Favourite Fall Sedums

Some of the best sedums to grow for great fall color. Tips on making new sedum plants for free!
I have come to love sedums for the element of surprise they add to the autumn garden.
As the days shorten and the nights grow colder, a sedum's color changes with the advancing season. I delight to find flower buds, which were cream one sunny afternoon, have taken on a peachy tone a few days later. Yet another day, on my way to the back of the garden, I'll discover a pretty pink sedum has deepen into a fiery shade of magenta almost overnight.
Industrious bumble bees seem to tap dance on top of the parachute-shaped flower heads. Wasps love them too, but butterflies seem to prefer the small white flowers of the Joe Pye Weed in another part of the garden.
Frost always seem to strike just as the flowers become their most vibrant. In October, they continue to stand tall amongst the storm of falling leaves, their color having morphed yet again into a mellow reddish brown.
Even in the dead of winter sedums seem to have a melancholy beauty.
If you look close, you see that each plant lights hundreds of miniature firecrackers each fall.
Sedum spectabile 'Neon': This Sedum has light green foliage and magenta-pink flowers. Full sun. Height: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches) Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.
Some of my old favourites include Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Sedum 'Autumn Fire' and Sedum 'Matrona'. Making new plants is easy, so I have them scattered throughout the garden in both sun and part shade.
(To make new plants, pinch back your plants in June about 4-5 inches. This will help prevent tall, heavy flowering varieties from flopping and give you lots of cuttings to create new plants. Strip away all the leaves on the bottom half of each cutting. Plant your sedum in pots, or as I do, directly into garden soil out of direct sunlight. Water them well and keep an eye on them to make sure the soil doesn't dry out while the cuttings are establishing roots. Your sedums should root within a couple of weeks.)
Every summer I try to add a few new plants. Last year I added these two low growing varieties:
Sedum 'Pure Joy' is a keeper because of its neat mounded shape. Sadly I find it isn't as pretty as others once the flowers start to fade. Grow it in poor to average well-drained soil. Full sun. Height: 20-30 cm (10-12 inches) Spread: 45-50 cm (18-20 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
Sedum 'Dazzelberry' has really nice purplish-grey foliage. The deep raspberry flowers are amazing, but the flower stems are so fine that I find it flops unattractively. Next year I need to figure out some form of low support for it. Again poor to average well drained soil. Full sun. Height: 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) Spread: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
This year's additions include:
Sedum 'Class Act' is a recent introduction. 'Class Act' has flowers that are such a vivid shade of magenta they immediately grab your attention. Full sun and average, well drained soil. Height: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm ( 18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
(Sedum 'Class Act' is the deeper raspberry colored sedum.)
Sedum 'Lemonjade' has interesting creamy-green colored flowers that take on a peachy tone as they mature. Full sun and average, well drained soil. Height: 40-45 cm (16-18 inches), Spread: 45-70 cm (26-28 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
Sedum telephium 'Munstead Dark Red': This is an older variety that deepens into a dark rose color. It can be floppy in moist, rich soil. Height: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches) Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
Sedum 'Autumn Charm' has this terrific variegated foliage and salmon colored flowers. Full sun and average garden soil. Height: 35-40 cm (14-16 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
A beautiful mix of sedum plants.
While the gardening season is coming to close, there is still magic yet to be found.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Elizabeth Siegle
    on Oct 4, 2016

    Thank you for giving the particulars on each flower - zone, sun, etc.

    • Elizabeth Siegle
      on Oct 4, 2016

      True, it being time consuming. But imagine having to research recommended flowers, one at a time, to see if they work in a specific zone. The curtesy of your work, helped me immensely!!

  • Prelude
    on Oct 4, 2016

    Thank you for your lovely post for us gardening lovers. I remember my Mom had sedums bordering the house. They were not tall, but were neat mounds. If anyone knows which variety I would appreciate hearing. Being this was 30 yrs ago I am sure they are an older variety. The ones I have planted get about 18 inches tall and flop over.

    • Three Dogs in a Garden
      on Oct 4, 2016

      I am not sure which cultivars were popular 30 years ago but, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is certainly a classic sedum. If your present sedum flops, try pinching it back in sometime in early June. I remove the top 4-5 inches. The sedum will be shorter and the blooms slightly smaller, but the plant shouldn't flop. Don't discard the cuttings! Place them in moist soil out of direct sun. Keep the soil moist. They should root nicely and will make new plants.

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