Use these low-water succulents planted in containers, rock walls, and sunny gardens.
1. Sedum Herbstfreude Group
Hybrids of Sedum telephium and Sedum spectabile, Sedums in the Herbstfreude Group are prized for their distinct upright form and showy blooms. Growing between 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) high and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, all send up flower spikes that can be cut for bouquets. With dusty pink flowers and grey-green foliage, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ brings masses of color to late summer perennial gardens.
2. Donkey’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
This native from Mexico grows in trailing stems that can reach up to 4 feet (1.2 m) long in 6 to 8 years. It’s tender to frost and grows well in protected areas in partial shade. Plant in a tall container or hanging pot to best show-off the whimsical “tails”.
3. Pork and Beans (Sedum rubrotinctum)
This Sedum has more of a tendency to sprawl, sending up 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long stems, laden with fat, jelly-bean like leaves. Tips turn red in the sun. Best planted between rocks where it can ramble.
4. Golden Sedum (Sedum ‘Angelina’)
Loved for its yellow, summer flowers and hands-off care, Sedum ‘Angelina’ is a popular low-water pick. Its blue-green leaves grow rapidly with minimal water. Plant 9 to 12 inches (22.5 to 30 cm) apart as a lawn replacement. Like other groundcover succulents, it’s delicate, so plant far from romping feet.
5. Broadleaf Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)
This slow-growing species is excellent as edging or tucked into cracks in a rock wall. As a native of California’s coast ranges and the Sierra Nevadas north to British Colombia, the hardy plant has evolved to thrive in poor soil and with little water. Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ has particularly ornamental rounded silver leaves.
6. Caucasian Stonecrop (Sedum spurium)
This low-growing native of the Eastern Europe grows with trailing stems tipped with rosette-shaped clusters of leaves. Colors vary from Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’ with leaves variegated in green, white, and pink to the ruby-colored leaves of Sedum spurium ‘VooDoo’ and Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’. Mass plant the red-leafed varieties for a splash of rich color.
7. Orpine (Sedum telephium)
This taller Sedum species grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and 1 to 2 feet (60 to 60 cm) wide and is best used in mixed perennial borders. Leaf color varies from deep burgandy Sedum telephium ‘Purple Emperor’ to medium green Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’. Long-lasting flower spikes change color as they mature and make excellent cut flowers.
8. Spanish Stonecrop (Sedum hispanicum)
Forming a tight cushion of needle-like leaves, this stonecrop is a welcome addition to rock gardens and container designs. At maturity, Sedum hispanicum only reaches 2 inches (5 cm) tall and 8 inches (20 cm) wide, making it a useful ground cover to plant between stepping-stones.
9. Gray Stonecrop (Sedum pachyclados)
Made up of masses of tiny rosettes, this evergreen Sedum is an ideal choice for pairing with Echeveria in containers or planted to spill over rock walls. Sedum pachyclados requires little water to thrive and grows best in full sun to part shade. In summer, tiny star-like white flowers cover the plant.
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