Landscape & Hardscape Ideas

Hardy yet beautiful plants for your landscape, Part II: Garden Ideas

In Part I, we went over the basics of sedum plants. Often referred to by landscapers as stonecrops, sedum succulents have great appeal for gardeners for their hardiness, low maintenance needs and colorful foliage. Here we go over some different ideas for using stonecrops in your landscape.


Borders can pose different challenges. Some borders are “no-brainers” for plantings or a garden wall. Other landscapes beg to be left open, with their stunning horizon views or rolling hills. When an owner finds a need to visually divide or physically delineate the space, greenery can provide the solution. Hedgerows are a traditional option but they may be too heavy and grow too tall for the area. Sedum plants grow to about 1- to 2-feet in height, are low-water, low-maintenance plants (great for remote spaces), and come in a variety of colors and blooms. Some sedums can grow in sandy soil, and most of the 470 varieties can be grown in the US Hardiness zones 4-9.


Ground cover stonecrop sedums are quick-growing, weed-fighting wonders. They can grow in shallow, well-drained soil and only require watering in situations of severe drought. Full sun is welcome by these plants, making them a great option for those sun-burnt grass spots on the yard. Even if you don’t want to give up your grass entirely, incorporating some lovely blooming ground cover can be a lifesaver in those hot months of summer. Creeping sedums grow quickly and spread. They typically don’t need deadheading or pest control.

Rock gardens

Creeping sedums are also great for rock gardens. These plants can grow out of cracks in a stone wall. They look great on the top of a low garden wall. Little-to-no soil with total water drainage is an ideal situation for some sedums. Creeping sedums are often pictured in midwest and southwestern gardens, as they are popular in those areas for this ability to grow where other landscape plants fear to tread. Despite being desert dwellers’ favorites, sedums can grow in the very cold climes of New England and Canada. White, pink, and yellow flowers are stunning against the natural tones of rock walls and pavers.

Find the sedum for your situation

Landscape designers love sedums because of their easy-of-care qualities and their bright foliage, and because there are many types to choose from. Ask your landscape designer for her favorites. Here are some examples: Ornamental Oregano is a border sedum that attracts butterflies with bunches of red-purple blooms. Sedum Karfunkelstein grows into a thick border with umbrella-shaped clusters of pink flowers. Sedum cyaneum or “Rose Carpet” are pink-flowering plants that grow to about 4 inches tall and drape nicely over ledges or down hill fronts. A landscape that features pine trees may be enhanced with Blue Spruce (Petrosedum rupestre) stonecrop with its needle-like greenery. Blue Spruce sedums are hardy partners for juniper and yew trees and offer a nice transition between lawn space and pine.

Finding the right sedum for your space may be easier with the help of a landscape artist, but if you have a dry, sunny, well-drained area, go ahead and take a chance on a sedum at the local nursery. You may just find a new love.


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