Sedum - Sedum spurium


Sedum, also known as "borracina", is a vast genus. The 500 species are widespread throughout most of the world: Europe, North and South America, the Mediterranean basin, China, Japan, the Himalayan area, and tropical areas. Many grow in mountainous or rocky areas and are quite or extremely tolerant of cold and dry soil; this makes them ideal for almost all regions of our peninsula and perfect to be placed in gardens with low maintenance and environmental impact.
The Sedum spurium It is a herbaceous succulent ground cover plant, native to central Asia. It has long fleshy stems, with a diameter close to the centimeter, with a prostrate habit, green or reddish, which they root with great ease; the leaves are roundish, opposite along the stems, clustered at the apex of the single branches, they have a bright green color, and tend to become reddish with the arrival of the cold months.
At the beginning of the summer it produces numerous star-shaped flowers, gathered in erect inflorescences that rise above the foliage, of red, pink or pinkish white; the plant generally does not exceed 15-20 cm in height. Widely used in rock gardens or as a border, it tends to become a pest over the years.


All the sedum like sunny and warm locations: it is always good to choose a location to the south or west.
The more delicate varieties, if grown in the North, must be inserted where the sun reaches them already early in the morning, especially during the winter period: in this way we will avoid an excessive accumulation of humidity at the level of the roots with consequent onset of rot.
Place the sedum spurium in a sunny place; in fact this plant does not love the shadow; these are species that can withstand temperatures of a few degrees below zero. Generally, for some years the specimens have no problem during the winter, although they often tend to lose most of the leaves, which grow back to spring.
The younger plants, on the other hand, need more care and attention because they are weaker. During the cold season it is therefore advisable to place them away from cold currents and frost.


Common name

Sedum, Borracina
Family and Latin name Crassulaceae, Sedum, more than 500 species
Origins Europe, Asia, Africa, America
Type of plant Annual or perennial herbaceous, upright or ground covering
Leaf color Green, purple, variegated
Foliage Persistent or semi-persistent
Height From 10 to 90 cm
Cultivation easy
irrigations to read
Growth average
Exposure Sun
Ground Light and well drained; not too rich
RusticitŠ° From very rustic to slightly rustic
soil pH From subacid to subalcaline
fertilization Liquid for flowering plants (little nitrogen)
Pests and diseases Snails and slugs; root rots
Propagation Division, cutting
Use Ground cover, flower beds, borders, vases

Sedum characteristics and classification

Among the innumerable species we can find annual or perennial sedum, evergreen, deciduous or suffruticosi, herbaceous, succulent or shrubby. The stems can be erect or prostrate (in the latter case often used also for the production of offshoots and colonization of new areas). They carry alternate, opposite or verticillate leaves and in many different forms, even if the most widespread are flattened or cylindrical.
There flowering occurs in spring or from mid-spring to late autumn. The single flowers are star-shaped and generally have 5 to 9 petals. They are gathered in terminal inflorescences. The color is very varied: from white to pink to red, up to yellow. Thanks to their structure they become an important attraction for bees and butterflies.

Watering and Irrigation

The sedum is able to adapt to most possible conditions, withstands drought, but also grows in damp places and develops without problems even where automatic sprinklers provide regular watering; plants that receive a lot of water show that they develop a large and luxuriant foliage and are more prone to attack by pests and diseases; while plants grown in dry areas are much more resistant and produce large amounts of flowers.
From March to October it is good to provide fertilizer for succulent plants mixed with the water of the watering every 15-20 days to improve plant development and facilitate their growth.
In this respect they are autonomous plants, especially if they are grown in the ground. Usually it is necessary to intervene only in the first periods after the plant, in case of lack of precipitation. Later we will limit ourselves to checking that the leaves are always turgid and we distribute water only in the case of prolonged drought, especially in the summer months.
We avoid any water intake starting from October to prevent the onset of rot.


It is advisable to place the sedum in poor, sandy and very well drained soil, also on rocks; however, the plant develops well in any type of soil and does not have any particular cultivation requirements.
They want poorly fertile and well-drained soils. Some are very tolerant and shy away from too-clayey soils, while others are more sensitive. In general the ideal composition is obtained by mixing garden soil (or earth for cacti) and sand in equal measure. To further facilitate drainage we can add a little fine gravel.

Planting of the sedum

The best time to buy and plant is the beginning of spring. To obtain good results we dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the earthen bread. On the bottom we lay a little gravel of small grain size. We insert the plant, we cover and compact it well (too heavy a soil must be worked in advance and replaced with the compost shown above). Irrigate.

Multiplication and Propagation

There multiplication of sedum spurium generally occurs by cutting, both of leaf and stem; it is the use of a fragment or section of the plant used to create a new map. This fragment must then be placed in the ground, in water or in a container according to the cultivation needs of the plant so that it develops and grows, giving rise to a new sedum. The portions practiced root without any problem, even if only left resting on the ground.
Sedum propagation is very simple and is carried out by cutting: it guarantees fast results as well as preserving the specific characteristics of the cultivar.
You practice at the beginning of spring taking apical segments about 10 cm long. The basal leaves are eliminated and left to dry for about ten days. It is then placed in a very light mixture with abundant sand or perlite and is kept slightly moist at a temperature of about 15 ° C. The rooting takes place in about 30-45 days: it is sufficient to wait for the production of new leaflets.
Another method is division, always in late winter.

Pests and diseases

The plant grows easily in any type of soil and as we have said, it does not need special care and attention as it is not usually attacked by parasites or diseases with frequency. In any case it is possible that the plant shows obvious signs of aphid attack. These can conspicuously ruin the inflorescences, covering them completely. To solve the problem it will be necessary to apply specific pesticide products on the leaves of the plant and on the stem.

Sedum fertilization

They prefer soils that are slightly to moderately fertile: the excessive presence of organic matter or fertilizers can even be harmful. Above all, an excess of nitrogen can in fact induce excessive vegetative growth to the detriment of the resistance of the stems.
These must always be firm and erect to guarantee a beautiful and abundant flowering. If we want we can distribute, once a month, from March to October, a dose of liquid fertilizer with low nitrogen content and with a good supply of phosphorus and potassium.

Sedum cleaning and pruning

From this point of view the only necessary interventions are those of cleaning from the withered stems.

Cultivation in pots and / or in apartments

The sedum grow well even in a vase. For the more delicate varieties (especially in the North) it may be the only possibility while for others it may be a good choice if you do not have a garden and if you want to beautify the patio or the balcony.
We choose containers a little larger than earthen bread and we place on the bottom a thick draining layer based on gravel (or expanded clay). The ideal compote is obtained by mixing soil for cacti or citrus fruits with coarse river sand, in the same proportion. To further lighten and make the water flow better, we also add a little agriperlite.
In winter the resistant varieties can simply be placed next to a wall well lit and warm or withdrawn in a non-conditioned greenhouse; the most sensitive (usually tolerate at most 8 ° C) should instead be placed in a well-lit room, but without heating. During the summer it is imperative to take them outside because they need very bright lighting to grow.

Watering and fertilizing in pots

In pots the waterings must be a little more frequent, but without getting carried away. Before distributing water we check that the substrate is dry in depth and remember to always avoid the use of saucers.
For fertilizing we can use a product for flowering plants, administering it every 15 days at half doses compared to when recommended on the package. We always check that the nitrogen is in minimal quantities compared to the other macroelements.


Repotting can be done every year or every other year depending on the growth of the plant. It is generally checked that the foliage and roots have occupied all the space available to them. We proceed to the end of the winter by gently extracting, eliminating the compromised parts and eventually dividing into sections using a sharp and disinfected knife. Reinsert in a container that leaves at least 2-4 cm of space for future expansion and wait about a week before watering.

Sedum - Sedum spurium: Species and variety

As we have said, the sedum species are many and in the last few years the varieties and the cultivars have also multiplied. Thanks to their adaptability they are in fact increasingly requested and today they are used as rock garden plants, as a flowerbed and also as a mixed border. Both the flowers and the innumerable nuances of the leaves are appreciated, from pale green variegated in white to dark red and almost black.
Here are some of the most interesting on the market.
Sedum erythrostictum It is a perennial with a stem with erect leaves and light gray-green leaves. The inflorescences are domed, very dense, with white petals and pink carpels. It is taller and thinner than the spectabile. Originally from China and Japan ...
Sedum "Autumn joy" perennial deciduous cespitose with erect stems and greyish leaves. The inflorescences are produced at the end of summer: broad and flat they are first pink and then brick-colored
Sedum Joyce Henderson perennial deciduous with a beautiful erect brown stems and large pale pink inflorescences that become brown over time.
Sedum hylotelephium "Matrona" perennial deciduous cespitous much appreciated for its erect stems those intense red-brown. It grows up to 75 cm and produces flat inflorescences, up to 15 cm wide with pale pink carpels.
Rock sedum evergreen ground cover plant with stems up to 35 cm high. It produces numerous offshoots, expanding rapidly. The leaves are greyish while the flowers are star-shaped with yellow carpels. Also suitable for mountain areas.
Sedum spurium also called Caucasian borracina, it is an evergreen ground cover with prostrate stems that quickly produces offshoots. Very suitable as a ground cover and for the rock garden. It produces inflorescences usually pink. There are numerous varieties including: coccineum with red flowers, "Erdblut" purple flowers and soft purple leaves, "Green Mantle" white flowers which then become pink, "Purpurteppich" red leaves and deep pink flowers, "Variegatum" narrow leaves to green margins with white and red shades.
Sedum telephium also called borracina maggiore. Species highly valued in recent years. It is a deciduous cespitose with toothed leaves up to 10 cm long and conical inflorescences produced from mid-summer to mid-autumn. It is distinguished from the more common spectabile by the more alternate leaves and the length of the stamens. The highest varieties reach 70 cm in height. Some cultivars: "Arthur Branch" with red stems, shiny purple leaves and red flowers; 'Lynda Windsor' stems and leaves very dark purple, up to 90 cm high; 'Gooseberry Fool' with gray-green leaves and red touches. It bears very large inflorescences in pinkish-white; 'Munstead Red' bright red stems and green leaves; the inflorescences are pink and rather sparse.
  • Sedum plant

    The genus Sedum includes numerous varieties of rustic plants and for the most part perennials, suitable for both ap

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flowering March-April / August-October
Division March April
Talea April May
Cleaning March
Composting April-September (every 15-30 days)