Sedum Plant: How To Grow, Care for 5 Types of Sedum Ground Cover, Zones

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Man looks at sedum plant border after learning how to grow ground cover sedum and tall sedum flowers for garden ideas, including types of sedum and its growing zones

A flowering Sedum plant is an exciting addition to any garden or landscape because these plants create a perfect blend of vegetation and beauty.

The low-growing vegetation that carpets the ground is attractive and inject color and visual interest into the surroundings, making Sedum plant varieties an ideal alternative to grass lawns.

You can grow them for their lush greenery or to beautify portions of your yard.

In this guide, you can learn all about how to grow five Sedum plant varieties and how to choose the best for your home garden application.

What Is a Sedum Plant?

Sedum Plant, also known as Stonecrop, is a genus of flowering plants in the subfamily of Sempervivoideae and family Crassulaceae.1

Stonecrops get their name from their natural tendency to crop up in rocky regions. They’re commonly called Stonecrops because they grow in areas with stones.


(Sedum )

Sedum Plant in an oval frame on a green background.
  • Characteristics: Can be low-growing creeping or tall upright. Attracts different types of butterflies, bees, and songbirds.
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Sedum L. Stonecrop
  • Leaf: Puffy, thick, succulent
  • Seed: Sow in 60 °F
  • Blossoms: Summer and fall
  • Native Habitat: Northern Hemisphere and some parts of the Southern Hemisphere
  • Height: Varies between 2 and 36 inches
  • Canopy: Clusters of flowers held above the foliage
  • Type: Perennial, Biennial, Annual
  • Native Growing Zone: Hardiness 3 to 10

Image Credit: Paulican19

These leaf succulents are native to the Northern Hemisphere. However, they also extend to the Southern Hemisphere, mainly South America and Africa.

They have also been found in tropical mountains of Asia and Europe.

There are over 600 species of Sedum Plants. Unfortunately, this number has over time reduced to between 400 and 500.

Sedum Plants are types of succulents that can be annual, biennial, or perennial shrubs and herbs.

Sedum Plant Varieties

Sedum varieties come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and forms. You can choose the species you want from Sedum varieties.2

Sedum Plants are either low-growing or upright.

These plants are one of a kind, as they can withstand drought, cold, and human walkovers.

Categories of Sedum Succulents

A Sedum Plant varies depending on several characteristics. The three main types of succulents are tall, creeping, and trailing.3

1. Tall Sedum Plants

This Sedum Plant category grows upright and reaches 1 to 2 feet tall. Tall Sedum Plants are purple, green, variegated, or burgundy.

They have star-shaped flowers, which occur in shades of pink. Tall Sedum varieties include Lemonjade and Rock ‘N’ Grow.

Bright yellow clusters of tall Sedum flowers in full bloom, with a bee flying nearby, with a background of slender green stems and foliage.

(Image: JoNi-CF18)

Close-up of a creeping Sedum plant with deep red, spiky leaves nestled between rugged stone surfaces.

(Image: Fabiennnee18)

2. Creeping Sedum Groundcover

Creeping Sedums are groundcover types of Sedum Plants.

That means they hug the ground and sprawl 3 feet wide.

They have a creeping habit that is useful when planted in rock gardens, mixed borders, along pathways, curbside strips, and mass plantings.

Creeping Sedum Plants have spiky and rounded small leaves. They have various silver, yellow, green, blue, red, and variegated foliage.

Varieties of Creeping Sedum include Angelina, Rock “N’ Grow, and Boogie Woogie.

3. Trailing Sedum Plants (Mounding Perennials)

Trailing Sedum Plants are ideal for vertical gardens. They can grow in containers and vertical surfaces.

These vine plants overflow from the container and droop in cascades.

5 Types of Sedum (Includes Pictures of Sedum Plants)

There are numerous Sedum Plant types.4

The five below are common, but you can choose many other colors and types.

1. Autumn Joy

(Pink Sedum that is deep rose-red in autumn and gray-green in summer)

Autumn joy is a classic perennial that brightens your yard from spring to fall. This Sedum Plant is 2 feet tall at maturity.

Autumn Joy leaves have a gray-green lush all summer.13

Close-up view of an Autumn Joy Sedum displaying its deep red-rose colored blossom.

(Image: Csar-Fotografie18)

Autumn Joy draws all kinds of insect pollinators in late summer, as its vast clusters of tiny starry flowers are generally pink. This vibrant color attracts pollinating insects and butterflies.

In autumn, these blooms gradually become deep-rose red and, ultimately, coppery rust.

Close-up of an Angelina Sedum Plant showcasing its golden, star-shaped blooms and budding flowers.

(Image: Nennieinszweidrei18)

2. Angelina Sedum Plant

(Bright-Golden Sedum that is vibrant orange in summer)

Sedum ‘Angelina’ is a small-sized groundcover plant that grows to 4 inches. It’s easy to care for.

Sedum ‘Angelina’ is found in 5-8 zones. Sedum Angelina drapes over stone walls.

Also, it can grow in hanging baskets and containers. Typically, its foliage is bright golden, which turns into vibrant orange in fall.

In summer, Angelina’s star-shaped flowers appear.

3. Moss Stonecrop Sedum

(Yellow Sedum)

A moss stonecrop is an ever-green, low-growing plant.

It has finely textured leaves, accented by yellow flowers during summer.

A Moss Stonecrop plant with its bright-green, finely textured leaves set on sandy terrain, accented by surrounding shells and starfish.

(Image: domeckopol18)

Moss Stonecrop grows up to 3 inches tall and is best suited for 3-8 zones. The Sedum forms a carpet-like shape.

This works as a walkable ground cover and can withstand light foot traffic. You can plant it atop rock walls, walkways, and gardens.

Close-up view of a Sedum Purple Emperor, highlighting its cluster of pinkish flowers.

(Image: ulleo18)

4. Sedum Purple Emperor

(Beautiful purple Sedum, turns pink in summer)

This is a hybrid perennial Sedum with dark purple flowers, which turn pinkish in summer.

Sedum Purple Emperor flowers attract diverse types of bees and buzzing insects t their star-like beautiful flowers.

It is crowned with fleshy foliage and grows up to 15 inches under full sun and well-drained soil.

From summer to fall, the plant grows upright to slightly spreading clamps. It grows in hardiness zones 3 to 7.

5. White Stonecrop Sedum

White Stonecrop comes at the top when talking about types of white flowers. This is a low-growing plant that blooms in summer.

It adapts to the surroundings; you can find it on walls, rocky meadows, seashore rocks, and dry banks.

Close-up of a White Stonecrop Sedum, with its small white flowers and emerging buds.

(Image: Radfotosonn18)

White Stonecrop is a mat-forming ever-green succulent that typically grows only 2.8 to 5 inches tall and spreads 12 to 18 inches wide. It grows in temperate regions within 3 to 9 hardiness zones in the U.S.

Sedum Plant Care Process

Sedums are relatively low-maintenance plants.

Here is how to care for these types of succulents:

Pruning of Flowering Sedum Plants

To promote compact growth, pruning is crucial. You can clip and deadhead the Sedum Plants in the spring season.6

To extend the tall Sedum Plants’ bloom period, cut a few plants back by a third of their length when plants are around 8 inches tall.

Cut back the stems to the ground. This can be immediately after the first hard frost.

Stems can also be left for winter interest. Then, cut them upright back in early spring to the ground before growth emerges.

If you have a groundcover type of Sedum, trim them if they outgrow their space or as needed.


Sedum Plants need solid nutrition sources to continue growing. However, you should refrain from adding fertilizers.

Just add a little compost like a month after planting them.

Sedum Plants do not need supplemental fertilizers. Excess nutrients can cause weak growth.

Watering Needs for Sedum Plants

Sedum Plants are drought-resistant types of plants.

They store water in their fleshy leaves, which allows them to thrive in dry conditions.

Close-up of a Sedum plant with its densely packed red and green succulent buds, glistening under daylight.

(Image: Reginal18)

Excess water leads to rot, disease, mushy foliage, and the upright types flop. You can water your Sedum Plants in rare occurrences, like extreme heat or prolonged dry spells.

In hot summers, you should water Sedums every 7 to 10 days. However, during fall and winter, you should water your plants every 2 to 3 weeks.

Helpful Planting Tips for Sedum Plant

Although its not too difficult to grow, the following tips can help you ensure that your transplants flourish.

Growing Zones for Sedum Plants (Where To Grow)

In Northern America, you must first research to understand the species grown in different regions. Find out more about the USDA planting zones.12

While Stonecrops adapt to various conditions, this sun-loving plant is hardy in 3 -10 zones.

Best Growing Conditions for Sedum

Sedum varieties are tolerant plants that adapt to various climatic conditions.15 However, they do best in hot, dry conditions.

Sedums flourish better in humid areas and those that are not overly wet climates.

Growing a Sedum Plant From a Seed

Most Sedum varieties are cultivars, meaning their seeds do not produce plants like those of the parent plant.

For this reason, using seeds for growing Sedum is not advisable.

How To Sow Sedum Seeds

If you want to go that route of seed sowing, here is what you need to know. Sowing Sedum should happen in summer or spring.

The minimum temperature needed for sowing is 60°F.

Choose a seed tray or pot, whichever you prefer to sow Stonecrops. Fill it with a well-draining substrate.

This can be a mix of one-part perlite, three-part gardening soil, and three-part sand.

Moisten the soil and then spread your Stonecrop seed over the soil surface. Add a very thin layer of vermiculite and spray it lightly with water.

Cover the pot with white paper, glass, or a clear plastic bag. Place it indoors in a windowsill to allow indirect sun exposure for 2 to 3 weeks.

When seedlings appear, remove the cover. Do misting to keep medium moist.

After 6 to 8 weeks, gradually acclimate the seedlings outdoors to expose them to direct sunlight. Begin with half an hour, and bring the pot back inside.

Then gradually increase to an hour. Alternate 30 to 60 minutes daily until the seedlings adapt to outside conditions.

Growing Sedum in Pots

Sedums are shallow-roots plants that you can grow in containers. Ensure that you use succulent or well-draining potting mix for excellent drainage.

The container size should depend on the spread and the height of the Sedum variety.

Close-up of a Sedum plant in a clay pot, featuring its pink blossoms and rounded, succulent, green leaves.

(Image: Ortrun_Lenz18)

Use terracotta pots for tall Sedum Plants. Alternatively, use a container with enough weight to prevent the plant from toppling over.

If the roots of the Sedum grow out of the container drainage holes or the plant becomes root-bound, consider repotting.

Is Growing a Sedum Plant From a Seedling Possible?

Yes, growing Sedum Plants from a seedling is one of the few options. However, it is not the safest way.

In some cases, the seedling may be different from the original plant. This makes growing your Sedum Plant from cuttings a more desirable option.

How To Plant Sedum Seedlings

The following is a step-by-step process of planting Sedum Plants:5

  1. Pick a spot, create planting holes, and loosen the soil.
  2. If the soil is poor-draining, add grit, sand, and perlite.
  3. Move your plants from the nursery. If pot-bound, tease out roots.
  4. Set the Sedum Plant in holes. Then, ensure the top of the root ball levels with the surrounding soil.
  5. Backfill your holes with soil. To remove air pockets, tamp down lightly.
  6. Care for your Sedum Plants until they are well-established.

Sedum is a hardy perennial plant that blooms from early summer to fall. However, this mainly depends on the variety.

It is, therefore, advisable to grow your Sedum Plants during spring after the danger of frosting passes. However, in some areas, like the northern regions, you may still continue growing your Sedum Plants even until late summer.

In warmer regions, you can grow in fall and spring.

Which Is the Best Soil To Grow Sedum Succulent

Sedum Plants grow better in loose soil that drains well. This makes sandy soil, rocky soil, or loose, loamy soil great options.

The ideal pH for Sedum Plants is slightly acidic to neutral. This falls between 6.0 and 7.0.9

The plants do not do well in compacted and clay soil with high water retention.

These types of soils easily cause root rot. Also, too high nutrients in them result in leggy growth.

How Much Sunlight Does Sedum Plant Need Each Day?

When picking a perfect spot in your garden, consider various factors like Sedum type, shade, and soil.

Low-angle view of a Sedum plant, showcasing its vibrant yellow flowers under daylight in a clear blue sky background.

(Image: Jan-Mallander18)

These drought-resistant plants grow in full and partial sun. They require full sun or at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for better growth.

How Far Apart To Plant Sedum Plant

Spacing depends on the type of Sedum Plant and how you quickly want to fill it up in the area. Space the tall Sedum 1 to 2 feet and low-growing 6 to 12 inches apart.

What Are the Best Companion Plants for Sedum Plants?

You can accompany Sedum with low-growing flowers like alyssum. Also, you can plant summer bloomers such as the Russian sage, rudbeckia, and coneflowers.

Sedum Plants for Front of House

Since the Sedum Plant is low-growing, you can plant it in front of the house. This ground cover withstands human traffic and can do well in areas where other plants struggle to survive.

It does well at the front of a landscape bed.16

Want To Know How Long It Takes To Grow Sedum Plants?

Sedum Plants take up to 3 seasons to fill and cover a space.

For most groundcover types, the first year they sleep, the second year creep, and the third year leap.

How To Propagate Sedum

There are several options when it comes to propagating Sedum Plants. For example, you can decide to use cuttings, transplants, or divisions.7

Any of these methods allows you to grow your favorite Sedum Plants.

Using Stem Cuttings

If you want to plant Sedum or increase your plants, find plants where propagation is not restricted by plant patent or trademark protection.8 Then, propagate Sedum Plants from stem cuttings.14

This is straightforward and gives you a good chance of success.

Here is a step-by-step process of Sedum propagation from cuttings:

  1. First, cut a 4 to 6-inch piece from a healthy plant using a knife or sharp pruners in early spring.
  2. Fill a pot with soilless potting mix. Remove the leaves in the bottom of your cuttings and place the stick in the growing medium.
    It is not a must for the cutting to be upright. It can lie prone.
    The important thing is to have the cutting making contact with the soil.
  3. Mist the growing medium with water to keep it evenly moist.
  4. Wait for 6 to 8 weeks for roots to develop. You can tell that roots have grown if you notice a new growth or some resistance when you gently pull the plant.

Move them to their new location. Finally, sterile your materials and tools.

Using Plantings

For this method to succeed, do it at the beginning of spring or slightly before. During this period, plants are primed for new growth.

Transplanting involves digging a wide enough hole for the root ball to fit. Dig it so it spares some room with the top of the root positioned slightly below the soil line.

Insert the plant in the hole and fill the gaps with the surrounding soil. Firmly pat it all down and then water it.

Space them six inches to two feet apart if you are doing multiple transplants. Low-growing plants can be spaced apart from six inches and upright ones from two feet.

Division Method

The fourth method of propagation is via division. In this case, choose a mature Sedum Plant to divide.

Do division in fall or spring. Dig up the Sedum and be careful not to ruin the roots.

Take the root mass and tease it gently. Alternatively, cut it apart into the desired number of divisions.

Do all this while ensuring every root clump is attached to a part above ground. At this juncture, each Sedum is ready for transplanting.

How To Identify Sedum Plant

The easiest way to identify Sedum Plants is to look at the plant leaves and flowers.

Graphics of Sedum Plant identification showing images of Sedum leaves, Sedum, flowers, and Sedum seed pods, along with a US map color-coded for temperature cultivation zones.

Here are their main characteristics:

Sedum Leaves

Sedum Plants are perennial succulents with puffy, thick leaves. They are famous for their fleshy-rounded leaves and can also be flat, depending on the species.

Leaves’ colors differ depending on the type. Based on the selection, some leaf colors include blue-gray, reddish-bronze, or light green.

Sedum Flower

Sedums are very beautiful, and their starry flowers have five petals, which seldom can be six or four. Sedum star-shaped flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall.

They come in different colors, including purple, orange, pink, and green.

Uses of Sedum Plants

Sedum Plants have many users. Some have been listed below:

Flowering Sedum Plants Are Beautiful

Sedum succulents are a family of species ranging from 450 to 500.10 Each of these species has unique characteristics.

They grow in different patterns and colors, which adds visual interest to the surroundings.

A Sedum Plant with elongated red stems bearing clusters of delicate white flowers, with green and red succulent leaves, set against a backdrop of a blurred natural landscape.

(Image: GAIMARD18)

Whether indoors or outdoors, the Sedum charm is unmatched. They have lovely hues, which change with the season, and enchanting blooms.

These hues attract colorful butterflies that enhance the garden’s beauty.

Weed Reduction

Sedum is a perfect weeding partner. Some species of Sedum, like Dragon’s blood weed, remove weeds in the surrounding area as they spread.

So, plant Sedum and watch it weed out your garden beds.

Green-Roof Gardening

Green roof gardening across rooftops of commercial and residential homes helps create vertical displays of Sedum succulents.

This adds lush greenery to small urban gardens and beauty to an urban setting.

This helps improve the air quality during photosynthesis when plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Act as a Medicine and Make Salad

In the Asian regions, including China and Korea, certain types of Sedum are used to make medicinal products.

For example, Sedum sarmentosum is a medicine that helps treat chronic inflammatory diseases like chronic viral hepatitis.

Sedum Stonecrop is used as a herb. The parts that protrude above the ground are used as medicine for high blood pressure and coughs.

Some people use Stonecrop for skin burns, wounds, warts, eczema, hemorrhoids, and mouth ulcers.

Some species of Sedum Plants are edible. People use them to make salads and soups.

Challenges Facing Growing of Sedum Succulents

Below are the main challenges that you should be prepared to handle:

 Container Sedum Winter Care

Sedum Plants are very hardy. They rarely need protection in harsh winter climates.

However, Sedum varieties grown in pots and containers need some care. That is typically because their surroundings have a thin layer of soil compared to a garden bed.

In such a case, wrapping the containers in bubble wraps and burlaps is recommended. Alternatively, place them in an insulating silo over the winter for protection.

Common Pests of the Sedum Plant

Black vine weevil may feed on the roots of plants in nurseries. The plant may turn yellow, then brown, and eventually die.

Adult fungus gnats may not damage but can be a nuisance to the plants. However, if in large numbers, its larvae can damage their roots and stunt growth.

Close-up of a pale snail slug navigating along a decaying wooden twig, surrounded by lush green ferns in a moist environment.

(Image: fotoblend18)

Snails and slugs may occasionally feed on the plant, though this is a rare occurrence.

 Which Natural Pest Control for Sedum Plant Works Best?

In most cases, pests do not attack Sedum Plants. However, it is not completely impossible to find a few tiny black bugs on your Sedum Plants.

These ones you can, however, control. The best pest control methods here include pruning or planting companion plant species.

You can also try spraying the plants with a mixture of water and dish soap. These simple ways ensure that your Sedum Plant remains healthy throughout.

Diseases Affecting Sedum Plants

Sedum Plants may get diseases caused mainly by fungi.17 A common disease is crown and stem basal rot in poorly drained wet soil.

This is due to diseases such as blight and anthracnose.11

Leaf spots are also commonly caused by various pathogenic species. Sedum can also get infected by powdery mildew disease.

Gray mold is another significant threat to Sedum Plants. This mainly infects the damaged plant parts, especially old flowers.

It produces spores that are blown around. The fungus moves into healthy leaves and stems from these tissues.

How To Stop Sedum Plant Disease

To prevent root or basal rot, fungicides may not be entirely reliable. You might need to remove the infected plants.

Then, cultivate the soil to help it dry. Distancing your plants from other perennial crops can help prevent mildew.

Also, to increase airflow, you should thin out the crowded or clamping Sedum crowns.

If you are trying to control the fuzzy gray mold, using sanitation might be the solution you seek. This involves the removal of dead flowers before the mold starts forming.

Lastly, if the disease has already spread to other parts of the plant, you should use fungicides to protect your Sedum Plant.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sedum Plant

Can Anyone Grow Sedum Plants?

Sedum Plants are easy to cultivate, making them suitable for home gardens. They require ample sunlight, so certain planting zones are more optimal than others.


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13University of California. (2023, September). Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from <>

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15Cotoz, A.-P., Valentin-Sebastian, D., Gocan, T.-M., Andreica, I., Rózsa, S., & Cantor, M. (2023, July 23). Sedum Growth Patterns under Different Pedoclimatic Conditions. National Library of medicine. Retrieved October 2, 2023, from <>

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18Photos by Csar-Fotografie, Nennieinszweidrei, domeckopol, ulleo, Radfotosonn, Ortrun_Lenz, Jan-Mallander, Reginal, GAIMARD, JoNi-CF, Fabiennnee, and fotoblend. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

19Pink Sedum Blossoms Flower Garden Photo by Paulican. (2017, August 25) / Pixabay Content License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pixabay. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <>