September 28, 2019

Plant Files: Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

This plant is the star of my front flowerbeds right now!

Scientific name: Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy'
Common name: Stonecrop

Cold Hardiness: USDA zones 3-9
2 feet tall and wide
Full sun and prefers sandy/well-drained soil.
Very drought tolerant.
Blooms in fall and florets stay colorful through until killed by hard frost.

Much loved by pollinators.
If you go out on a warm day, these blooms will be just covered by bees and flies. 

Sedum, particularly this variety, is great as a cut flower as well.
You can cut the fleshy stems any time from when the florets first form and are green, all the way through the last color change.
They last practically forever in the vase and sometimes will even start rooting or growing in there.

I love the colors of the blooms!
They start this dusty pink color and then keep deepening until they become a rusty red.
They also bloom and provide long-lasting color in the late fall, when color can be hard to find.

They will die all the way down to the ground in the colder zones, like mine.
Don't worry, though, come spring they send back up little rosettes, and they're off and growing again in no time!

This is a tough plant! 
Let me tell you a little story.
One time in Washington, a friend of mine gave me some sedum starts from her garden. 
I neglected to plant them and alas, they sat out on my front garden wall in their tiny 4" pots the rest of the summer...AND fall AND winter. Yep. I'm not proud, but it's what happened.
Come spring, I was going to just throw them away, because any other plant would be dead and long gone by that point. Guess what? I saw green shoots coming up! 
Well, you'd better believe I took those starts back and got them planted that very day!
They each grew over the next few years into sizable clumps of beautiful plants.

I have 3 clumps out front, and just added 3 more to my back cutting rows.

This one is a winner!