You’re a gardener.
At least, you’ve done some planting and growing and pruning, and now you’re ready to take it to the next level.
One of the plants you’ve had success growing is sedum. You know you want a lot more sedum in your garden, and rather than purchase dozens of new plants, you’re ready to propagate your own.
We’re providing some basic information to get you started on propagating sedum.
Level-Setting A Few Definitions
Before we get to the instructions, we’d like to level-set a few terms. Let’s start with talking about sedum itself. And, then we’ll move on to propagation.
What Is Sedum?
- 50 RED DRAGONS BLOOD SEDUM Stonecrop Sedum Spurium Flower Seeds
Having succulent leaves means that the sedum stores water in the leaves. So, regardless of the specific species of sedum you have, they all have that shared characteristic.
There are hundreds of species of sedums; some that are low-growing and used as ground cover. Others that grow taller and can be used for providing cut flowers or to create a natural border.
What Is Propagating Plants?
Here’s what the Planet Natural Research Center says about plant propagation:
“Propagating plants is an inexpensive and easy way to get new plants from plants you already have. This asexual means of reproduction produces a plant that is genetically identical to its parent.”
Planting seeds is another way of getting new plants from those you already have, but it requires the plant reproduction process to have occurred.
Different Ways To Propagate Sedum
There are a few different techniques you can use to propagate most plants, and sedum is no exception. You can choose the method that is best for you based on the amount of time, space, and energy you have.
Propagating Sedum By Stem Cutting
This method will work best with some of the taller-growing varieties of sedum. Some of the low-growing ground cover species may have stems long enough, but that will vary species to species.
- Start by preparing a pot or a seed tray with good quality soil. Your pot or tray should have the ability to let the soil drain well.
- Now it’s time to take your stem cuttings. According to Dengarden.com, each cutting should be 2-3 inches long. Be sure the section of the stem does have leaves on it.
- Remove the lower leaves, closest to the cut end.
- Take the cut end of the stem and dip it in water and then in rooting hormone.
- Carefully place the cut end of the stem into the soil you have prepared.
- You should plan to water your cuttings every day for about 3 weeks until the roots have taken hold.
Propagating Sedum By Leaf Cutting
The leaf-cutting form of propagation can get you the largest number of new plants from your existing plant. In essence, each leaf of your existing plant has the potential to become a whole new plant.
This type of propagation will work for any species of sedum, regardless of the growing height.
- Prepare your pots or a seed tray with good quality soil. Your pot or tray should allow for good drainage.
- Look for healthy leaves on your sedum plant and cut the whole leaf and a little bit of the stem off the plant.
- Dip the piece of the stem in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone encourages the plant to develop new, healthy roots. Then place the stem into the prepared soil.
- Here’s a tip from Dengarden.com: “If you have a gardening heating pad, try and keep the bottom of the tray or pot at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray frequently with water to maintain adequate humidity levels. Or, you can cover your tray or pot with clear plastic.”
- After 2-3 weeks, your new little plants should be rooted enough to transplant, and you can throw away the original leaf cutting.
Propagating Sedum By Division
This method of propagating your sedum requires fewer supplies than the 2 cutting methods because you can immediately plant the new sedum in the ground, rather than starting with a pot.
- Dividing your sedum should be done in the early spring, just when new growth is starting to appear.
- You will need to dig up the entire plant with the root ball intact. Be sure you dig wide enough and deep enough to ensure you have the whole thing.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the plant into 2 or 4 sections.
- Replant your divisions immediately to avoid putting undue stress on the sedum.
Propagating Sedum With Seeds
Compared to the other methods, this way of propagating sedum takes the most time to complete. Sedum seeds are very small and light-weight, so they can be a little tricky to work with. You can either buy packets or you can use the seeds from your existing plants.
- To gather the seeds from your plants, wait until the sedum has flowered and then the flowers are beginning to brown. Cut the seed heads from the plant and allow the seeds to dry in a paper sack for a few weeks.
- Plant your seeds in starter trays prepared with good quality soil made for seed starts. Press the seeds lightly into the soil, but do not cover them with dirt.
- Keep the soil moist while you wait for germination, which should occur in 2-3 weeks.
Propagating Sedum In Water
With 2 of the above-mentioned methods of propagating, you can use water instead of soil. With the stem cutting and division methods, simply place the stem or roots of the division into a clear glass or vase of water.
Be sure the leaves are above the water level.
You will start to see the new roots begin to grow and in 2 to 3 weeks, your new sedum will be ready to transplant.
Transplanting Your Sedum Starts
Once the roots of your new sedum starts have become slightly established (usually about 2 to 3 weeks after planting), it’s time to transplant the sedum starts into their new permanent homes.
Most sedum species prefer full sun and soil with really good drainage. If your soil is in poor condition, consider adding some organic matter and mulch to improve it.
While sedum is generally a plant that can thrive regardless of the soil conditions, it’s a good idea to give your starts the best soil possible when first transplanting.
The holes you dig should be deep enough to hold all of the roots. However, you will want the root crown to be above the soil. Additionally, your hole should be about twice as wide as the size of your pot.
When determining how far to space the holes, it will depend on the mature size of your sedum species. Look for the information online or contact your local garden center to obtain that information. You should have enough space between your holes to allow for the plants to grow and not be too crowded.
Once the roots are in the hole, gently fill it with dirt and lightly tap it to ensure the plant is secure. Don’t pack it in too tightly because we want the roots to easily be able to spread and grow.
For approximately the first 2 weeks, you should plan on watering your sedum starts daily in order to keep the soil moist. This will allow the roots to become established in their new location.
After that initial 2 weeks, you shouldn’t need to water your sedum under normal circumstances. Know that if there is a drought, however, you may need to plan on watering your sedum about once each week.
Enjoy Your Sedum For Years To Come
Sedum is generally a very hardy plant that should survive through all the seasons year after year. So, now that you have propagated your own and expanded the amount of sedum in your garden, you can plan to enjoy it year after year.
If you are just starting to think about planting or propagating sedum, and are wondering which species might be right for you, there’s a great resource at drought-smart-plants.com.
That site showcases about 45 different species and includes pictures along with the data so you can get a really good idea of the plant that might work best for you.
Another great resource is found at the website for World of Succulents. You can find information regarding sedum size, hardiness, and a description of the leaves and flowers.