Sedum, hens and chicks, and other small succulents have become one of the latest gardening crazes … they are easy to care for, require minimal watering and offer seemingly endless opportunities for stretching one’s container gardening creativity. Sedum and Sempervivum, the botanical family name for hens and chicks, have intricate leaf patterns in shades of yellow-green, gray-green, dark red and variegations of these colors. They will flower, but their growth patterns are their main draw.
When seeking ideas for two easy-care containers for either side of a set of stairs, I started with blue planters then headed to the succulents area of my local garden center. The most difficult part of the entire project was choosing which succulents to plant. I settled on two hens & chicks, Sempervivum ‘Mayfair Red’ for its dark red hue and the more gray-green S. ‘Pyrenaicum’ with red-tinged tips. Red and green Sedum ‘Antique Grill’ and all green Sedum pachyclados complement their container-mates.
Planting took just 15 minutes. The pair of containers looked like this instantly.
You don’t need flowers for visual interest.
The growth patterns of these succulents is enough to capture anyone’s attention.
The containers mark the start of a retaining wall and greet us as we walk down and up adjacent steps. The mate to this one (not shown) rests on the opposite side of the walkway.
Sedum and hens & chicks look fantastic planted in the openings of a strawberry jar; hens & chicks in the top and cascading sedum in the side pockets. They look beautiful in hypertufa containers and in simple clay pots. Cascading sedum makes great hair in bust planters. Leaking bird baths can be repurposed as succulent planters, succulents are perfect for green roofs and as green walls or a sedum tile as my friend Debbie at A Garden of Possibilities recently noted. Or, dress up an old tree stump or hollow log with sedum. Visit me on Pinterest to see a slew of ideas for succulent containers, and if you have one or a few of your own, please share.
Sedum can also be great ground covers … more on that in a future post.
Garden thoughtfully …