With starry blooms Sedums attract bees and butterfies

There are more than 600 species of sedum and, although some are frost tender, those from the northern hemisphere include some really useful garden plants. Most are succulent with fleshy leaves and stems, and although the starry flowers are small, they are often produced in such profusion they cover the leaves completely.

Many make useful ground cover or rockery plants and are often used to plant green roofs, but perhaps the most popular are the large herbaceous kinds. 

The grey leaves of the larger types, often tinged with purple, are attractive all summer.

Their heads of starry blooms, mostly in shades of pink, attract butterflies and bees and are perfect in front of late asters and chrysanths.

All sedums prefer well-drained soil and will survive drought, though the bigger kinds tolerate moisture and will grow in average conditions.

They all prefer sunny sites and may get straggly and not flower so well in shade.

The low-growing varieties are best grown on rock gardens, or in gravel, but may be troublesome because each leaf can grow into a new plant.

This isn’t the case with the larger kinds, which should be divided every three or four years.

Pinch out the growing tips of the large varieties in May to increase bushiness and help prevent stems flopping later in summer.

To find out the best Sedums for bright autumn colour, pick up your copy of Garden News in shops today, or subscribe to get the latest issue!