Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’ from Germany, with its frosty grey foliage, tidy habit and beautiful soft pink flowers, has won numerous awards in Europe.

Add colour and brilliance to your late summer garden

Sedums: the late summer champion of the garden

  • Sep. 2, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Brian Minter

Special to The Progress

Resilient upright sedums are some of the true late summer champions in our gardens. There are two herbaceous species that are the most commonly planted today, and both are very hardy and heat and drought tolerant. Sedum spectabile varieties are native to Korea and Manchuria and are hardy to at least zone 5. Sedum telephium species, originally found across northern Europe to Siberia, are hardy to zone 2.

The beauty of these plants is their almost year-round contribution to our gardens or containers. In coastal areas, their new succulent-like growth appears in January and continues to add foliage colour to the garden right through to late fall and into winter. Most varieties flower in August through September, attracting butterflies and honeybees, and they are great used indoors as colourful cut flowers. As their broccoli-like flower heads finish, they dry nicely, creating a great fall and winter look. In fact, they can be left on the plant until their new growth appears in January and February.

Tall sedums blend beautifully with ornamental grasses, heathers, late-flowering perennials and colourful conifers to add a very sophisticated look to summer and fall gardens. The many new varieties, which have appeared over the past few years, come in a wide range of foliage colours and have some very unique flowers.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, with its green leaves and pink flowers, has been the best old standby variety for many years. Sedum ‘Brilliant’ is similar but with more vibrant flower heads. Sedum ‘Neon’ is an even brighter rosy-magenta selection that simply glows in the garden.

The darker foliage varieties have really captured everyone’s imagination. Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’ from Germany, with its frosty grey foliage, tidy habit and beautiful soft pink flowers, has won numerous awards in Europe. We’ve grown it for years and love its look and performance. One of the darkest foliage varieties is S.t. ‘Purple Emperor’, with its rich purple-black leaves that contrast nicely with its pink flowers. Its strong, stiff stems stand up well in the garden.

It’s a little hard to find, but ‘Xenox’ is another of my favourites. Its darker foliage is covered in a blue glaze, giving it a waxy grey appearance that truly stands out in a crowd. Its pink flowers further enhance this stunning plant. New white and green variegated varieties, like S. ‘Elsie’s Gold’, are some of the most vibrant you can find.

Many sedum varieties are in garden stores now, ready to add colour and brilliance to your late summer garden this year and for years to come. They are easy-to-grow, very disease resistant, pest free and make great environmentally-friendly plants. Combine them with fall grasses and late summer perennials for that ‘wow’ factor we all need at this time of year.

Just Posted

New trail link from Chilliwack Community Forest to the valley floor underway

The new trail will boast 350-metre elevation drop for mountain-bikers, hikers and more

Kelly Janveaux announces her candidacy for School Board Trustee

A long-time youth advocate, this will be Janveaux’s first time running in a public election

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

5 to start your day

Mt. Hicks fire near Agassiz 15% contained, man dead in Surrey motorcycle incident and more

Two 23-year-old men die in separate Surrey motorcycle crashes in three days

One man died Thursday night after his motorcycle crashed on Highway 10, and another man died following a Tuesday crash

Whole city of Kimberley on an evacuation alert due to wildfires

Residents woke up Friday morning being told to get ready to leave any moment

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

B.C. judge who cried during a victim statement to rule on recusing herself

The judge will decide if she’ll disqualify herself from sentencing a man for sexual assault

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Most Read