It’s no secret that the leaves of sedums are a big draw for gardeners. Their foliage is bursting with a broad spectrum of color options. If you are looking for something different, check out these strong-performing selections.
At 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide, ‘Cutting Edge’ (S. ellacombianum ‘Cutting Edge’, Zones 4–8) has a yellow edge to its leaves and is an extra-adaptable plant that can grow in most conditions. Similarly sized Atlantis™ (S. takesimense ‘Nonsitnal’, Zones 4–9) has even brighter creamy white variegation.
The SunSparkler® series offers options that take intense coloring to the next level. ‘Dream Dazzler’ (S. ‘Dream Dazzler’, Zones 4–9) looks almost good enough to eat. Its strawberry pink edges on the leaves vary in color and width, but that is part of the charm of this 8-inch-tall and up to 18-inch-wide plant. ‘Firecracker’ (S. ‘Firecracker’, Zones 4–9) is a louder plum color with smaller leaves on plants that grow 6 to 8 inches tall and 18 inches wide. It produces cherry pink flowers, but it’s the foliage that steals the show. ‘Wildfire’ (S. ‘Wildfire’, Zones 4–9) has variegation that lightens the whole plant, making its foliage nearly pink at times.
A dark purple, shrublike sedum that holds up in the garden was historically hard to find. Many old varieties flop or have disease issues. After many years of breeding and selecting, there are now a few that are worth looking for. ‘Night Embers’ (S. ‘Night Embers’, Zones 3–9) has a very upright growth habit, reaching 24 to 26 inches tall and wide with mauve pink flowers upon dramatic dark stems. Another dark form, ‘Back in Black’ (S. ‘Back in Black’, Zones 3–9), has chalky plum to near-black foliage on well-branched plants growing 20 to 24 inches tall and up to 30 inches wide. In late summer, this selection is topped with bicolor flowers that are garnet red with cream petals.
More on sedums:
- 10 Stunning Sedums for Dry, Sunny Areas of the Garden
- How to Have Success With Sedums
- Podcast Episode 119: Favorite Sedums
- Colorful Sedums for the Mountain West
Brent Horvath, author of The Plant Lover’s Guide to Sedums, is the president of and head plant breeder at Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, a wholesale nursery in Hebron, Illinois.