Butterflies and moths all over the Bluegrass Region are gathering around the Autumn Joy Sedum, which is now in full bloom. Sedum telephium or Autumn Joy Sedum is an excellent border plant and works well in rock gardens. Mass plantings of Autumn Joy Sedum bring out the rich burgundy colors in late fall. You will see flowers as early as August with the pinkish reds gradually turning a darker shade of red as the weather turns cooler.
This plant is an excellent plant for those places you just don’t water often. It is very drought tolerant and will turn a lighter shade of color if given too much water. Plant where the sedum will see a lot of sunshine as the leaves can actually turn floppy with too much shade.
This stonecrop plant is noted for its succulent foliage, but it also bears an unusual flower well worth growing in its own right. Flowers are massed together in heads that are 3 inches or more across. Autumn Joy Sedum’s flowers can be yellow, orange, red, or pink and appear in late summer-early fall. The leaves, which grow in whorls, are sometimes variegated and range in color from bluish-green or greenish-yellow to reddish-pink or almost off-white.
Grow Autumn Joy Sedum in full sun to partial shade and in well-drained soil. Autumn Joy Sedum is drought-tolerant once established. It is best used in border plantings and in rock gardens. Its relatively late blooming period — the source of this cultivar’s name — is useful for those trying to achieve four-season interest in their yards.
Most greenhouses recommend cutting the plant back halfway when it reaches 8 inches tall which causes the plant to produce a higher quantity of flowers because the plant will produce more stems. Each of the stems will show a flower head which resembles a bunch of broccoli. Save the cuttings when pruning plant, because these are excellent for starting transplants.
Autumn Joy Sedum is one of the easiest plants in the garden to root from stem cuttings. Strip the leaves from the lower 3/4 of the stem and then place stem in a glass of water or stick directly into moist potting soil. Keep moist and within 4 weeks a sizeable root ball will form. Transplant into the garden.
Autumn Joy Sedum attracts butterflies, but deer pests do not like them, so they make an effective deer control planting.
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