stonecrop (syn Sedum )
- available to order from autumn
- 9cm pot
This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: August to October
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Succulent leaves, flushed with bronze, are held on purple stems, which in late summer, are topped with clusters of soft pink flowers. These not only look pretty, but they are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators - and they add a wonderful splash of late colour. Even after the flowers fade, the seed heads remain attractive, and these will often add interest throughout the winter. A valuable plant for the front of a sunny border, the flowers can also be cut for the vase.
- Garden care: In February and March cut back the old flowerheads and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. Once established, sedums can have a tendency to flop, especially if they are grown in fertile soil. One technique to help prevent this is the 'Chelsea chop'. During the last week of May (Chelsea Flower Show week), cut one in every three stems back to the ground. This will produce plants that are less lush and flower slightly later.