Sedums, or stonecrops, are easy to grow given good drainage and adequate sun. They are economical because they grow quickly, and are simple to propagate. Plus they are outstanding performers in containers, pathways, parking strips and much more.
Their durability with drought conditions and shallow soil has helped them become the stars of green roof and living wall designs. Their range of foliage color and texture make them perfect plants for living art such as hanging pictures, wreaths and much more.
If you want your creations to have year round interest it is nice choose varieties from the following list of creeping types, all of evergreen or semi-evergreen in Portland (USDA zone 8).
Sedums are commonly called stonecrop because it is often found growing on and amongst stones. Whether it is a low-growing groundcover-type sedum or an upright shrubby-type sedum, they all have fleshy succulent leaves of various sizes, colors, and shapes, like full sun, good drainage, and are mostly drought-tolerant. Most bloom in the summer or fall with flowers of either yellow, white, or pink.
Sedums work great in a rock or alpine garden or as a splash of interest in a rock wall. In a container, they could be great filler for that late season interest or as a cute little spiller for an extra surprise. It is hard to go wrong with a few cute sedums potted up in a container or basket. They are a favorite for green-roofs because they do not need a lot of soil and love those conditions.
The flowers are great for attracting butterflies and bees and make a good cut flower. Planted with other drought-tolerant plants like grasses, coneflowers, asters, and penstemon one could have an easy care, attractive garden. There are also some varieties of native sedums that are very, very cool.
Be sure to see our Sedum article in our Natives area too!
A fast growing groundcover, 2-5 inches tall with upright branchlets of tiny pointed leaves. This sedum originates from Europe, Turkey and North Africa. ‘Aureum’ has pale green leaves with yellow tips and bright yellow flowers. Zone 5.
A creeping sedum with small, elongated jellybean like leaves and white summer flowers. Grows 4” tall 12” wide. Many varieties turn bright red with cold or stress. Zone 4. Common varieties include: ‘Coral Carpet’-exceptional red winter color, ‘Chloroticum’-pale green leaves, ‘Murale’-bluish tint to foliage and pink tint to flowers
Miniature, round leaves along 1” stems.
This species offers a bold texture with large, rounded leaves forming rosettes atop 3-4” stems. Yellow flowers in late summer and fall. Grows 6-8” tall and 18-24” wide. Mexican in origin, zones 7-9. ‘Aureum’- turns bright yellow in cold weather.
A mounding sedum with blue-green pebble like leaves are topped by small white flowers. Grows 2-4” tall and 8-12” wide. Mediterranean in origin, Zone 8.
Short, chubby green leaves stacked on top of each other in a criss-cross pattern. Bright yellow flowers in summer. Grows 2-4” tall 12-24” wide. Native to Oregon, zone 4.
Rosettes of bluish, spoon-shaped leaves form mats up to 4” tall and 12” wide. White flowers. Zone 5.
A native sedum large spoon-shaped leaves with pink edges. Pink summer flowers. Zone 8.
Tufted rosettes of green leaves turn red in winter. White flowers. Grows 1-4” tall. Tolerates part sun. Zone 5.
This is one of the few sedums that tolerate the shade, but will also take sun. It has bright yellow-gold round leaves and yellow flowers during the summer. It makes a great tight groundcover reaching 1-3 inches tall, spreads about 18 inches, and is semi-evergreen. Zone 7.
A native sedum. Dark green shiny leaves are topped by yellow flowers in late summer. Grows up to 6” tall in full to part sun Zone 5.
Another native forms rosettes of blue-green, rounded leaves. Pale yellow flowers reach 6” tall. Full sun to light shade. Zone 5.
A feathery sedum forming tendrils of spruce-like branches. A fast spiller over container edges and rock crevices. Yellow flowers in July. Grows 4” tall. Zone 6. ‘Blue Spruce’-Blue green needle-like leaves. Tolerates part shade. ‘Green Spruce’-Green needle-like leaves.
An evergreen, mat-forming groundcover for sun that grows about 6 in high and spreads about 2 feet. The species has gray-green needle-like leaves and yellow flowers during the summer. Zone 4. ‘Angelina’ (shown here) has golden yellow leaves that take on orange and red tints during the fall.
Chubby, elongated green leaves spiral up 3-4” stems. Sprays of bright yellow flowers in summer. Zones 2-9.
Blue green, rounded leaves form fleshy rosettes on this native sedum. Grows 6” tall and 24” wide. Clusters of yellow flowers in late summer. Red tints in winter. Zone 5. ‘Cape Blanco’-A particularly silver form ‘Purpureum’- Blue foliage is tinted purple.
Semi evergreen (rosettes persist at the end of the stems through winter). Grows about 4 inches tall, spreads well and is good for covering banks and slopes. It flowers in the summer with pink or magenta flowers. Zone 4. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ (shown here) with plum-red leaves and magenta flowers ‘John Creech’ with tight green foliage that turns burgundy in the fall ‘Tricolor’ with green leaves and cream and red edging.
A native sedum with rosettes of spiky leaves reaching 1” tall. Stalks of yellow flowers reach 8” in summer. Zone 4.
A slow spreading hybrid with powdery blue rosettes and yellow summer flowers. Plum colored winter tints. Zone 5.
Tight green foliage that turns burgundy in the fall, and ‘Tricolor’ with green leaves and cream and red edging. Zone 4.
We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.