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Can you divide a Sedum?

Posted by macthayer z4 WI (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 29, 08 at 15:57

I have a sedum -- don't know it's name because it came from my best friend's grandmother's garden -- but it's exactly like "Autumn Joy" except the flowers are Lavender. Anyway, it's growing beautifully -- actually TOO well. It's gotten so big that it's outgrown its space, and it's starting to "flop" a bit in the fall. So what do I do? Do you just cut these plants back? Do you divide them? CAN you divide them? If you do divide them, is spring or fall the best time? I've never done this before (as in "duh", as if you couldn't tell!). Any help would be appreciated. MacThayer


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

You certainly can, you can even take leaf tip cutting with about three inches of stem, these are winter growers, liking cool air.
They will go dormant when it gets hot much like a chrymum, and will need to be trimmed back after they flower. I grew these for a while, but it was just tooooooo hot for them where I live. The last time I looked there where four different colors, each had it's own cv. name. Norma


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

Hmm. I'm not too far from Wisconsin. I divided my "Autumn Joy" this spring into 3 plants and the new plants are doing fine. I think there is some rule about dividing plants in the opposite time that they flower. So fall blooming = spring dividing.

On the other hand, I think these plants are extremely strong, so maybe it won't matter. :D


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

Spring dividing suits me just fine, as I am madly trying to transplant as many daylilies as I can before the middle of September. (After that, you can do it, but I've found it kind of ''iffy" here in Wisconsin.) I also appreciate dividing a smaller plant, or in other words, one that is just emerging versus something fully grown and huge. So I'll just put it on my spring calendar of "things to do"! I just didn't know if you divided them, cut them back, or what. Thanks so much! MacThayer


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

The telephium type sedums, like 'Autumn Joy' and its relatives, are usually considered perennials, and are treated as such. That means they should definitely be cut down - as in, right to the ground - every winter, once you've enjoyed their autumn seed heads for a while. Of course, that is also the ideal time to divide them.
The flopping issue is a different question altogether; that can only be remedied by growing them "harder" and in more sun so they don't get so lanky, and/or using a perennial ring or staking them.


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

Since you're in zone 4, you needn't worry about cutting back your sedum -- they'll die back to the ground after the frosts set in leaving only the seedheads (which I leave on for the winter interest). In the spring they'll jump right back up. You can divide them at any time -- even when they're in flower...just get them well-rooted before frost. They're quite adapatable and easy-going -- these are not delicate by any stretch and actually do best in areas with real winters. Plant several together and you won't need to worry about staking -- they'll hold each other up.


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

Thanks for all of the advice! If I can still get them divided this fall, I will (it's just that I have so much on my 'gardening plate' as it is!). But spring for sure. They were not 'flopping' until this year, and this is also the year they've grown so large. Both are in full sun positions, so I know lack of adequate sun isn't the problem. It's just that they've gotten too big! Still, it's really nice to know that I can get out there and divide them yet this fall if I have a spare moment (and take something off my spring plate of 'things to do'!) Thanks so much! MacThayer


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RE: Can you divide a Sedum?

I just realized, Patrick, that I don't know what you mean by growing my sedum "harder". Can you, or anyone, explain?
MacThayer


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