I need some ground cover for a bank that has full sun in So.
Calif. I was hoping to use a sedum. Any suggestions/rec-
commendations? Sometimes gets down to freezing -rarely.
I love, love, love my sedums! I have three types as a groundcover (well, I have a few more, but they are small yet and don't cover much ground, lol!) CT is a bit different than z10 California, but I'll share my experience anyway.
I have John Creech, which has wonderfully swirled, tight foliage and a pink bloom (in bloom now here), and is low-growing.
Then I have a swath of Westeinphaner's Gold (sp?). This is also a low-growing, (almost ground-hugging) rather tightly-foliaged sedum, with bright yellow blooms in spring. I leave the seed heads up because I like the russet color, although I've had some neighbors ask why I keep dead plants, lol. It also turns a beautiful purplish-burgundy in winter.
Then by mistake, thinking it was WG, I bought a bunch of kamschaticum. This also has a pretty yellow flower, blooms for me about a week or two later than the WG, and has nice foliage, although it is taller, (maybe 6 inches) looser, and bigger-leaved than the WG. I honestly waver back and forth constantly as to which of these two I like better, and which of the two to buy to finish filling in the area.
All three are in quite poor, shallow, rocky, sandy soil, directly along the street (no sidewalks) on a slight slope. They are in full sun, in addition to getting the heat from the asphalt, and get sand and snow dumped on them in the winter from the plow. They do great in this spot.
Any kind of low growing, spreading form of sedum - typically called stonecrops - makes a good groundcover. These are some of the hardiest and toughest plants, tolerating extreme heat and well as considerable cold, poor soils and minimal watering. And quite flexible to both sun and shade. A visit to a local garden center should turn up many different types - just choose the one(s) that appeals to you.
Ice plant (Delosperma spp.) is commonly used as a groundcover for sunny slopes in California. Although not exactly a sedum, it has a similar succulent appearance and bright daisy-like flowers.