Autumn Joy Sedum

Azura(z5 CO)November 5, 2007

This is my first year with the tried and true garden staple, Autumn Joy Sedum. I bought a few this fall and stuck them towards the back of my main bed. They looked fine for about 2 weeks before they turned an ugly yellowish color. Is that a normal reaction to the first frost or have they died because of transplant shock? Nothing else has died except my gladioli and morning glories.

I can post a photo if that helps.

Thank you


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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Mine have already turned yellow and started dropping leaves. I think that yours are probably fine. Look at the base and see if there is any new growth. Most of mine form little rosettes in the fall that are next years stems.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:05PM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Thank you, Bonnie. I didn't even think to look for the buds, they were there when I planted the plants. I'm tempted to go check right now with a flashlight!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Yeah! Just to second what Bonnie said! The upright sedums are always one of the first thing to freeze in fall. If yours have dried flowers you want to leave on for winter interest, don't do anything to them, but if they don't have any dried flowers, I recommend cutting them down to the ground which will help promote even more of the little "rosettes" in preparation for next spring. It's always been a mystery to me why the leaves on the stems freeze so quickly, but the little rosettes do just fine all winter!


    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 11:22PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

If you don't see the rosettes, don't worry too much. They'll still come back. Some of my new tall sedums don't have rosettes yet. Or the tiny rosettes are just under the soil. Either way, by spring they'll have them.

I always buy them during the fall clearance sales, plant them in the back of the yard and forget them. I have yet to lose one, even when my daughter runs over them repeatedly with the mower/tractor.

If you end up really liking the tall sedums, let me know and I can bring some cuttings next spring. I've got some interesting ones and they root easily. I also have some very large old Autumn Joys that could easily sacrifice some stems for cuttings.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:20AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)


I would be interested in the 'Autumn Joy's! I bought three last year, and they turned out to be 'Neon' instead. I plan on digging them up and bringing them to the spring swap, but I would love to have the REAL 'Autumn Joy'. What other tall sedums do you have?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 12:00PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I think I have ten or more plants of Autumn Joy so could bring plenty of cuttings. They've come from various sources, but all look alike.

I have Neon, which is really bright pink! Along with its light green foliage, it's kind of strange looking.
I also have Xenox, Maestro (pinkish flowers and purplish green foliage), Red Cauli and Purple Emperor. Red Cauli has bright red stems as well as red flowers.

I'm going to post some pics of one of Autumn Joys when the blooms are at their pinkish stage. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of the later, rusty stage.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 1:25PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

WOW! I was gonna ask if maybe I could get an ÂAutumn Joy at the Spring Swap, but I LOVE ÂPurple EmperorÂ! I love them all! Wow! Could I possibly get a couple ÂPurple Emperor cuttings at the swap?

I have a white oneÂthat I thought was pinkÂthat IÂm gonna dig up to give away at the swap. ItÂs probably ÂIcebergÂ, but I donÂt know that for sure! I really, really thought it was pink!

I saw ÂNeon in HighaltÂs yard, and that oneÂs way too bright for meÂbut it would be great for somebody who likes HOT colors!

I love the sedums with dark leaves.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 2:29PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I just looked up Xenox, Red Cauli, and Purple Emperor' and I love them all. I think 'Neon' is the only Sedum I DON'T like, and it is actually nice looking most of the year ... except when it is blooming that bright, intense pink!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 3:07PM
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aliceg8(CO 5)

I agree - they are all beautiful! My favorites are the Xenox & the Purple Emperor. I also like the Maestro - that's really unique. I have a no name sedum that I got at Kmart (again - they're just so cheap). It has burgandy foliage, but very sprawling. It had tiny red flowers this year. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does next year.

The sedum I got at the fall swap (pretty tricolor, pink, green and white) is doing nicely. It has the little rosettes you guys spoke of. Who was it who said in recent post - "wishing for spring already"? Me too!

Oh, and Bonnie, to bad your DH isn't like Steve. He doesn't really care for mowing, so the more yard I turn into gardens the better as far as he's concerned!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Alice your dark leaf sedum is probably . The leaves usually look darker than the first picture, but lighter than this picture.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 6:27PM
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catladysgarden(z5 CO)

A friend gave me a plant of Autumn Joy a couple of years ago. I liked it so much that I went upright Sedum crazy this year. I've got a nice collection now. They probably won't be big enough to share mext season, but they will be on down the road. I have the following cultivars:
African Sunset
Autumn Charm
Autumn Joy
Black Jack
Citrus Twist
Frosty Morn
Garnet Brocade
Hab Gray
Old Maryland
Purple Emperor
Ringmore Ruby
Strawberries and Cream
Sunset Cloud
Vera Jameson

I think that's all.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 4:14AM
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aliceg8(CO 5)

Dee, I think the sedum I have is one of the spuriums... it's rather sprawling, and the flowers are very tiny, not big upright things like the Vera Jameson. But that one is very beautiful too. I think I could end up like Karen, going a little overboard in the coming years.

And Karen, by the way, you're not helping my work ethic by posting such a long list of varieties. Now I am compelled to look up every one!! :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:08AM
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Azura(z5 CO)

Are these sedums susceptible to any wilt or disease?
I could see myself going crazy with them, the Vera Jameson has gorgeous foliage.
I'm just kicking myself right now because I only bought 2 of the Autumn Joy sedums... I don't know what I was thinking. I need three so I will have to find another large sized one early in the season next year to round out my design.
I'm so glad to hear mine are still alive and the consensus is that I can cut them down if I would like to? The foliage color right now is absolutely putrescent even if the seed heads are kinda pretty !

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:18AM
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catladysgarden(z5 CO)

Azura...Yes, you can cut them down. I just checked all of mine. They are all showing little rosettes at the base of the stems. The foliage has been frozen, but the rosettes should remain green throughout the Winter, then grow and develop new stems next season. I've never observed any disease problems.
Alice....Yeah, when I like something, I tend to collect them. I guess that's how I ended up with 4,000 daylilies. I've been trying to add some other perennials to the garden so I won't have a monoculture. I've fallen in love with some of the new Heucheras. I love the new foliage colors. My shade garden is full of them now. That was last years project. I've also collected all of the new Echinaceas I could find. This year, I did the Sedums and some new Scabiosas.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:48AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)


It sounds like you and I have the same addiction! Last year I bought several of the newer Echinaceas, and this year was my Heuchera year. At least the sedums are less fickle. I've already lost a couple of the Heucheras, and there were a couple of Echinaceas that didn't come back this spring, but Sedums are easy to grow, and there is such a variety to choose from. I definitely don't have room for 4,000 of anything (or 40 for that matter!), but I am trying to get as much variety as I can in my tiny little garden.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 12:30PM
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aliceg8(CO 5)

I bought 2 really cute Heucheras in August - "Amber Wavers" and Dolce Creme Brulee". Early in the spring I planted 3 "Regina", plus I rescued one from the front sunny garden that was being scorched out, and took two from a mixed planter I bought at 1/2 price and put in the shade garden. An obsession in the making!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I see a new 12-step program coming up here!

Hello! I'm Skybird, and I'm a sedum addict!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 2:33PM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)

Wandering in from the Utah gardening forum because there isn't any action over there, and Stevation has advised us that you all are a friendly, helpful bunch.

I've always admired the Autumn Joy sedums, but have been reluctant to plant because I was concerned it might be considered "invasive". Those of you who are addicted, how easily controlled are the sedums? Do they pop up everywhere in your yard like yarrow does? Or do they happily remain where they are planted?

Thanks, in advance.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:36PM
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cnetter(z5 Co)

I've never had a tall sedum like Autumn Joy go anywhere. All of mine stay put.

I've had some short sedums like Dragon's Blood pop up a few feet away from the original plants, but that may be a broken-off piece rooting itself. It crawls around real well, rooting as it goes. But I don't consider it a problem.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Beth,

Welcome to RMG. Glad Steve steered you in our direction.

I second everything Cnetter said. The upright sedums definitely stay in one place. The plant will just get a little bit bigger each yearÂbut right in the spot where you planted it.

The groundcover sedums are mostly pretty safe too. They spread like a good groundcover should, but they spread by fairly shallow roots, so you can easily keep them pulled out around the edges if theyÂre getting bigger than you want. There are a few of the groundcover ones, though, that come pretty close to being invasive. The worst one I know of is Sedum album. If youÂre carrying a pot of it across the yard and even the tiniest little piece falls off, itÂll root whereverÂand I do mean whereverÂit lands. You just need to be really careful when youÂre carrying pots or pieces of it around, and itÂs no worse than the others in terms of just pulling out whatever you donÂt want.

I have a thing about the groundcover sedums, but I have a very small yard, so I need to keep them contained. HereÂs a picture of 3 of them that have been in for over two years, and you can see IÂve been able toÂquite easilyÂkeep them where I want them. One thing that helps quite a bit with the groundcover sedums is to mulch thickly around them. Since the stems will root wherever theyÂre laying directly on top of soil, if theyÂre not on soil, they donÂt root, so all you need to do is cut them off. They will still continue to spread out some from the center of the plant, but, again, all you need to do is to keep pulling out what you donÂt want around the edges. IÂd have a thing for the upright ones too if I had somewhere to put them all!

So donÂt be scared off by the sedumsÂand if youÂre wondering about any one in particular, just come ask. Somebody around here is bound to know about it!

Hope to see more of you around here,

P.S. Please excuse the ugly stepping stone in that picture! It's been replaced by a halfway decent looking piece of flagstone!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 12:04AM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)

Great info!!! Many thanks for the details and the photos. I will definitely check out upright sedums next spring. I do have several of the ground covers (including dragon's blood), and I didn't realize they are sedums. I really like these ground covers as they control weeds beautifully, and I think they also preserve our precious water.

Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 7:18PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

If you like the groundcover sedums, Beth, have you ever gotten any of the ice plants? I bet youÂd love them. Here are pictures of the two I have so far.

The white one blooming in the first picture is Delosperma basuticum ÂWhite NuggetÂ. The light green foliage above the ÂWhite Nugget is Delosperma ÂKelaidisÂ, Mesa Verde iceplant, and the third and fourth pics are of Mesa Verde blooming. ThereÂs also a Delosperma basuticum ÂGold Nugget which looks exactly like ÂWhite Nugget except itÂs bright yellow. The lower right corner of the first photo is Sedum spurium ÂTricolor which has green, white, and pink foliage, and turns very pink in winter. (click to enlarge any)

The sedums in the original pic I posted above are two patches of ÂDragonÂs Blood and the yellow one is Sedum ÂAngelinaÂ. ThereÂs a lot of different iceplants and sedums I bet youÂd like. TheyÂre all succulents, so theyÂre all very xeric. ItÂs easy to get addicted!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Now thats a nice iceplant (White Nugget) To bad they don't come back for me. But Sedums do! Has anyone tried them from seed?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:00PM
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beth4(z5 - Utah)

Skybird -- You've done it again! I do have ice plants and I love them! They're spreading wonderfully in my beds, which I think will keep moisture in and weeds out. I have 2 different varieties of ice plants --- one has the small, yellow flowers, and the other has lovely light purple flowers. I had no idea these were sedums!!! (Hence my comment that you'd done it again.)

I was immediately taken with ice plants because of their resistance to drought and heat. And, they're sedums to boot!

What I'm learning about what I have in my garden! :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:13PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Beth,

Just a quick clarification to be sure you donÂt get confused if youÂre ever trying to order any of these. IÂm not sure exactly how to explain it, but both sedums and iceplants are succulents (basically meaning they have the ability to store water in their stems and foliage), but the iceplants arenÂt sedums. The genus (the first part of the botanical name) of sedum is "Sedum," and the genus of iceplant is "Delosperma." Hope this is making sense! There are a lot of other types of succulents too, like Jade plants and Aloe plants. So if youÂre ever looking for more iceplants and you look at the list of sedums, you wonÂt find them, and if youÂre ever looking for information online for iceplants, youÂd need to google Delosperma to find them, rather than sedum.

The yellow iceplant you have is probably Delosperma basuticum ÂGold Nugget The first part of the name, the genus, tells you that itÂs iceplant, and the second part of the name, the species, tell you what type of iceplant it is. (And then the variety name, ÂGold Nugget , is in single quotes.)

And the purple one you have is most likely .

ThereÂs a lot of other really pretty ones too!

And thereÂs an absolute kazillion different sedums. Check out the list down the left side of this siteÂand this is only the sedums in the second half of the alphabet! ThatÂs why the talk about addiciton above! ;-)

Do you have any Hen & Chicks yet (Sempervivum)? TheyÂre succulents tooÂand there are MORE than a kazillion varieties of them. They fit right in with the sedums and iceplants.

If I have you totally confused with the names, please let me know!

Just thought IÂd try to help you find a couple new addictions,

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:47PM
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