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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Propagating Sedums and Sempervivum

Much of the hard scape in our yard was poorly planned. One area, brick steps leading up to our ugly pool has been falling apart for a number of years now. It got to the point where I was worried that the step would give way when somebody placed their foot there.

Since this isn't an easy fix, the whole area needs to be addressed with big bags full of money in hand, I decided to disguise the problem with plant material.

Sedums and Sempervivums (hens & chicks) are so fascinating to me. I need to touch them, they're one plant I can't make myself wear gloves when I'm working with them.

These two steps and top ledge hold many of my mother plants and lots of the new babies in pots.

Last week I bought a pot of Sedum to my class with me. I wanted to show off how beautiful the newly emerging buds can be. One of the women asked me why it was in a pot over the winter. It set me off on a long talk but I don't think I actually answered the question. I keep them in pots over the winter because I can!

Sharing plants, trading plants, selling plants, they all make me happy. When children are in my garden I like to show them the Hens and Chicks and let them pick a variety. Then we gently pull one off from it's Mommy, pot it up and the child gets to take it home with them.

Nothing is easier to propagate than Sedum. Simply take a pinch (cutting) and stick it into some potting soil, or even in the ground right next to the mother plant. They root almost instantly and before you know it, you have another plant.

At this point I have quite a nice Sedum collection, unfortunately I don't have the names on some of the early arrivals here. Many of them were pass-along plants from other gardeners.

Yesterday 2008 catalog from a local nursery arrived in my mail box. I had to immediately thumb to Sedum to see what new arrivals would be coming in. Looks like I'll be adding Sedum 'Diamond Edge' to the garden and propagation step this year. Although there are 23 other entries there, I either have them or have passed some by as not required for my garden.

Still, as I drive around and visit different nurseries you can bet I'll be looking for some more succulents, after all, I don't have nearly enough of them yet.


Gail said...

I'm with you, sedums are wonderful...Yesterday I went to a nursery just to see the sedums...the colors, the shapes, the textures and they are a simple plant. I forgot, they look wonderful planted all together in containers, but I am preaching to the choir!


Connie said...

I never thought I would like sedums, but became somewhat enamored with them a few years ago when I bought one plant called 'Tri-color' and was able to root enough cuttings from it to plant along a length of patio blocks in my garden. It gets really hot and dry there, but the sedums thrive! Since then, I have added to my collection, and even started some from seed last year.

Jean said...

I do love what you have done with your sedums, I have a few in a very dry part of the garden under the lounge window, but have not really appreciated them, but just love yours, has given me some ideas, and I am veiwing them in a different light. Thank you Melanie

Dave said...

Your post said propagating so of course I had to come by! Sedums are a very good one for people to propagate. We have a blue spruce sedum that has had several offspring. You can even strip a small branch of it of all its leaves and gently press the leaves into some moist soil. Many of those will pop up into new plants. It's alway fun to make new plants. I just took some cuttings of a red twig dogwood. I'd better get them going!

Crafty Gardener said...

I'm a sedum lover too. You have turned an alright spot in your garden into a lovey spot.

Blue Fox said...

I've been addicted to both genera, as well as all kinds of other succulent plants ever since I can remember! They are so beautiful, and so many different textures. What a great idea for hiding the steps. It gave me a prod to do something with an old satelite dish!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

That looks like a wonderful collection.

I like using these types of plants to make a living stonewall. It always amazes me they can take those type of conditions.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I love that section at the end of your pool.

I think my Hens and Chicks must have died over the winter, they look pretty terrible right now. I had them in a shallow birdbath,(no drainage), during the dry weather they did great but it's been so cold and wet. Hopefully at least a couple of the chicks will survive.

rees cowden said...

Very cool Melanie, I think succulents are beautiful and are the "next new thing" They're perfect for kids and for the infrequent gardener. There are so many different kinds(you have quite a collection) and there are not too many plants that will take so much neglect. Perfect for the people with busy schedules who like to putter once in a while.
Thanks for sharing.
Rees Cowden

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Very nice pictures.

Julie said...

This is the coolest succulent garden I've ever seen!!! Absolutely beautiful!

Cabs said...

Great use for those crumbling steps! I too love sedum's and succulents. I have a little section of rock garden but I agree...I can always use more.

Anna said...

Aren't they fun. The little nursery I worked for last year took a gamble that they would sell like hot cakes----so they priced them at $7.00 each.( one reason why I'm not working for them anymore--too much gouging the customer) Yikes!! We were still left with hundreds of them at the end of the summer. I don't know if they marked them down or let them die. I was sick. We had every strange variety out there. I love how you have yours displayed and the loads of money speech!! They grow so well in clay pots. I"ve got one in a cute cat planter and my kitty get's loads of attention. It's the only cat I can pet.

Gardenista said...

You certainly are lucky to be able to keep your sedums in pots over the winter! Firstly, I'd like to be able to do that too...and second, I wish I had a nearby garden center to find some sedums like you have there! We're waiting for spring - hopefully you are feeling more springish down there!

Oh, I do have sedum - only one kind though - and it spreads like mad. It looks nice though and forms a great groundcover.

Pam/Digging said...

Sedums are beautiful---so many varieties of texture and color. I never thought sedums would grow well where it gets cold, so I'm surprised to know that they do so well for you. You don't have to bring your pots inside in the winter?

Here in Austin, some of them must have protection from the noonday sun or they'll burn.

JackieJunge said...

I love semps and sedums. I'm in Michigan and have a terrible time keeping them alive. Seems either the deer/squirrels eat them or they just rot. I've spent a fortune on them over the last 10 years! Any advice?

vicki said...

What do you do when it rains? I'm worried that my semps will drown in their pots if it rains too hard.

I googled 'sempervivum potting ideas' and your lovely website came up! Love your garden :)

Steve Richards said...

Love sedums too ! Just got in from a car boot sale here in Sussex UK and googled propagating sedums as have just bought one at the sale - Stewed rhubarb mountain
I love buying plants off other gardeners like that. Have recently moved to a house with some clay in the garden so will see how the sedums do here. Happy gardening !