Sedum forum: What causes Autumn Joy to flop over?

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Name: Terry
Arlington, TX (Zone 8a)
Teaton126
Sep 29, 2014 1:07 PM CST
I planted an Autumn Joy last fall and thought it was going to bloom in the fall (I'm new to gardening). I was surprised (like I am about many things happening with my flowers) when it started blooming in early summer. The blooms turned brown in mid-summer so I cut them off, hoping it would rebloom. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that it had fallen apart, and yesterday saw that it had blooms starting off of the stems close to the ground. I'm wondering if I overwatered it or if it isn't getting enough sun (it's shadowed by a palm tree until mid-day), or just what I should've done differently.
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Sep 29, 2014 2:08 PM CST
Terry, are the stems firmly growing out of the ground (grab stems and take a gentle tug)? I ask because I've had succulents that were not looking great and when I tugged on the plant, it came off the ground too easily. I suspected root eating critters in my soil.
Also any chance that there's larger critters walking on top of your plants? Some of it looks mighty disturbed...
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 30, 2014 3:42 PM CST

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The leaves look relatively healthy. I am wondering if they aren't getting to much water? How often do you water? What kind of soil are they growing in?
I am not familiar with growing conditions in Texas. Maybe Dave or Trish are growing 'Autumn Joy' and can tell us how they grow theirs. @dave @trish
The stems are looking a bit etoliated, might not be getting enough sun.

Too much water and not enough sun can cause the stems to be weak, and fall over.
[Last edited by valleylynn - Sep 30, 2014 4:50 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Sep 30, 2014 3:45 PM CST

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You definitely don't need to overwater these things. We grow 'Autumn Joy' out in a dry area that never gets watered and it does really well.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 30, 2014 4:51 PM CST

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Thank you for the information Dave. Thumbs up
Name: Terry
Arlington, TX (Zone 8a)
Teaton126
Sep 30, 2014 9:00 PM CST
Thank you for your help! I have clay soil, and I think I probably have overwatered. I checked to make sure the stems are still rooted and they are, but my dog certainly could've flattened it while chasing a butterfly or something. I'll stop watering it so much and next year will watch more closely for flopping/flattening. Thanks again!
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Sep 30, 2014 9:05 PM CST
I don't know about gardening in Texas but here in Washington about June I cut my plant back by a third. You get smaller blooms but the plant stays together much better. Would have not idea on timing in Texas since your much earlier than here. Any one else do this?
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Sep 30, 2014 9:27 PM CST

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I don't cut any of my tall sedum back. Just make sure they get plenty of sun and not much water. I have never had them fall over. I really do think Dave is correct, seldom water, give them lots of sunshine.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 10, 2014 10:09 PM CST
I have a couple of big "Autumn Joy" plants that every year seemed to get kind of flattened by a hard rainstorm, so I started putting a large ring-type plant cage over them in the spring to keep everything upright... they really don't need much in the way of extra water up here (actually, none) -- I trimmed some back one time and threw the stems into a bucket to put in the greenhouse so they would dry up (rather than throwing out in the compost or wherever, because I was afraid they would just start growing), and months later they were still alive in that bucket. If only everything was so hardy!
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Name: Linda
Omaha, N.E (Zone 5b)
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freedombel
Feb 1, 2015 5:32 PM CST
I never watered mine, also it just seems like they have tender stems that don`t take much to dislodge. I use to break
them off and just stick in the dirt, that is how I got them started all around my tree, not as much sun as they like but
they still turned color in fall, just took longer.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Feb 1, 2015 6:54 PM CST

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That is such a pretty picture Linda. I love the way you place the stones around the tree, it makes such a lovely backdrop for the sedum.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 1, 2015 7:06 PM CST
I agree

Linda, what kind of tree is that? ? (It's obviously been growing there for quite some time!!)
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Feb 6, 2015 1:22 AM CST
Sandy - I'm guessing but it looks like a silver maple and yes it looks old and pretty!! Smiling
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Feb 6, 2015 9:38 AM CST

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Good call Greg. It does look like it could be a silver maple.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 6, 2015 11:12 AM CST
Thanks, Greg -- I love the bark on that tree Smiling
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Feb 7, 2015 10:48 PM CST
Sandy how is your weather currently??? My niece lives 15 miles outside of Marquette (so somewhat in your neck of the woods!) If you take a leaf and dip it in water it looks silver because of the little hairs on the leaves (avocado leaves do this too!) although it has nothing to do with why they're called silver maple it is still cool nodding
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 7, 2015 10:55 PM CST
Greg, everything here is pretty much black and white this time of year (other than the cardinals and blue jays...) Hilarious! I'm not quite sure how one would distinguish "silver"! However, I live on the opposite border of the UP from Marquette (on L. Mich. instead of Superior), or, as we fondly call it, the "banana belt." Really quite amazing how different the weather is from here to there... and I definitely prefer here. But I prefer Mqt for the shopping and for Red Lobster Big Grin
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Feb 7, 2015 11:06 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing yes funny...My niece reported that they had freezing weather and snow beginning in Oct. (I just can't do that anymore!) I've lived in Seattle for 30 years and now cold to me is in the 30s. Although there really is nothing prettier than snow on all the trees and like you said cardinals everywhere!!! From Seattle I can get into the mountains in about an hour and there is snow and there are bluejays but no cardinals, they just don't fly past the rockies for some reason! (I know the bluejays are a different type but they're still pretty here!) And there is a mountain or gray jay and those are really sweet. A little larger than a cardinal (and smaller than a bluejay) and extremely friendly! They'll fly right onto your head if you're stopped for lunch! (yes like squirrels they invite themselves to a meal! ) nodding I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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