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Sedum debile (Orpine Stonecrop)

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Scientific Name

Sedum sexangulare L.

Common Name(s)

Orpine Stonecrop, Weak-stemmed Stonecrop, Weakstem Stonecrop

Synonym(s)

Amerosedum debile, Cotyledon debilis, Echeveria debilis, Gormania debilis

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Sedum

Origin

This species is native to the United States (Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains), found on elevations of 4,900 to 11,500 feet (1,500 to 3,500 m).

Description

Sedum debile is a small, low-growing succulent with slender, fragile, branched stems that tend to grow along the ground, forming erect, compact, almost spherical rosettes. Leaves are glaucous green speckled with pink, sometimes pink or red, and minutely papillose at the tip. They are usually elliptic, about 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) and 0.15 inches (0.4 cm) wide. Flowering shoots are simple, erect, decumbent or ascending, and up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long. Flowers are yellow, star-shaped with five petals, and appear in summer arranged in cymes of 2 branches.

The tiny rosettes of this species are similar in size to those of Sedum borschii.

Etymology

The specific epithet "debile (deb-IL-ee)" is a neuter form of the Latin adjective "debilis," meaning "weak," "frail," or "feeble." It refers to the slender and weak stems of the species.

Sedum debile (Orpine Stonecrop)

Photo by Damon Tighe

How to Grow and Care for Sedum debile

Light: This succulent grows best in locations where it will enjoy the full sun at least six hours per day. It will tolerate partial shade but will not thrive in deep shade. Keep your indoor plant in a sunny window or under artificial lights.

Soil: S. debile does not like to sit in waterlogged soil, so drainage is essential to prevent root rot. Choose a well-draining soil mix.

Hardiness: This plant is tolerant of heat and freezing temperatures. S. debile can withstand temperatures as low as -30 to 30 °F (-34.4 to -1.1 °C), USDA hardiness zones 4a to 9b.

Watering: From spring through fall, water thoroughly and wait for the soil to dry out before watering again. In winter, water just enough to keep your plant from shriveling. Avoid wetting the leaves, stems, and flowers when watering.

Fertilizing: Feed with a balanced organic fertilizer in spring. As long the plant is divided annually and provided with fresh soil, feeding is not necessary.

Repotting: Repot your plant when it outgrows its current pot by moving it out to a larger container to hold the plant better. Spring is the best time to repot S. debile. Make sure the soil is dry before you begin repotting.

Propagation: Once you have one S. debile, it is easy to make more by taking stems or leaf cuttings and dividing the plant. It is also easy to grow from seed. Take cuttings in spring when the plant is in the period of active growth. Once it has finished flowering, it is the right time for division. Spring or summer is the best time to sow the seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sedum.

Toxicity of Sedum debile

S. sexangulare is not listed as toxic for people but can be mildly toxic to pets and children.

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