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Sedum – Planting for autumn colour

Published: 29th August, 2018

Sedum - all year round colour and interestIf you are looking for a perennial that is exceptionally easy to grow and gives a long lasting beautiful colour flowering display well into Autumn, then Sedum is an ideal choice. Its structure even adds interest into the Winter months.

Sedum, commonly known as Stonecrops, vary greatly in colour and size, as well as in growth habit. Some are tall upright big border fillers, others are alpine creepers. They are tough little fighters that will grow well in full sun to part shade and cope with tough conditions. Every garden should have at least one!

Sedum provides an almost all year-round period of interest emerging in spring with attractive succulent blue-green leaves which are waxy, fat and filled with water. This is because they originate from arid parts of the world where they need to store moisture and are therefore very drought tolerant – perfect for the long hot summers which are now predicted to be the norm here in the UK.

In the summertime when the flowers first emerge they come out as a soft green colour gradually taking on a hint of yellow, pink or red. The individual flowers are tiny little stars which are clustered tightly together to form a broad, dense, dome. The colour deepens as the flowers mature with the pink going all the way through from deep pink to a rich burgundy colour. The yellow varieties will add a real zingy punch to beds. Each flower head is absolutely packed with nectar so are a magnet for bees and butterflies.

Use low–growing sedum varieties to cover walls or as ground cover and in rock gardens. Place taller varieties at the back of borders. If you leave the flowerheads in place they even look great during winter offering structural interest, particularly attractive when they are sprinkled with frost.

Once established, sedum plants require little maintenance. Some taller varieties may tend to lose their upright stance and flop to reveal a ‘bare middle’ but this can be overcome by pinching out the plants in early summer removing about 10cm to make them bushier. Dividing the plants every 2-3 years in the spring will also help them maintain their upright stance as well as control their spread.

Sedums are very easy to propagate, and divisions and cuttings will root readily throughout the summer. The cuttings quickly mature and can be planted out in another part of the garden.

There are so many varieties of Sedum there’s sure to be one suitable for every garden so look in your local Garden Centre for a Sedum that’s perfect for your garden.

 

 

 

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