Now you sedum … potted.

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 …

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7 comments for “Now you sedum … potted.

  1. June 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Hey, Joene, you’re doing a public service here; sedum’s a tremendous plant for Xeriscaping and in quilt-like fashion covers a large swath of sun-baked space that resembled Sahara in my garden.

    • June 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Lee, as you know, sedum is one of the easiest, low care plants one can grow. I’ve never had deer munch on the ground cover, low growing types … the focus of this post. Deer will browse the taller Autumn Joy types, though. When planted as a tapestry, the design changes each year. Always interesting.

  2. June 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Joene, I love the color of that container, it really brings out the reds of the sedums. Thanks for the shout out and the reminder to pin the photos to my container collection!

    • June 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Debbie, blue is a great foil for so many plant hues. It really makes colors shine.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I was slow to discover all the different sedums, but now that I know what a range of choices they give you, I am using them more and more, and finding I can get creative.

    Those intense blue pots are just right for the bold sedums in them!

    • June 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      Laurrie, Sedum are so easy and forgiving which makes them a natural for experimenting. Hope you have fun creating interesting sedum combos.

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