Sedum / Stonecrop
Sedums are the ultimate sustainable plant — tough and succulent. And they grow quickly enough that you can divide them and create a nice mass in the garden without spending a fortune. The 500+ plants in this species have been found throughout the Northern temperate regions, and even in the Southern hemisphere.
‘Autumn Joy,’ (shown above) is the most popular variety of sedum in gardens today. It stands 1-2 feet high and has an amazing progression of bloom color from cream through pink, red, dark red and finally brown. Even the dead flowers look great, standing up all winter and adding some structure to the mostly blank perennial garden. I’ve even been known to spray-paint them lovely pastel colors for the winter, causing passersby to marvel at how long they hold their color!
Other recommended varieties are: ‘Bertram Anderson’, ‘Ruby Glow,’ ‘Purple Emperor,’ ‘Vera Jameson,’ and ‘Matrona’. (‘Matrona’ is said to be even better than the ubiquitous ‘Autumn Joy’ — more upright). Pictured below is ‘Neon.’
Tall sedums look great with grasses, asters, and coneflowers.
- Sedums like full sun and good drainage and full sun, but are fine with much less (see care).
- They’re usually disease-free.
- Hardy to Zones 3-8.
- Indestructible, except in the presence of deer, who love them.
- Beloved by bees and butterflies.