Sedum in Florida

by Karen Harris
(Clearwater, FL)

Hi,

Are there any Sedum varieties that would do well in poorly irrigated spots in a home landscape in central FL, zone 9b-10a? In other words, ranging from 95 degrees with no irrigation unless I remember to water by hand, down to 30 degrees for a few hours in winter, with very rainy periods once or twice a year (like 1-2 inches per day for a week or longer). Could I make the question any harder?? ;-)
Oh, and if any plant fits the bill, what do they cost?

Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Karen,
I'm more of an expert in which varieties and species of Sedum will survive the cold - not the warm humid conditions in Florida!

Having said that, most Sedum will thrive in dry soil - well drained, sandy, gravelly or raised beds, so providing those conditions will be perfectly adequate.

Periodic flooding won't hurt them as long as they can dry out between, and not remain waterlogged for too long. Water deeply and occasionally until the plants are established, then taper off to see how much (or how little) water they need to remain healthy.

Avoid fertilizing the plants at all costs - or you'll end up with another kudzu when they try and take over the world.

Here are a few varieties of low growing Sedum that are not invasive, retain their leaves and will give texture and colour to the landscape year round:

Sedum spurium 'John Creech' - although it tends to have a dormant period in the winter this one quickly recovers and has fresh green foliage and pink flowers.

Sedum reflexum 'Angelina' - golden to chartreuse foliage, responds well to a haircut.

Sedum cauticola - pale powder blue foliage with hot pink blooms in late summer.

As for cost, this varies with the size of the container they grow in, but can range from $1 per plug in a 72 plug flat, to $9.00 for a 6" pot. I can only ship within Canada - sorry, but contact me for other suppliers in your area.

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