’Tis the season for sedums.
As we peruse our dry and dusty garden, it is evident which plants are the survivors in what is becoming our seasonal drought.
While the hardy perennials will simply go dormant from stress, new growth returning with the awaited fall rains, there is one group of plants that still look fabulous – the sedums and sempervivums.
Both sedums and sempervivums like hot weather, and will tolerate drought for weeks on end.
Planting in full sun location where you would like some colour, and not have to worry about, make them ideal.
There are a plethora of sedum varieties available, with new ones added all the time.
The always popular Autumn Joy has been a big favourite in many gardens for years with its lush succulent foliage throughout the spring and summer, and clusters of pink blooms in late summer-early fall. An added bonus to these plants is that the bees just love them!
Easy to care for, the only real attention they require is a trimming in June. Keep in mind for sedums – June prune.
If the plant is about a foot tall, I trim off about a third. This stimulates multiple stems of new growth from where you cut, thus giving you a thicker more sturdy plant and resulting in much more dense flowering.
Two of my personal favourite sedums are Madrona and Postman’s Pride – both with deeper red foliage that are standouts.
They are both taller growing varieties (about 12 to 18 inches tall) and are such wonderful reliable garden plants.
There are also many lower growing, ground cover varieties – Sunsparkler Firecracker with its deep red foliage and Sunsparkler Lime Twister being two that we love.
There are several new blended varieties being created here in B.C. that are also outstanding and being used for living roof situations, so keep an eye out for those.
Being perennials, most sedums will die down for the winter when you can then cut right back, returning in spring with vigorous, fresh new growth.
As for the sempervivums, commonly referred to as Hens and Chicks, these extremely hardy plants stay evergreen for the winter in our area.
They enjoy the same sunny dry conditions as the sedums, and being ground covers, make excellent container plants for low shallow pots.
Since our weather pattern seems to be changing towards a drier climate, our gardens will have to adjust – so consider some sedums and sempervivums, to not only enhance the colour in your garden, but to conserve our water.
– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials
and president of the Langley Garden Club.