By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
One of the more versatile and architecturally appealing sedums is Autumn Joy. The Autumn Joy sedum variety has numerous seasons of appeal, starting with its sweet rosettes of new growth in late winter to early spring. The flower is also persistent, often lasting well into winter, providing a unique landscape. Growing Autumn Joy sedums will enhance the garden while bestowing you with plenty more of these amazing plants over time.
Sedum Autumn Joy plants (Sedum x ‘Autumn Joy’) are not garden divas. They thrive in conditions that other plants might consider rude. Once established, they are drought tolerant, but they also flourish in rainy regions. The key is well-draining soil and plenty of sunshine. Provide these circumstances and your plant will not only bloom and grow quickly, but can be separated to produce many more of these un-fussy beauties.
The Autumn Joy sedum variety is a cross between S. spectabile and S. telephium and hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 3 to 10. You may find the plant under various names for this reason –
Hylotelephium telephium ‘Autumn Joy’ or Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ or even Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude.’
The succulent leaves emerge early as rosettes and march up stems that develop soon after. In summer, pink puffs of flower clusters adorn the tops of the stems. These are especially attractive to bees and butterflies, but an occasional hummingbird may also investigate them.
As the flowers become spent, the whole head becomes dried and tan but retains its form, adding an interesting touch to the fall garden. The plants attain a height of 1 ½ feet (0.5 m.) with a 2-foot (0.5 m.) spread.
These plants are readily available at most nurseries and big box stores. Their popularity ensures a consistent supply. You can enhance your stock of this fun plant by dividing it in early spring or by stem cuttings. It can also grow from fleshy stems harvested in fall and placed horizontally in a soilless medium in a sunny location of the home. In just a month or so, each leaf node will develop tiny roots. Each of these may be removed and planted for individual new plants.
The plants have few pest or disease issues, but may occasionally be browsed by deer. You may also try growing Autumn Joy sedums indoors or in containers. Their long-lasting flowers will decorate any area for up to 8 weeks with rusty pink blooms.
Sedum Autumn Joy plants are often one of the few nectar producing flowers in late summer, feeding bees and other insects. You can eat the plant, too! Young, tender stems and leaves can be eaten raw, but the older material should be avoided as moderate stomach upset can occur unless cooked.
These hardy plants are members of the Stonecrop family. The sap in the thick leaves is useful in alleviating inflammation or as a cooling salve on burns and rashes. With its medicinal attributes, long flower life, and ease of care, Autumn Joy is truly a joy of a plant and one you should add to your perennial flower garden.
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There is a plethora of sedum varieties, so we are only going to feature some cold-hardy sedum plants that can survive in any gardens.
This sedum variety blooms bright yellow flowers during the summer and spring. They can quickly attract butterflies. They can grow well in zones 3-9 and are drought tolerant. These plants can reach a height of three inches and a width of 18-24 inches. Whether you grow them in rock gardens, containers, or simply use them as ground covers, they can look amazing.
These sedum plants are commonly found in every garden since they are a favorite of most people. They look gorgeous in green and yellow combination. These plants are also tough since they can tolerate drought, heat, and even poor soil. They can also enjoy having an afternoon shade. Sedum Angelina can grow up to six inches with a width of 2-3 feet. These succulents are best grown in zones 3-11 and can perform well whether you grow them in gardens or containers.
This is one of the best sedums to plant in containers. Although they can also look stunning as a ground cover. These plants can reach a height of 4-6 inches with a width of 24 inches. Their leaves are green, but when fall comes they will turn into bright red. Dragon’s Blood will bloom red flowers during the summer. These sedums can grow excellently in zones 3-9.
These sedums have fine, needle-like foliage making it a favorite of every succulent grower. These succulents grow well in zones 3-11 and can make a magnificent ground cover. Its remarkable blue color can create a wonderful contrast in your garden. In the early summer, it will bloom beautiful yellow flowers. They can reach a height of 5 inches tall and a width of 18 inches.
This amazing sedum variety was previously used by the legendary garden designer Gertrude Jekyll back in the late 1800s. This tough sedum must be grown in zones 4-11. Its flower heads are in pink during its early stages. However, in the fall, the color will change into rosy red. They can look stunning when placed in the garden throughout the winter. These plants can reach as high as 24 inches and as wide as 24 inches. They require full sunlight to prevent them from flopping over.
This is basically the improved version of Sedum spectabile “Autumn Joy”. They are much bigger and have bigger flower heads. Most of all, their flowers can last longer. In late summer, these plants will bloom rose-pink flowers.
Although this is a fairly new variety, it has caught a lot of attention. They are perfect for any fall garden with their long-lasting flowers. Its maximum height is 18 inches and it has a width of 24 inches. These succulents are more suitable for hardy zones 3-11.
Compared to Sedum spectabile “Autumn Joy”, Sedum spectabile “Hot Stuff” is much smaller. The fact is, they can only grow less than 12 inches. However, they have similar upright growth. These plants have tough stems that won’t flop. From summer through fall, they can bloom pink flowers. These sedums must be planted in zones 4-10. They are excellent for flower beds as well as for containers.
So, what are you waiting for? Grow your sedum succulents now so your garden can enjoy an upgrade. At Eden Succulents, we have several posts that can help you in growing your succulents. We provide useful information about succulents to help you enjoy growing your succulents. What succulent variety are you growing right now? Please share it with us in the comments below!
There are more sedum varieties than we could count, but we are going to feature some of our favorite cold hardy sedum plants that will thrive in almost any garden.
Sedum Angelina is one of our favorite sedum plants, and we have used it in every garden we have made in the past 10 years. It is tough as nails, a gorgeous chartreuse green with yellow summer flower stalks, and covers an area quickly growing 6 inches tall to 2-3 feet wide. It tolerates poor soil, drought, heat and is deer resistant. Zones 3-11, Angelina sedum doesn’t mind afternoon shade either! One of the best performing plants in our garden. And, it is great in containers too! Photo by ‘Monrovia‘.
Sedum Acre is a pretty creeping sedum plant that blooms with a bright and sunny yellow flower in spring and summer. This deer resistant plant is drought tolerant and loved by butterflies. Zones 3-9, this evergreen sedum grows 3 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. Containers, rock garden plant or ground cover.
The Blue Spruce sedum is a favorite because of its fine, needlelike foliage. A wonderful drought tolerant ground cover, its striking blue color offers a nice contrast in the garden. Zones 3-11, it gets pretty yellow flowers in early summer, and grows 5 inches tall and 18 inches wide. From ‘Monrovia‘.
One of the most popular sedums for containers, this creeping sedum plant is also great as a ground cover. 4-6 inches tall and 24 inches wide, the leaves are green with a red margin. Pretty red flowers bloom in summer, and in fall the leaves turn a brilliant red. Evergreen in zones 3-9. Photo by ‘Monrovia‘.
One of the newest sedum varieties to catch our eye, Autumn Fire starts out in summer with rosy red flower heads that age in fall to a deep copper. If you are looking for a plant for your fall garden to make a fuss over, this is the one! Hardy zones 3-11, with long lasting flowers that are also great dried. 24 inches wide and 18 inches high.
This is the iconic sedum variety planted in gardens since the famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll used them back in the late 1800’s. The fast growing Autumn Joy sedum is as tough as they come, and grows well in zones 4-11. The flower heads start out a pretty pink, then age to rosy red in the fall. These look amazing throughout winter if allowed to stay in the garden, and the birds love them. Grows up to 24 inches high and wide. Make sure this one has full sun to prevent flopping over of the stems and flower heads.
Hot Stuff is a more compact sedum plant than Autumn Joy, but with the same upright growth. Growing only to less than 12 inches high, these sedum plants have sturdy stems that don’t flop, and gorgeous pink flowers from summer through fall. Zones 4-10, evergreen in more mild weather zones. Great for containers or the flower bed. From ‘Monrovia‘.
So grow sedum plants and enjoy an update to your garden spaces with a plant that can’t be beat! We think you will also love our posts on Sedum Projects & Succulent Planters, and Alternatives to Grass : Front Yard Landscaping Ideas!
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