Stonecrop Plants

A popular choice for houseplants, children's gardens, green roofs & walls

The genus Sedum contains succulent perennials, commonly called stonecrops. Tough and pretty, grown mostly for their foliage, sedums have fleshy leaves that vary in size, shape, and color, including various shades of green, purples, and even beautiful browns. They usually bloom in late summer to early fall in clusters of starry flowers that are white, yellow, pink, purple, or reddish in color.

Sedum is a huge genus of about 600 species native to temperate climates and rocky, mountainous environments, characterized by succulent leaves and stems. Many species have been moved to the genus Hylotelephium. S. telephium (orpine [syn. Hylotelephium telephium]) is one. A few species of horticultural importance are S. lanceolatum (spearleaf stonecrop); S. lineare (carpet sedum, needle stonecrop); S. makinoi (stonecrop); S. morganianum (burro’s tail, horse’s tail, lamb’s tail), a popular houseplant; S. rubrotinctum (jellybean sedum); S. rupestre (stone orpine); S. sieboldii (October daphne); S. spathulifolium (broadleaf stonecrop), a highly popular variety; S. spurium (two row stonecrop [syn. Phedimus spurius]), one of the most recognizable; S. takesimense (Ulleungdo stonecrop); and S. ternatum (woodland stonecrop). Many hybrids are also available.

The small, 3- to 6-inch-tall plants make excellent ground covers as they have a low-growing, trailing habit and spread by rooting at the nodes. In the wild, they are found growing on rocky ground or stony ledges. Cascading plants, they are excellent for hanging baskets or containers. Low maintenance, sedums are a popular choice for green roofs, green walls, and children’s gardens. They also make great houseplants. Hens and chicks and cactus are good companions.

Sedums are happiest in full sun but tolerate some light shade. They thrive in sandy to gravely, dry to medium, well-drained soils and are well-suited to hot, dry conditions, but many also tolerate cold temperatures and even mild frosts.