Drought tolerant sedums
Perennial sedums are among the easiest plants to grow and provide a long period of interest as well as being an excellent choice to attract bees and butterflies. The main flowering period is from mid-August to October, but from late spring the developing foliage adds a structural element to the garden and with a range of colour from glaucous grey to vivid crimson also provides contrast to other herbaceous perennials. Sedums differ in form from robust fleshy upright stems reaching around 60cm to low growing or trailing plants for the front of the border. The stems of taller varieties stand up well to autumn weather, often retaining reddish-brown hues into winter.
Two sedums have recently been added to the list of Conservation plants and both have a connection to former HPS Chair, Jane Sterndale-Bennett.
Sedum 'Little Dove' is a low-growing plant with neat, glaucous, dove grey-green leaves, bred by Jane Sterndale-Bennett and first listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2012. It has proved to be much longer-lived than many of the smaller sedums and with pink, starry flowers makes a delicate, pretty edge to a border or rockery. (Height 15cm x Spread 35cm)
Sedum 'Parish Plum' was a chance seedling discovered in Jane Sterndale-Bennett's renowned garden, White Windows in Hampshire and first listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2010. It forms a strong upright clump of dark reddish-purple foliage and has dark pink flowers. (Height 30-45cm x Spread 30cm)
All sedums need free-draining soil in full sun and have enjoyed this year's hot summer. Propagation is easy as pieces of stem pulled away at the base or stem cuttings root quickly in gritty compost and if clumps become overcrowded they can be divided. Taller varieties can be 'Chelsea-chopped' in May to increase the mound of foliage although this may delay flowering. The main threat to sedums is winter wet and vine weevil grubs.