: Purplish pink.
How to care for the Sedum.
Sedums, are plants that request a lot of light, also direct sun, in all the seasons of the year.
The best is an exposure to the south and avoid an exposure to the north.
They do not have big problems with the maximum temperatures in summer.
However, the winters have to walk between 10º to 13ºC, but be careful not to fall below 10ºC.
If the temperatures reach these values, make sure that the plant is perfectly dry.
Sedums, are plants that want above all air, good ventilation
Therefore, you should give them fresh air in summer, by placing them near an open window.
Once established, Sedum plants require little care.
Check your plants regularly to make sure they are not too dry and water when necessary.
After flowering, trim the plants to maintain their shape or contain them in an area.
How the Sedum blooms
If the Sedum, are in an area with a good enough amount of light, water and fertilizer, as indicated, will have beautiful growths and blooms.
The plant usually begins to bloom in March and continues throughout the summer, until November, depending on the species.
The flowers are commonly star-shaped and of very different dimensions but rather small, depending on the species.
The flowers of Sedum tend to appear in shades of pink and mauve, which begin to pale and deepen as they mature.
The heads of the flowers are attractive from the bud to its dry stage, and generally remain high throughout the winter.
The stems are strong enough to contain even a few centimeters of snow, covering the tops of the flowers.
Where to plant it?
Install it in solid, on large rock or border, in the sun, in ordinary soil, well drained, sandy or clay. Sedum supports even limestone and poor soils. In soil too rich, the tuft collapses. Allow 7 to 9 feet per square meter.
In pots, opt for good drainage and a substrate composed of potting soil and sand.
How to multiply the Sedum.
You can make divisions or cuttings instead of seeds.
For divisions, we must dig a hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the surface.
Then place the plant in the hole and fill it with substrate.
For stakes or cuttings, simply place the cut end on the ground.
The bud cut, should not have problems to take root under adequate lighting and irrigation.
Remember to divide your plants in the spring or fall to control their spread.
Throughout the summer, divisions and cuttings will easily take root.
How to water the Sedum.
Irrigation will be carried out only when the surface of the substrate is dry.
A good practice is to wet the substrate well.
Then let drain all the excess water and then wait until the soil is dry before proceeding with the next irrigation.
In the Sedum, avoid puddling and thus avoid root rot.
During the autumn-winter period, (from mid-November to mid-March) the watering must be suspended until spring.
The substrate , fertilizer and transplanting of Sedum
The substrate for the Sedum, both for the plant and for the transplant, must use a specific compost for succulent plants.
We must add coarse sand or perlite in the measure of 2: 1 (2 parts of compost and 1 part of sand or perlite).
Be careful to place pieces of baked clay in the drain hole.
In such a way that the soil or the roots do not obstruct the drainage hole, since the water puddles are lethal for this plant.
In addition, it is convenient to use the pots wider than deep, because the root system tends to develop more in width, than in depth.
The first irrigation after the transplant, do it by immersion of the pot.
Remember that if you have trimmed the roots, you need to wait at least a week before watering to give time for the wounds to heal.
As for the fertilizer, from spring and all summer the Sedum must be fertilized every 4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the irrigation water.
Since autumn and throughout the winter, suspend the fertilizers because it goes to vegetative rest and accumulate in the ground creating a harmful environment for the roots of the plant.
The uses of Sedum
Depending on their size, the sedums, also called “orpins”, will settle in the rock gardens, on the slopes, in the joints of the pavements and walls; they can be used to build a green roof.
To better admire their original foliage and their pretty flowers, also cultivate sedums in basins and cups, on the terrace or on the steps of a garden staircase.
Associate them with small flowers of the garden or perennial plants sharing their requirements: alpine campanula, potentilla, saxifrage, houseleek, thyme and veronica.
As for the biggest sedums, they will find their place on the front of the massifs. Do not hesitate to use them as cut flowers, fresh or dry.
All great sedums are edible. Leaves – and young petioles – can be eaten from April to September, but it is really at the beginning of spring that they are the best, with an incomparable consistency. Thick, sweet, tender, tasty, juicy, with a flavor similar to sweet peas, not to mention a slight bitterness, they are exquisite raw: add a handful to a salad of lettuce or lamb’s lettuce.
You can also serve them hot: brown 2 shallots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add some smoked bacon. When they are golden, pour a few handfuls of sedum leaves, and let them melt 1 minute, no more. Just salt, pepper, serve immediately.
Sedum has purgative and diuretic properties. Externally, it heals canker sores, small burns, small wounds, and corns. Just remove the cuticle that covers the leaves and apply them regularly. For corns, hold the leaves with a plaster.
Why use Sedum in vegetable covers or green covers?
The green covers, are an extensive landscaping by covering free surfaces for it.
This type of cover is used especially where, in addition to light weight, low maintenance costs are also required.
Sedum species are the most suitable and provide a low maintenance maintenance landscaping, on vacant surfaces.
Continue reading all about green roofs.
You can also read about ground cover
In a natural garden, grown biologically, sedums are essential. They bloom at a time when there is less food for pollinating insects, which feast on them: bees, flies and butterflies are irresistibly attracted to these plants .
If slugs and snails, greedy, have the habit of nibbling your sedums, call on the remedies of grandmothers: hollow half-grapefruit, face down. The gastropods come to group there, there is more than to pick them up. The famous bowl of beer gives excellent results, if you want to drown them, but it seems that they attract the slugs to 100 m round, and that hedgehogs delight too; ash, sawdust and broken eggshells prevent them from moving forward …
A little history…
The name of the genus, Sedum , was given by Linnaeus. Carl von Linné, born in 1707 and died on January 10, 1778, is a Swedish naturalist who founded the foundations of the modern system of binomial nomenclature . Sedum might come from the Latin, sedere , which means “to sit down”, alluding to the way in which species lurk on the rocks. Or sedare which means “to calm down”, “to appease”, referring to the medicinal properties of certain species, which were used in the preparation of lotions to treat small wounds.