As the growing season winds down we begin to focus on turning autumn leaves, dried grasses, and striking seed heads, but for some flowering plants this is their time to shine. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ will star in your fall garden.
Plants grow from a single crown, becoming an upright clump 15 to 18 inches tall and 15 inches wide. The succulent, rounded leaves and stems have a gray-blue cast. Stems are topped with large flower heads that start out dusty-pink and become a rich bronze as they age—the ideal colors to complement fall’s russet and gold.
Sedums are easy to grow in the Pikes Peak area. Plants prefer sandy, well-drained soil in full sun. Excessive fertilizers cause lanky growth and few flowers. Hardy to 8,000 ft. and long-lived, this easily grown stonecrop is a good choice for difficult areas.
After the flowers fade, leave them in place to adorn your winter landscape—they even look attractive when dried. Wait to remove old foliage until new growth appears in the spring. While non-invasive, sedums are easy to propagate by rooting stem cuttings.
The showy blooms attract both bees and butterflies. They also make a nice addition to dried flower arrangements. Try planting Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ in front of Russian Sage, as shown, or combine it with other fall bloomers (asters and chrysanthemums come to mind) and ornamental grasses.