September Plant Of The Month – Sedum spectabile

Although it is included with Sedums its name is really Hylotelephium spectabile.  It provides fabulous Autumn colour just as many other plants are beginning to give up for the year.  Bees and other pollinators love them and they provide a much needed source of nectar as the number of flowers available to them begins to decline.

They like to grow in full sun and in soil that doesn’t stay wet and heavy in the Winter.  Sedums take little maintenance.  The seedheads can be left on over Winter – just cut them down to the ground in early Spring.  But, be careful not to snip the new buds at the bottom which will be the following year’s growth.  Where plants are becoming too tall and so flop when in flower a ‘Chelsea Chop’ will result in shorter, sturdier plants.  A ‘Chelsea Chop’ is where the plants are cut back (usually by about half) with shears at the end of May/early June – around the time of the RHS Chelsea flower show, hence the name!

If clumps become very large or congested they can be prone to fungal infections, especially in hot and humid conditions.  They are very easy to divide though.  Just lift the clump with a spade, chop down through the centre and then replant one of the clumps.  Water it in and it will continue growing very happily.

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