Full of Autumn Joy
If your looking for a plant that is full of Autumn charm then look no further than the genus known as Sedum, commonly known as Ice plant, sedum have a fleshy leaf that collectively groups it with other succulents which are referred to as stonecrops. To further complicate matters the Ice plant or butterfly stonecrop has recently been re-classified to a new genus of it’s own now known as Hylotelephium.
The Hylotelephium previous classified as Sedums are a group of strong erect herbaceous perennial who’s fleshy leaves have water storing capabilities and can withstand long periods of drought.
Popular in gardens for their ability to attract a vast number of butterflies and insects with their masses of tiny stamens that collectively form huge flat flower heads, resembling millions of tiny stars in various shades of pale pink to deep red.
The Ice plant also has some huge leaf variations from silvery grey to brilliant purple and even creamy variegations that give the plant a frosted look even in mid summer.
If Sedum have one downside it’s that they are such strong growers that by the end of the season as they develop the trade mark flat flower heads they can get very heavy and flop down on top of nearby perennials or pathways. Overcoming this drawback is easy but will take some courage, as it involves cutting back the young fleshy stems by half back in June! Often referred to as the Chelsea chop, due to it’s timing around the time of the Chelsea flower show.
Simply remove half of each of the stems, this will not only delay flowering but also keep the plant compact, preventing it from collapsing and keeping the Sedum in a perfect tight clump. Due to the high water content of these stems it is very easy at this stage to propagate from these stems, by placing them in pots of quality cutting compost and protecting them for direct sunlight, you will find these clippings will root very quickly producing new plants in no time, giving you the opportunity to share the joy of sedum with family and friends.
Stephen raised on a farm in Mid Wales, trained in horticulture under apprenticeship with the National Trust and has worked in several prestigious locations around the world. Today as Head gardener for a large private estate on the outskirts of London, a keen plantsman, horticulturalist and nature lover. Managing large formal gardens, growing a huge range of fruit, vegetables and homemade produce for the estate residents. Stephen with assistance from a team of professional garden and farm staff, cares for livestock, including cattle, sheep, poultry and horses, completes property maintenance and grounds management.
Stephen believes knowledge is to be shared and thanks to some amazing mentors in his career path hopes to be able to share this knowledge with others like you and your friends all he asks in return is that you find the time to leave a brief comment and share socially with your friends.