Last time in our Featured Plant Series, we chatted about how the coneflower was the kick-off to our late-blooming perennial show! One plant we mentioned as a late-blooming perennial that follows the coneflower is sedum, sometimes called stonecrop. One of our faaaaavorite sedums is called Autumn Joy!
The category of plants called sedums includes a very wide variety of shapes and sizes – knowing what variety of sedum you are looking for is critical since not all sedums are created the same. In general, sedums are considered a succulent-type plant and thrive in areas of high sunlight and very well-drained soils. They have thick, fleshy leaves that help them retain water and survive drought periods. They’re considered perennials in many zones from as cold as zone 3 or 4 through hot zones like 10 and 11.
We love the Autumn Joy sedum for its upright growth habit and it’s abundant but muted red to pink flowers. Throughout the late summer and early fall, this plant produces tons of small reddish-pink flowers across the top of its mounding shape, about 2 feet high. They really are the perfect color for anyone who wants to see color in their landscape but doesn’t need it to look as bold and vibrant as the Crayola box! As later fall sets in, the blooms change to a nice shade of copper. The blooms will dry and can be left standing through the winter as winter interest, if you like that appearance!
While it is not a North American native plant, Autumn Joy sedum does attract tons of butterflies and other pollinators, making it a great addition to the landscape. It is seriously full of all the best insect critters on a warm, sunny day!
Autumn Joy sedum is a very tough and reliable perennial. It will hold its own in your garden and return each year without being so aggressive that it begins to crowd out other plants. We love mixing it with light and airy ornamental grass or perennials to give texture and structure to a design.
Check out all the details on this plant below!
- Light requirements: full sun
- Water: water through establishment; avoid overwatering; plants prefer well-drained soil and can tolerate drought
- Hardiness zone: 4-11
- Bloom time: August through October
Pro tip: clip plants back in mid-summer if you want to reduce the height and postpone blooming until later in the season.