Sedum Sampler

Sedums! Everyone loves them, right? I sure do and I have a lot at Chickadee Gardens. At the old house I had an eco-roof covered in a few different species and it looked cool. Here, I use them as ground cover, fillers for pots and accents. I tend to let them do their own thing since I have the space to do so, as well as stick pieces in extremely random places as I walk past if I have an extra piece in my pocket. That happens more often than you'd think. Between cats running over them, moles wreaking havoc in the garden and clumsy gardeners, there is almost always a piece or four lying on the gravel and I never have the heart to throw them out. Thus, the masses all over the place. I thought it would be helpful if I took photos of the most common ones in my garden and do a bit of a sampler to show what does well for me. Here we go!

This is very typical at Chickadee Gardens - random sedums battling it out. In the end, I think they all actually survive. There are many that I have no recollection where they came from, and others that were little bits collected at work that were destined for the compost bin. This lot forms what I call the new eco-roof, only it's a flat area behind a low retaining wall some 3' high, so you can really appreciate what's growing there. With the eco-roof, it was a challenge to actually see it.


Sedum spurium, likely 'Bronze Carpet' spilling out of a container. Sedum spuriums form mats of those long stems close to the ground and so are great for suppressing weeds. They tend to be "happy" - not invasive, but they do spread. For me, that's welcome, but in a smaller garden you may find yourself yanking out bunches on occasion. In summer they send up spikes of flowers, many in shades of pink which with the darker foliage of many is a pleasant contrast.


Another S. spurium form, this one is likely 'John Creech'. Bright pink flowers and green foliage.


Just about all the blooms in this photo are of Sedum spurium. A few other spurium forms I have that are not pictured are 'Tricolor', 'Fuldaglut' and 'Dragon's Blood'


Oregon native Sedum oreganum is one of my favorites. It is easy, always looks good and is a pretty green color, turning shades of red when stressed by sun or cold. It has cheerful yellow flowers and is actually a great pollinator plant. It's not as delicate as many of our brittle native sedums, rather it is resilient, even handling the occasional gardener's boot accidentally walking across it.


Sedum divergens is a fun Pacific Northwest native, but it is super delicate as far as being a ground cover. If you leave it alone it will thrive and spread, but if it's touched at all, those long stems tend to break. No worries if you plan on replanting that broken off bit, it will easily root right where you plant it.


Sedum divergens and S. oreganum co-mingling.


Another native, well-known Sedum spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco' I find appreciates a bit of shade to really perform at its best. It's already preparing to bloom, you can see the towers forming with tiny yellow flower buds.


Planting of S. oreganum and S. spathulifolium 'Cape Blanco' together.


Sedum reflexum, probably 'Blue Spruce'. This is a rapid spreader that I use as edging in a few different locales.


As in this photo, it is used as an edging for a berm area to help keep the soil and water in place.


Another sedum mash-up.


S. reflexum 'Blue Spruce' again with Veronica armena in the background. I'll have to free the Veronica from the impeding sedum...it really does spread.


S. 'Blue Spruce' and a spurium form on the right intermixed with Achillea millefolium, our native yarrow. 


One more application for S. 'Blue Spruce' - spilling down the edge of a retaining wall to give a cascading effect.


Here it is in full yellow bloom.


Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' is a very vigorous, but easy to pull out if need be, filler. In full sun when it's young, it has fresh golden green growth. 


Here in nearly full shade it is almost all green, the tips have a golden hint. 


And in full baking sun, as seen here in patches, it gets bright yellow and can really get washed out if not given any summer water. 


Sedum palmeri in winter. As the season progresses it gains more green color and the leaves flesh out a little bit more.  


Sedum sarmentosum 'Iijima' - a start I got out of the gravel at work - has also proven to be very robust. It's a low grower with yellow flowers.


Sedum takesimense was given to me as a start from a fellow garden blogger. It gets much taller than this, sporting bright yellow flowers in summer. It's easy and cheerful.


Sedum senanense.


Sedum 'Winky' (syn. Hylotelephium 'Winky'). It has pink flowers and more upright than a ground cover sedum, it's very sweet.


Sedum hispanicum 'Albescens' has teeny tiny gray green leaves and very impressive flowers for such a tiny little plant. Not aggressive at all in my garden, rather I've had trouble keeping it around for it gets overwhelmed by larger surrounding plants.


Our new granite sculptures are surrounded by Sedum album, a small-leaved tough and spreading groundcover with white flowers.


Here is S. album in full frothy bloom.


I showed this last week but it's worth repeating: Sedum confusum from Mexico. It has been pretty tough for me but does like a bit of afternoon shade in summer. You can just see the yellow flowers coming on.


My favorite upright sedum - Sedum 'Matrona'. Pictured here it is just forming buds. Soon after this stage the pinkish flowers will come on (this was taken last summer) and I leave the whole thing standing through winter after the whole plant dries as it stays reliably upright.


Here it is in bloom last summer.


Another upright sedum, probably S. 'Carl' has rather greener foliage than 'Matrona' and brighter pink flowers.


S. 'Matrona' flowers up close.


Another favorite upright sedum, S. 'Stardust' has pure white flowers.



One last shot of another mash-up with a S. album form on the left, the dark foliage.

Oh, sedums, how I adore you. I have a pretty laid-back attitude about them, tucking them in here and there and promptly forgetting where I tucked. No matter, they are mostly evergreen and take care of themselves. In general, sedums love full sun, great drainage but are not as drought-no-water-ever kind of plants that many people take them for. They do need some summer water, and the more well-drained the soil the more they need. They hail from all over the world and there are countless forms and hundreds of species. There are sedums for shade (really!), upright forms, low ground cover forms, ones that bloom yellow, some are white or pink and all are relatively easy to grow. When they bloom they are eagerly visited by pollinators, a bonus in my eyes.

There you have it, a sampling of some of the sedums I grow. There are many others, perhaps this summer I will do a follow-up post with some of those. Oh, and I must note that there have been changes in the taxonomy and nomenclature regarding what most of us know as sedum. For time-saving purposes, I simply list them all as sedum, however they could very well be officially reclassified. I apologize, I am no expert, so do some homework if there are questions.

That's a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you for reading and commenting, we love hearing from you all! Oh, and what's your favorite sedum?

Comments

  1. Love your sedums. They look beautiful all over your garden. Ours have a hard time with the summer heat and many go dormant.

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    1. I think that happens often, Rebecca - going dormant especially if it's too hot for them...a coping mechanism, one would think.

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  2. My favorite Sedum right now is a fairly new one, Sedum spathulifolium 'Carnea' -- similar to 'Cape Blanco' but the rosettes are a bit bigger and they get much redder. I love 'Cape Blanco' and I must love 'Angelina' cause I have a lot of it. She gets everywhere, that naughty girl. I enjoyed this little rundown of all the Sedums you grow. I also like 'Autumn Joy', I know it's old hat but it works for me, I'm an old hat too.

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    1. Ooh, Carnea, it's a beauty! Angelina is a favorite for many - I like it too but she is quite naughty...ha ha! Autumn Joy, oh I love it - I have one, too - it's just the classic, and for good reason! I suppose we are both old hat, Alison. Hooray for old hat!

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  3. You have a great collection of sedums. They are a tough group, eminently useful and add a lot of textural differences to plantings. My absolute favourite is Angelina. In my northern climate it is a true evergreen which is quite rare here. It takes on burnt orange hues in the winter and looks smashing year round with another evergreen, Veronica whitleyii.

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    1. They are tough, aren't they? And texture! Yes! I'm glad you mentioned that. Angelina in a northern climate really warms things up, doesn't it? Veroincia whitleyii, I just looked that up and WOW what a combination that makes with Angelina!

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  4. Wow, what a collection you have, Tamara! I love seeing them mingling together with their varied colors. Sedums haven't done at all well overall in my own garden. Your comment about their drought tolerance is right on point there. The species that's performed best for me is Sedum adolphii.

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    1. The varied colors are amazing, there are SOOO many sedums. We have probably 50 different kinds at Joy Creek and when they are all out on the table it amazes me. Yes, we tell people at the nursery even up here in Portland, they do need water! Sedum adolhii, I am not familiar but will look it up. Any other drought tolerant (truly) sedums that do well for you, Kris? Do share!

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  5. Great post, I have more Sedums to look for now. Thanks

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    1. Oh, goodie! Sedums are our friends.... :) You can have starts of any of these, just say the word!

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  6. Nice survey Tamara ! I admit I buy every Sedum I encounter if I don't already have it- occasionally I accidentally repurchase one I already have. I have several waiting in the wings to be planted once I get finished pulling weeds !

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    1. Thank you! I do the same, I love sedums and can't resist their charms. May your weed pulling be quick so you may get to the important stuff - planting!

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  7. I guess I must say Angelina is my favorite sedum as it is the only one that thrives here. I have tried many but they don't like my gardens conditions I guess. I do have another tiny one but I don't know its name. It does well despite being kept in check by pulling it. Your collection is one for the books.

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    1. Isn't that interesting...the only one that thrives for you is Angelina. She's a favorite for many, that's for sure. Thanks Lisa!

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  8. Oh, my! What a magnificent array of sedum. They are not winter hardy here, and I have never seen them used so abundantly in a garden. Just lovely with all their different shapes and textures!

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    1. That's too bad that you cannot grow them, darn! I feel quite spoiled as they are such fun to grow.

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  9. I am so impressed with how many you DO know the names of!! Quite a feat. Old favorite is Sedum oreganum (wish it filled in on the ground more), LOVE it in/ around/ among rocks. New favorite is Sedum confusum. :)

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    1. Ha ha...chalk it up to working for a nursery, Alyse! :)

      S. oreganum is one of my favorites, if not the all-time favorite for the same reasons you list. Sedum confusum - I'll give you a start next time I see you!

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