With a variety of up to 600 types, the flowering ornamental sedum plants or “stone crop” as they are known by, is prevalent in the northern climes. Sedums have enjoyed much history with both the First Nations cultures as a food source, and with the Greeks of old when it was used in small doses as a treatment for epilepsy and skin disease.
As creeping herbs and shrubs, sedums usually flower in a multitude of colours with five beautiful star-shaped petals, and the leaves are water storing. As garden plants they are both hardy and attractive. Some varieties prefer heat, while others prefer cooler conditions. They are also a food source for the larvae of some butterfly species. Sedums make good “green” roof cover in preference to the typical grasses.
Sedums are low growing and perfect for rock gardens either as ground cover. Taller varieties lend themselves more for back borders. Sedum can be planted in the spring in spots that enjoy full sun. Space them over two feet apart and if you have cuttings, these can be planted as well as seeds. The soil needs to have good drainage. Some species need partial shade. Typically sedum need little attention except to ensure they do not dry out. Plants can be cut back after flowering and cuttings will take root easily when transplanted elsewhere. Check your local gardening store for the lovely variety of sedums – perfect for your rock garden.