GardenersHQ

How to Grow Sedum spurium Plants

Guide to Growing Two-row Stonecrop (stonecrop, Creeping Red Sedum, Tricolor Stonecrop, Red-leaved Sedum)

Sedum spurium is an herbaceous semi-evergreen plant that is commonly referred to as Two-row Stonecrop.

It is a hardy perennial. Many cultivars of this plant are available for the gardener, and low-growing Sedum species makes an excellent groundcover. As it is slow growing, it may be a better choice to grow than more aggressive species such as Sedum acre (Goldmoss sedum) and Sedum sexangulare (Tasteless stonecrop) which may grow with uncontrolled vigour.

The Sedum genus contains approximately 600 species, and in addition to the aforementioned S. acre and S. sexangulare, other frequently seen species include S. reflexum (Blue stonecrop), S. album (White stonecrop), and S. ternatum (woodland stonecrop); and the commonly grown cultivars Autumn joy; and the wonderful, red stemmed, deciduous upright perennial Sedum Matrona.

Sedum spurium
Sedum spurium Photograph by Oona Räisänen, CC.

As a member of the Crassulaceae family, Sedum spurium is related to species such as Jade Plant (Crassula), Live Forever (Sempervivum), and Gold drop (Umbilicus).

In the garden, Sedum spurium is often used as ground cover due to its mat forming properties. However, this is not the only reason to grow the plant. It is a great plant to grow to attract honeybees and butterflies to the garden; it is resistant to rabbits and deer; looks good in a rock garden, at the front of borders, or in a container; helps to maintain soil structure; and is drought tolerant.

Some commonly grown cultivars include Dragon's Blood (leaves turn to red, red flowers), Tricolor (green leaves with pink and white edges, pink flowers), Voodoo (purple leaves, rose-red flowers), and Red Carpet (green leaves develop red edges, turn to red in the summer, and to purple in the autumn).

Sedum spurium Dragon's Blood
Sedum Dragons Blood by Gail Frederick.

Sedum spurium Description

Growing Valeriana Description

Sedum spurium is a matt forming low-growing herbaceous perennial that ranges in height from three to six inches (7.5–15 cm), and has a spread of sixteen to twenty-four inches (40–60 cm). It has a slow to medium growth rate.

The leaves of Sedum are colorful and vary between different cultivars and the season. They are thick, simple, succulent, obovate, alternate, and toothed towards their ends; they are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length. They often start as green, develop a red edge, and become fully filled with red, burgundy or bronze colors in autumn and winter. This makes them a nice plant to grow to add some late-season color to the garden.

Stonecrop
Stonecrop by Quinn Dombrowski.

Plants blooms are infrequent from late spring through to mid-summer (sometime late summer). Clustered flowers appear on cymes, are tiny (3/4 inch (1.8 cm)), and star-like. They are usually colored rose or red.

Growing ??

Sedum spurium Growing and Care Guide

  • Grows well in zones 3 to 9. Evergreen in warmer areas.
  • Full sunlight for best results but plants are fairly shade tolerant.
  • Sedum spurium prefers a hot, dry, sandy, poor soil. Does not tolerate excessive moisture so good drainage is essential; it may be necessary to grow on a slope.
  • It is easiest to propagate Stonecrop from cuttings in the summer. Can also be propagated by division in the spring in colder zones (zones 3 to 6), or in the fall / autumn in warmer regions (zones 7 to 9).
  • Seeds can be sown in the spring or autumn.
    1. In the spring, place the seeds in a compost containing container, wrap in a plastic bag and refrigerate for three weeks. Next, plant the container into the ground in a shady location beneath glass. Transplant seedlings to their final location as they emerge.
    2. If sowing in the autumn, then sow in flats, place next to a North facing wall or fence and cover with glass. Once temperature drop to 65°F (18°C) bring indoors for the winter, place outdoors again in the spring when temperatures reach 60°F (16°C).
  • Seed germination typically takes from one to five weeks.
  • Seed grown Sedum plants will not flower in the first year. Most seed grown cultivars will stay true.
  • Space at about 12 inches (30 cm) to provide ground coverage.
  • Plants are drought tolerant, but give an occasional watering during prolonged dry spells. Do not overwater.
  • Remove any all-green shoots that do not produce foliage.
  • May overtake alpine plantings, so cut back to stop it smothering other plants.
  • Cut back to ground level in the autumn.
  • Susceptible to fungal disease if overwatered. Can attract slugs, snails, and scale insects.


Garden Plants Common Name Index

Get the Gardener's HQ Newsletter

* indicates required