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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sedums in the Garden

The Plant of the Month for December over at Gardening Gone Wild is all about sedums!  Sedums (also called stonecrop) are a type of succulent and are capable of storing water in their leaves which makes them very drought tolerant here in Tennessee.  We have several kinds of sedum in our garden with one of my favorites being the Dragon's Blood Sedum or Sedum sprurium.  Dragon's Blood sedum makes an interesting ground cover due to its burgundy colored foliage.

The other day while we had temperatures in the upper 60's (very unusual for December) I took a few cuttings of our sedum to use in an indoor pot.  Sedums are extremely easy to propagate and in most cases just need to be stuck in dirt to grow roots.  I used the dirt sticking technique and put four small cuttings (or maybe I should call these pinchings since I pinched them off instead of making a cutting) into a small pot.  In the spring I'll add these sedums into various places in the sedum garden but I can easily overwinter them inside the house. 


Please forgive the chip in the pot.  It's been around a while!


There are a several of other kinds of sedums in our garden one of which is everyone's favorite sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Sedum telephium) seen here in the picture behind a mound of mums and some hollyhock leaves. It never fails to offer up a bounty of pink colored blooms.  We have two other 'Autumn Joy' plants both of which came from cuttings.  I used the sedum-in-a-jar-of-water method, which of course is the technical term.

I picked up an 'Angelina' sedum (Sedum repestre 'Angelina') at a plant exchange last year but sadly it disappeared after planting.  It was either a victim of rabbits or neglect (since as I remember I was very slow in planting it).  At the same plant swap I came home with a sedum 'Acre' but I had second thoughts about planting it. Sedum 'Acre' is known to expand its territory very rapidly. It's still resting in its pot waiting for something to be done with it, any suggestions?

Another sedum in our garden is the 'Blue Spruce' sedum.  'Blue Spruce' is a great one for propagating since anywhere you stick it, it grows!  It shoots up yellow flowers in the summer like in the picture to the right and has an attractive blue-green hue to its foliage.  One plant in a pot eventually turned into three large clumps that will spread to cover large portions of our sedum garden - it makes a great groundcover.  I have it mixed with the Dragon's blood sedum for some color contrast. 

The last sedum we have is officially an unidentified one that we purchased last spring at a garden show.  I suspect that it is Sedum sieboldii but I don't know for sure.  The sedum didn't have any identification.  It's a good thing it never got pulled over.  The blooms look great as you can see in this picture from August.  The soft shaded green foliage is what attracted us to the plant but the flowers really do make it worth planting!

5 comments :

  1. Sedums are just so fun Dave. I had some Acre in the back by the veggie garden, even mowing over it and running over it did not keep it down. I decided it was too boring and wanted a change so I pulled it all-quite a bit too, and threw it out on the bank out front by the road, it is slowing filling in there and is okay to run there. It grow with prickly pear and yuccas and seems happy in the ditch. You might try this with yours if you don't wish to maintain an area all the time. It was NOT difficult to take away from my veggie garden area and has not returned-unlike vinca and ivy and those things.

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  2. I like the look of the Blue Spruce Sedum - I dont think we can get that here in the UK as I have never seen it before.

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  3. Ford motors has acres of sedum growing on the roof of their Dearborn truck plant. It slows rain runoff and cleans the air and water while also reducing their heating and cooling bills. Pretty cool.

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  4. Tina,

    If I can find the right spot for it I may let it run. I have a hillside that it might work on.

    PG,

    Blue spruce is great! I wonder if it isn't allowed past customs. Too bad if it is because it is a really nice sedum.

    David,

    A green roof would be a great use of sedum. I've thought about trying that out on a shed if I ever get the time to build one!

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  5. I like your combo of Autumn Joy, the mums, and the hollyhocks. I also have Dragon's Blood and plan to divide it come early spring. I've never really used that type of spreading sedum in the garden, only in pots. But now I'm thinking of giving it a try in a hilly, well drained area. Thanks for all the great info!

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