The Q&A Archives: Pruning Autum Joy

Question: Can you trim back Autumn Joy (sedum) in early spring without risking blossoms, in order to avoid tall, spindly, top heavy plants by fall? It is only May 1st and my plants are a foot high!If so how much should I cut? The leaves do not begin near the soil line.

Answer: Sedum telephium 'Autumn Joy' grows naturally to 2'or 2 1/2' tall. It's hard to change the growing habit of plants. You can pinch or cut the stems back in the early spring, but the plant will probably grow right back! If you do prune it back, stick the stems into the soil and they'll likely take root, producing new plants. There are other sedums that are lower growing. You can disguise the bare stems of your Autumn Joy by planting groundcover-type sedums next to your tall species. Complimentary sedums include S. anglicum, S. acre, or S. lineare.

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