Hylotelephium caucasicum (Grossh.) H.Ohba
Sedum caucasicum, Sedum maximum var. caucasicum, Sedum telephium subsp. caucasicum
Hylotelephium caucasicum, formerly known as Sedum caucasicum, is a succulent plant with fusiform roots and unbranched, erect to ascending stems with 9 to 20 pairs of opposite green or purplish leaves. The stems grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) long. Leaves are obovate, moderately auriculate at the base, with margins obscurely and irregularly crenulate. They are up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Flowers are greenish-white, star-shaped, and appear in a dense corymbose panicle in summer and fall. In winter, the foliage dies back to the ground, and new growth appears in spring.
H. caucasicum is closely related to Hylotelephium telephium. They look similar, and it is often difficult to distinguish one from another.
The specific epithet "caucasicum (kaw-KAS-ee-kum)" means "belonging to Caucasus" and refers to the Caucasus, also known as Caucasia, a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia.
How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium caucasicum
Light: This succulent prefers full sun. It tolerates light to partial shade in hot summer climates but will produce weak, floppy growth when grown in too much shade. Plant your H. caucasicum in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Soil: H. caucasicum does not need rich soil, but it does need excellent drainage. Choose a commercial potting mix for succulents, or make one yourself.
Temperature: This plant is tolerant of heat and drought and is cold-hardy, making it a popular outdoor succulent. H. caucasicum can withstand temperatures as low as -30 (-34.4 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4a to 9b, -30 to 30 °F (-34.4 to -1.1 °C).
Watering: The best way to water H. caucasicum is to use the "soak and dry" method. Get the soil completely wet, and then wait until it is dry before watering again.
Fertilizing: Feed annually with a balanced fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer to the soil in spring as new growth appears, according to package directions.
Repotting: Plants in containers do require little more care than those in gardens. Repot your H. caucasicum when it outgrows its current pot by moving it out to a larger pot to hold the plant better. Spring is the best time to repot this plant. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin the repotting process.
Propagation: This succulent can be grown from seeds, division, or stem cuttings. Sow the seeds in spring. Dividing your H. caucasicum is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though it is probably best done in spring or early summer. Propagate by stem cuttings in summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hylotelephium.
Toxicity of Hylotelephium caucasicum
H. caucasicum can be mildly toxic to humans and animals.
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