Creep­ing se­dums

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Growing -

Creep­ing se­dums are among the most ver­sa­tile, drought-re­sis­tant, easy-togrow peren­ni­als avail­able. In Europe, they are the go-to rooftop plant.

They are ev­er­green to semi-ev­er­green. Slen­der, trail­ing stems have whorls of nee­dle-like, toothed, or rounded leaves. Th­ese take root as they touch the soil, form­ing low, out­ward-spread­ing, ground-hug­ging car­pets.

Some have a drap­ing form, which can soften the edge of a con­tainer or rock wall. The stem tips turn up­wards, topped in early to mid-sum­mer with clus­ters of small, starry flow­ers in yel­low, white, or pink.

The strik­ing fo­liage of yel­low and var­ie­gated se­dums can out-do early flow­ers in spring for colour. Oth­ers show fresh, green fo­liage, a flurry of flow­ers in sum­mer, and then a show of pink­ish, pur­plish-red, gold or or­ange fo­liage through au­tumn and win­ter.

How to use

Weave plants through other low or clump-form­ing peren­ni­als. They also soften hard lines along walk­ways and edges, and pro­vide tex­ture, colour and con­trast. Their thick growth ex­cludes weeds and cools the ground, cre­at­ing a liv­ing mulch. They’re an at­trac­tive and less ag­gres­sive al­ter­na­tive to more ram­pant ground­cov­ers like ivy. Most car­pet­ing va­ri­eties will grow hap­pily in full sun or light shade, and pre­fer lean, grav­elly soil. How­ever, some, like the wood­land Se­dum ter­na­tum, will not tol­er­ate drought.

The strik­ing fo­liage can out- shine spring flow­ers

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