The Q&A Archives: sedum

Question: I planted an Autumn Joy Sedum in a pot on my patio. It gets plenty of sun. It has grown very well and has gotten quite large. Recently some of the stalks have turned brown/woody at the bottoms and the leaves are shriveling up. Some of the stalks have actually just fallen of, broke off at the root. Did I do something wrong or did the plant get a disease? Too much water? Is this normal?

Answer: The stems on Autumn Joy are stiff and can become topheavy which sometimes causes them to simply snap off with a gentle breeze or even a touch. The corky areas at the soil surface can indicate a problem with overwatering, which can lead to root rot. I'd examine the stems that have fallen off to make sure they are not mushy at the bottom, which indicates a disease. When you water, allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings and try to water the soil and not the foliage. Autumn Joy should be divided every 2-3 years when it becomes overcrowded so you might want to divide yours - but wait until after it has flowered. If you divide it now, it may not flower for you this year. Spring is a good time to dig and divide. Best wishes with your Autumn Joy!

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