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How to Grow and Care for a October Daphne

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Hylotelephium sieboldii (syn. Sedum sieboldii), commonly known as October Daphne, is a deciduous succulent native to Japan. Its vegetation dies down in the winter and new growth appears in the spring.

The low arching stems of this herbaceous perennial form a mound of succulent, gray-green leaves that are the perfect backdrop for dark pink flowers in early autumn. Grouped along the stem in clusters of three, the rounded gray-green leaves have wavy tips that are sometimes red-tinted. In very late summer, rounded clusters of pink flower buds appear at the stem tips, their texture and color contrasting beautifully with the leaves. In fall, the countless small, deep pink, star-shaped flowers open, luring late season butterflies and insects. Chilly temperatures cause the leaves to blush rosy pink or mildly purple.

The leaves of cultivar Hylotelephium sieboldii ‘Mediovariegatum’ have a central blotch of cream and edges of red.

In its natural habitat, or grown in a rockery, October Daphne has a creeping, prostrate habit. When grown in a container the long stems trail over the edges, which makes the plant very suitable for a hanging basket.

Like other plants with hanging or trailing stems, October Daphne naturally looks very attractive when planted in a hanging basket and looks spectacular when it is in flower. It is also suitable for growing in an ordinary pot, either placed on a shelf or windowsill or displayed on a pedestal.

Growing Conditions and General Care

October Daphne does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application.

Position October Daphne in full sun or light shade, ensuring that the soil is fertile and well-drained. In very hot locations, some shade is best.

Water moderately in the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Feed every 2 weeks in the growing season, beginning when new shoots appear, and continue until the autumn. Use a dilute solution of a standard liquid fertilizer.

Cut off withered flowers. Leave dead stems on the plant during the resting season and remove them in the spring when the plant’s new growth has started.

Propagation

It is easy to divide new plants that have grown too large. Carefully cut through the root ball to make 2 to 3 new sections, depending on the size of the plant. This is best done just before growth begins in spring. Start seed in fall.

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