Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sedum! Sedum! Sedum!

The quintessential plant for the fall season has to be sedum. This is one hardy, tough, drought tolerant plant that looks great all year. I love love love it in my garden-in any garden really!
I grow many cultivars including the common 'Autumn Joy', 'Brilliant', 'Blue Spruce' sedum, 'Acre', 'Matrona', the new cultivar 'Autumn Flame', and probably about half a dozen more; names unknown to me. This post happens to highlight only 'Autumn Joy' but believe me when I tell you that you can't go wrong with any sedum as long as you site it properly. 

I have had problems with some sedums flopping. I don't like that trait at all but I've found the problem is usually with the site I have chosen for the sedums. Sedums seem to prefer a lean soil in full sun. The rich organic soil I strive for here in Tiger Gardens is not what sedums desire. The soil plus the fact my gardens are sun challenged does not help the situation at all. If you wish to grow sedums well place them in full sun in average well drained soil.
Here we have a view of my Rear Center Garden. This time last year this garden was bare due to the extended drought and extreme heat we experienced last year. After that experience I decided to fix the situation by placing all drought tolerant perennials in this bed. These perennials include: alliums, bulbs, catmint, sedums, daylilies, gray headed coneflowers, ornamental grasses, smoke trees, thermopsis, irises, and asters. There are also a few peonies in this bed. I simply can't garden without peonies in all my beds. Unfortunately peonies don't look all that great by the the time the fall rolls around. Nonetheless they are fillers in this bed and will shine again come spring. The pink aster you see blooming midway in this bed is 'HoneySong'. There are two blue ones on the other side of 'HoneySong'. Asters are as drought tolerant as sedums and are also my go to fall plant of choice. They make a great companion for the sedums in this bed.
Sedums are one of those perennials that can grow really big depending on the cultivar. The sheer size of large well grown sedums allow them to be used as specimen plants but personally I think sedums should be massed in groups of five or more. Good companion plants for sedums are any of the straight bladed plants like irises or daylilies, red hot pokers, or ornamental grasses. The aforementioned asters are also a nice contrast for sedums.
This last picture was not taken in my garden but at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. (My friend Phil took it and I am just borrowing it as I did not get a good picture of the sedums in the gardens). I sure wish I had the space to have a large swath of sedums backed by ornamental grasses as is pictured in this photo. 

Mr. Fix-it, Jimmy and myself recently journeyed to Tuscumbia Alabama to visit the Birthplace of Helen Keller and to visit the Huntsville Botanical Gardens (in Huntsville which is about one hour east of Tuscumbia). We traveled with a familiar group of folks-the Montgomery County Tennessee Master Gardeners. More on that trip in a later post. For now I just wanted to share the sedums....sedums....and more SEDUMS....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Lovely! I look forward to sedums too in the Fall. I've found them to be such easy growers and like it anywhere in my gardens.

  2. Good Morning all.
    I too like the sedums. I have some, thanks to brother that are in bloom now.
    I like the pic with the ornamental grasses in the background.
    Sounds like you all had a wonderful trip.

  3. I added a sedum this past spring and about watered it to death. But somehow it survived my wrath. Probably due to the summer drought and my avoiding it once realizing it did not like so much water. Duh.... I picked up a few more at the recent nursery sale and these are yellow in color. "Spirit". Do you have any of that yellow one? Thanks to your post today, I now know where to plant my new sedums!

  4. I great plant for fall blooms and tolerates our summer heat brilliantly! :)

  5. I was just thinking to myself the other day, "I never met a sedum I didn't like!" My soil is fairly poor and my sedums are very upright!! There are also creeping sedum, though, which I also love. :)

  6. Good morning all! Rough night for me when the deputy rang my doorbell at midnight asking if I had a rottweiler. Someone hit him. The deputy had to shoot the dog. So very sad. He is still lying there now. So so so sad I was up the rest of the night. So thought blogging would cheer me. So, on to sedums. They are truly fabulous plants and I think you can't go wrong with them.

    If you like, state which cultivar is your favorite. Mine has to be 'Autumn Joy' and 'Brilliant'. I know I know, that's two!

  7. Definitely a favorite here, too. And I think the reason they do so well here is that I do so little to them or their soil :)

    I did a post re. ours a few weeks ago. I want to do another BECAUSE they've turned that deep, dusty rose color now. If it EVER stops raining, I'll get the photos up!

  8. Great sedums I like very much and in the est of spain they ground very happy! Warm and dry climate!

  9. Funny, don't they say it's for shade.
    Have lots here also and it's much happier in the sun. Pruning in spring helps somewhat when it comes to flopping. Mixing with other plants like you did works well.

  10. They are a workhorse of a plant and that last photo is just stunning.

    I have never seen a yellow sedum but I bet it is heavenly!

  11. Oh, I love sedums, too. The picture of your sedums in you garden is fabulous! I love the mass planting, the spiky iris foliage as contrast, and then the pink flowers in the background complimenting the pink of the sedum. Wonderful!

  12. Thanks for introducing me to sudums. I'm with you on peonies - love them!

  13. Oh they look so pretty. Mine are all floppy. LOL!

  14. Hello

    It is my annual pleasure and enjoyment to see your sedums in autumn. I'm very happy to see the pink flowers are in bloom beautifully in your garden this year too. "Autumn has come!"

  15. Tina, I only have the one color. It's like yours. A light pink. So can't make a choice. Love them & plan to move some into other beds.
    I've never seen a yellow one. Sure bet it's pretty.

  16. Sedum look so good at any patch of the garden. Makes the garden cheerful with its presence.

  17. I read a book last year--I think its name was "Gardening for a Lifetime"--by a well-known gardener who gave suggestions on how to make garden maintenance easier for aging gardeners. Sedums were her number 1 plant choice, and no wonder--they look so beautiful in the fall with little work the rest of the year.

    Thanks for the tip on the soil--some of my sedums flop, and others don't. I'll have to remember not to add any compost to them!

  18. Autumn Joy is a real workhorse, but my favorite sedum is Angelina.