The Q&A Archives: Sedum Staking

Question: Last year my Sedum Autumn Joy was so big (only the second year for it) that it immediately toppled over when in bloom. What kind of support stucture can I put on it now, just as it is starting to grow to avoid this in the Fall?

Answer: There are several reasons for why this would happen. Possibly the most common is over fertilizing or overly rich soil causing overly succulent soft growth incapable of supporting itself. Another common reason is that the plant needs to be divided, although this would be unlikely after only a year or two unless you had planted a very large plant to begin with. Next would be too much shade or too little sun, causing the plant to be spindly and reach for the available light and possibly topple over as a result. You could try any fine tuning as indicated by the above, or, as a last resort, pinch back the tips of the plant when it is about four inches tall and see if that will make it bushier. You could also, if it is truly a large plant, try growing it up through the round mesh support that is traditionally called a peony ring or fashion one of your own out of large wire mesh and several stakes or even by winding criss crossing strings among several stakes set at the perimeter of the plant at about half the anticipated height. Staking really should not be necessary for this plant, however.

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