Column: The Garden Girl – It’s Sedum Season in Claycord

June 15, 2014 14:00 pm · 7 comments


It’s Sedum Season! This hardy family of perennials and evergreens resemble the very popular succulents, yet they’re far more sun loving and not so picky if occasionally watered too much. Sedums are sensational, and any garden lover interested in growing something easy with unique foliage and attractive flowers should consider one of the sedum family members in your next landscape or container installation. All sedum are deer resistant, and drought tolerant.

Sedum Autumn Joy is a simple joy to grow. This long-lived perennial sedum is extremely durable. Sedum Autumn Joy grows to 2’ tall and eventually as wide. Sturdy, thick, fleshy stems are a medium green color. The bloom of the Sedum Autumn Joy looks like a large head of broccoli, but rather than flowing green, the bloom is a dark pink that ages to a deep brick red. When blooming bees and butterflies are very attractive to the flowers, and I’ve been known to refer to the bloom as bee and butterfly landing pads. You will enjoy the flowers on Sedum Autumn Joy from July through September. Sedum Autumn Joy is a herbaceous perennial. This means that this plant will grow through spring, flower through summer and rest during winter. Resting during the winter months insures this perennials frost hardiness.

October Daphne is another excellent variety of sedum. This selection has gray-based flesh-like foliage with a surrounding margin of pink. October Daphne isn’t a groundcover or an upright, but something in between. You can expect 9” of height and about 18” of width from this sedum. Blooms appear in August and continue through early October, where you will see small clusters of pink flowers resting on the ends of the stems. October Daphne looks fabulous in a shallow, shapely container placed on plant stand, or table. This plant is winter herbaceous, so expect it to rest throughout the winter.

Sedum Vera Jameson is another selection of sedum that isn’t either a groundcover or an upright. Your Vera Jameson will reach 12” tall and 2’ wide. The foliage color of this sedum is a bronzy-pink, and the flower clusters are large broccoli heads of deep pink. This plant is stunning, and worthy of any perennial bed where you want some late season color, or a dry creek bed. Plant near a decorative boulder, you won’t have to worry about the reflective heat with any of the selections of sedum.

Speaking of red foliage, Sedum Turkish Delight has a deep red to rose colored flesh-like foliage. The Turkish Delight is an upright sedum with smaller sized clusters of pink flowers. This sedum is a new introduction, so garden lovers have sought it after all growing season long. Nestle piles of Turkish Delight Sedum where you have your Maynight Sage or Arctotis Pink Sugar, or Pumpkin Pie planted. The summer flowers will make a nice companion to the spring blooming sage and arctotis.

The sedum family has a lot of selections for those garden lovers that are looking for water-wise groundcovers. Sedum Cape Blanco is a California native selection that has small rosette shaped flesh-like leaves that are a powdery gray color. During the spring months the Cape Blanco Sedum will have yellow flowers. Sedum Angelina is a lemon yellow foliage selection of sedum that has yellow summer flowers. Sedum tetractinum is commonly called Chinese Sedum and this groundcover has flesh-like foliage in a combination of colors from deep green to dark bronze. The color scheme looks rich, and would be a nice companion when installed with the bright chartreuse colored Golden Sunset Breath of Heaven. Sedum Ogon is another lemon yellow sedum with small round leaves. This particular sedum can tolerate part sun, which is unusual for this family, since most need full sun to thrive. All of these mentioned groundcover sedum stay evergreen in our Claycord winters.

It is Sedum Season fellow garden lover. Open your eyes and consider installing some of the members of this family in your Claycord landscape, garden or containers. It is a perfect plant for our environment, thrives in our heat, sun and needs very little water.

Happy Gardening!

Nicole Hackett is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens, located at 6780 Marsh Creek Road in Clayton, 925-672-0207.

Nicole writes for the Clayton Pioneer Newspaper, and She is also the Clayton Valley Garden Club 2012 President.

1 Antler June 16, 2014 at 1:44 AM

Your descriptions are so enticing! I began planting various sedums among both annuals and perennials some years ago. So I can tell your other readers that you are ever accurate in explaining that they do well in our ….ahem….challenging Claycord soil.

The textures seem to link other plants together in a way that gives an exotic effect…. like sheer fabrics with subtle swirls of color. And they are so easy to propagate; children love to pop off a leaf, stick the raw part into crumbly soil, and check once every week or so for new growth to appear at the leaf’s base. (Nicole, maybe I’m not supposed to call those “leaves”…maybe “polyps” or “?”.)

I find it difficult to remember the names of the various sedums, but somehow that makes it even more fun. Friends will give me a variety here and there, and they don’t remember the name of it. But at R&W (managed by our beloved and knowledgable Garden Girl) in Clayton, the plants are well-labeled. Also, you can see nice sedums and cacti used in landscaping at the magnificent Ruth Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek. If you copy down names of plants labeled on those grounds (and sometimes they have a few plants for sale), then Garden Girl perhaps would order them for you!

This is one of my favorite articles so far…will definitely print two copies, one for inside the cover of my favorite ancient-old garden encyclopedia and one for the file in the car!

2 Silva June 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I too have sort of recently discovered the wonders of sedums in my Claycord landscape. They actually give a lushness I was not expecting.

3 Garden Girl June 16, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Hi Antler.
Thank you for your supportive comments. I appreciate them. I have a correction to make though. Our nursery is R&M. The letters represent Roy and Melanie, my in laws.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

4 PC June 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Sedums are a great substitute for the usual color spot annuals. The fact that most can tolerate the worst conditions of heat, drought, and crummy soil, is good news as well. Since they are so easy to propagate, I share them with neighbors who ask about them. There seems to be endless varieties that just need an occasional reduction in size. Thanks again Nicole for the great advice. I’ll drop by in the fall when the optimal planting season begins. P.

5 Silva June 19, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Nicole, I once was passing past your store to visit my mom in the hospital. I decided to stop in and pick up a gift. I was delighted to browse through the gift area, and spent a good amount of time checking everything out. The only person who greeted me the entire time I was in there was a lovely large long haired cat. I spent a nice while petting him/her and then left. It was an interesting experience.

6 Silva June 19, 2014 at 7:52 PM

*passing past your store* Someday I’m going to proof read.

7 Antler June 23, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Hi, Nicole!

Thank you for correcting me on the name of the store. I know Melanie and so enjoy our warm conversations, and so I have no excuse….. can’t even claim TYPO, as the letters “W” and “M” are not even typed with the same fingers on opposite hands. Maybe I was typing upside down again???

But….I really had thought that “R” stood for “Robert”! ;-)

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