Winter Flower Feature: Sedum

Sedum, also known as Stonecrop, is a staple for winter gardens. There are hundreds of varieties in all kinds of hues, shapes and textures, so you’re bound to find an assortment of these cheerful blossoms that will fit right in with your unique garden aesthetic. 

Winter landscape with sedum

While it showcases a stunning display of flowerheads in fall, we can depend on sedum to bring out its best features in wintertime. Their succulent stems stand strong and proud, providing structure in a drooping, icicle-y environment and ensuring a pleasant array of visual layers and textures.  Rather than cutting them back when the chilly temperatures come around, we leave them in their full form. This provides birds with their winter food, these seed heads bursting with nutrition. It’s truly an easy way to help out your community! 

Sedum in the fall

This perennial stores water in its leaves and stems. Like many succulents, these tough characters don’t take no for an answer; they’re drought tolerant, they thrive in poor soil, and they’re happier with no fertilizer. They’re just begging to be neglected! Just stand back and let them do their thing. Therefore, they’re an eco-friendly choice to plant in areas that aren’t irrigated. Perhaps they were in on the early brainstorming for the word “xeriscaping.” Sedum won’t drain resources; all they want is just to be admired. 

Xeriscaping: the practice of landscaping with minimal use of water

They gradually grow and spread around the garden, meaning that every 3-5 years, they respond well to dividing. In exchange for your time, they’ll enthusiastically ward off deer and rabbits. 

Autumn Fire Sedum
Autumn Fire Sedum (Photo credit: civicgardencenter.org)

Some of our favorite stonecrops are Autumn Joy and Autumn Fire. Taller and more dependable than the average sedum, they do very well in Michigan winters. They also perform better in a higher growing zone. Another favorite is Angelina, growing low to the ground and filling in the gaps with ease. Angelina can have an aggressive spirit, so be careful where you plant her. She has a bright, chartreuse, needle-like texture, and her leaves turn copper in the winter. Pop her in a container pot and watch her trail over the side.

Sedum - Dream Dazzler
Dream Dazzler Sedum (Photo credit: provenwinners.com)

Our final favorite is the Dream Dazzler Sedum. It’s best for those that like smoky purple carpets with hot pink accents. Its early fall magenta blooms will add a burst of fun to your retinas, and make everything around it seem a little more special. Deer and bunnies see this blazing creature and book it in the opposite direction. Dream Dazzler grows a bit further up from the ground; about 6-9 inches high. While most sedums like to be in full sun, this one flourishes in partial shade. Just three to four hours of sun fills its cup, and it’s prepared to dazzle our dreams back into oblivion. 

Who says winter has to be boring?

Finn in flower garden with sedum
Finn checking out the sedum in the garden!

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