Sedum: Growing Sedum Spurium Sedum: Growing Sedum Spurium

Sedum spurium, also known as stonecrop flowers, are excellent groundcover plants, particularly for hot, dry sites with poor soil. This variety forms a low carpet of small green leaves, dappled with pink and creamy-white. Clusters of soft pink star-shaped flowers generally appear in summer. As a fairly slow grower, this is inclined to revert, and any all-green shoots should be removed as they appear. Also a good choice for tubs and mixed containers. Easy to propagate; simply break pieces off in early summer and stick them in the ground. Deciduous; trim stems and dead flower heads back in early spring.

Varieties

You can find sedum spurium in varieties known as dragon’s blood, which is deep and fiery red, tricolor, which has more than one color in it, or some known as “John Creech,” which has bright green, dense foliage with mauve-pink flowers. It forms a denser mat than many of the other Sedums in the spurium species. It doesn't mind poor soil or drought, but doesn't like wet roots.

What it Needs

When growing your sedum spurium, you need to keep in mind that you have to give it sun and fertilizer, and you do have to water it sometimes even though it’s drought-resistant. You can give it a balanced low-number fertilizer to help with poor soil, and you can even help it out with deadheading the dried flowers.

It isn’t hard to grow sedum spurium under the right circumstances, but these plants are forgiving even in the wrong ones. Sometimes soil isn’t as permeable as it should be, but the roots of stoneflower plants can actually push through it. Other times the sun doesn’t come out as often, and while this can possibly stunt the growth of the plant over prolonged time, you can still have a healthy sedum spurium groundcover plant because since the plant has succulent qualities to it, as does the other sedum autumn joy plant, it holds food, water, and nutrients within itself.

Soil

The soil does need to be well-drained. Very good drainage is important for preventing root rot or fungal diseases and if there are infections you can treat your sedum plants with fungicide or pesticide to get rid of it. While most of the succulent plants have to be as free as possible from these pest killers, sedum is more forgiving because it still has a decidious nature—meaning, it’s much like  plant with regular leaves, a wood trunk and deep growing roots.

You can be rewarded by beautiful flowers at several points of the year if you care properly for your sedum. Enjoy the vivid colors while they last and, when it’s time for dormancy, look forward to the same colors next year.

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