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The Plant Guide

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Fish-scale sedum

Sedum tetractinum

Plant a succulent sedum in the shade? Yes. Ground-cover sedums do well in dry-shade areas, especially in places that have high summer heat. Shallow, dry soils are no problem for this plant, as it stores extra water in its foliage. Fish-scale sedum spreads by runners forming a mat of overlapping, rounded foliage, which resembles fish scales. Bright yellow flower spikes appear over the shiny foliage during summer, and the cooler weather of autumn transforms the evergreen foliage to reddish bronze. I tuck this plant between exposed roots of deciduous trees, where little else will grow. Make sure not to plant in moist or waterlogged soils as it will rot easily. Any piece of this plant will root to form a new colony, so it is easy to spread about the shade garden. -Jimmy Turner, Perennials for dry shade, Fine Gardening issue #133

CareBest in well-drained soil.

PropagationSpreads via rhizomes. Transplant satellites.

  • Genus : Sedum
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Moisture : Dry
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Flower Color : Yellow
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