The Top Sempervivums and Sedums


By Dave Whitinger

#1: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Herbstfreude')

@valleylynn says, "I just don't know how any plant can be easier than Sedum Autumn Joy. It is not bothered by deer, rabbits, bugs, or insects, and difficult weather seems to have no effect on it. It is a prolific grower."

@Sharon added, "In September and October, this sedum is usually the only bloom I can always count on. Our recent summers have been hot and dry here in western KY, but that doesn't seem to bother this sedum at all."

#2: Sempervivum (Sempervivum)

Sempervivum is a genus of approximately 40 species of the Crassulaceae family and thousands of hybrid cultivars. They are a very ornamental, drought tolerant, sun loving plant that does well in full sun or partial sun depending on your climate and weather conditions.

Common names are Hen and Chicks and Houseleeks

They are rosette forming hardy succulent plants, most of which will grow in USDA zone 4 and up. They are of European origin, found in mountain, subalpine and alpine belts throughout Europe. Sempervivum are a monocarpic perennial. They live for several years producing offsets before blooming. Once a rosette blooms it will die, hopefully leaving behind many offsets to replace her.

Photo by chelle

#3: Stonecrop (Petrosedum rupestre subsp. rupestre 'Angelina')

@goldfinch4 says, "'Angelina' always attracts attention in the garden. No matter what time of year it is, the colors always stand out. It's an easy plant to root and spreads nicely, but it's also easy to remove because of its shallow root system. Looks nice planted under dark-leaved companion plants."

#4: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Oddity')

@valleylynn says, "In the many years I've had Oddity, it has never bloomed. Many times it has produced normal looking, flat-leafed rosettes that seem to grow in a normal fashion for about a year. Then the leaves turn into the tube form of oddity."

@valleylynn added, "Oddity would make a great addition to a miniature garden, by using a single rosette as maybe a shrub? Let your imagination decide how you might use it in your miniature garden."

#5: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium sieboldii)

@valleylynn says, "One of the most beautiful features of this perennial is its fall color. When sited properly, the foliage turns beautiful shades of pink, red, yellow, and orange. Often, the plant is still flowering when its fall coloring begins to appear. Full sun causes the edges of the leaves to be tinted red.

It has a mounding spreading habit and is a relatively slow grower. Great for rock gardens, containers, rock walls, front of flower beds. Will allow bulbs to grow up through it in the spring."

#6: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Matrona')

@Newyorkrita says, "The tallest of the tall type sedums that grow in my garden and my personal favorite sedum. I find it frustrating that the local garden centers do not ever carry Matrona, instead going with rows of the much more common Autumn Joy. Matrona is taller and has larger leaves than Autumn Joy. In my opinion the plant is much prettier while the flowers are a slightly different color. Attracts bees and other pollinating insects in droves, just as all of the upright sedums do."

#7: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Kalinda')

@SongofJoy says, "This plant is heat and drought tolerant. It needs a sunny location, but it also needs protection from scorching afternoon sun. It likes very fast-draining soil and to be on the dry side between waterings.

The plant changes coloration depending on seasonal factors, with cold weather bringing a very lovely darker red/maroon color to the leaves. Color changes are affected by a combination of factors -- maturity, air and soil temperature, length of daylight, and sometimes climate.

The rosettes of this sempervivum grow to at least 8-9 inches in diameter for me here in TN."

#8: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Blue Boy')

@valleylynn says, "I love this medium-sized sempervivum. As it goes through the year it changes from a bluish/grey to a reddish/grey. There is not a time of the year that I don't find it beautiful."

#9: (Sedum tetractinum 'Coral Reef')

@valleylynn says, "Coral Reef needs very good drainage to keep it healthy and growing well. Extremely beautiful coral color when weather turns cold. I give it a 3 for growing in the PNW because of our wet season. Will look at my rating after another season with improved mix giving it better drainage.

I have found that this does very well with morning sun and afternoon shade. Longer periods of sun will bring out more of the coral color in the leaves.
It was brought into the country by Ed Skrocki when he obtained it from a friend in China. It was first offered by Plant Delights in 1997."

#10: Sedum (Sedum acre)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar for honey bees."

#11: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Fuego')

@goldfinch4 says, "Beautiful colors on this one!"

@Cruddy added, "2 weeks ago this plant was mostly green with red tips!! Now it appears to be going the other way."

#12: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium erythrostictum 'Frosty Morn')

@Bonehead says, "I have found this to be not nearly as robust as other tall sedums. I therefore use it as an accent, interplanting here and there among Autumn Joy plants, where its variegated green/white foliage provides welcome bright spots."

#13: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium telephium subsp. telephium 'Purple Emperor')

@Newyorkrita says, "The sunnier the spot where you plant it, the deeper the color of the foliage will be. Also, Purple Emperor emerges lighter colored and deepens in color as it grows."

@valleylynn added, "introduced by the former Washfield Nursery in England, originated in the Sussex garden of the parents of former co-owner Graham Gough.

Awarded the prestigious Outstanding Perennial Plant Award from the International Hardy Plant Union."

#14: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum 'Fame Monstrose')

@valleylynn says, "Fame Montrose is noted for its unusual rosettes of very thick leaves. A single rosette may be either thick leafed or have normal looking leaves. A single rosette of either form can produce normal looking leaves, thick leaves, or produce both types from the same rosette."

#15: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Bronco')

@goldfinch4 says, "Gorgeous! I'm getting this one in a trade and am excited."

#16: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Jade Rose')

@jojoe says, "It turns more & more rose colored in the winter, the entire leaf will turn the color of the tips in my photo."

@clintbrown added, "Sempervivum 'Jade Rose' has a nice two-toned look."

#17: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Rubin')

@valleylynn says, "This is one of my favorite semps. Starting in the spring it puts on quite a show of lovely red color. By summer it looks as if it is wearing a tan petticoat, and even the offsets follow suit with greenish/tan petticoats. It is quite striking."

#18: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Neon')

@mom2goldens says, "The color of this plant is amazing--a real pop of color in the garden during the later part of summer. It's very hardy and easy to propagate by cuttings. It is not fussy about soil conditions. Makes a great cut flower too. Dried flower heads add winter interest to the garden."

#19: Stonecrop (Petrosedum rupestre subsp. rupestre 'Blue Spruce')

@valleylynn says, "This plant is productive and easy to propagate. In summer it has a beautiful blue/green color. It does well in our wet season in PNW"

@LuvNature added, "I agree with Lynn's comments on this plant. I have seen mine with water standing in it for several days without any harm to the plant."

#20: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Raspberry Ice')

@valleylynn says, "Here is a quote from Kevin Vaughn on Sempervivum 'Raspberry Ice':

JungleShadows said:I can tell you the story of this one.
Mina Colvin loved arachnoideum 'Tomentosum' and wanted to see what variations it might produce from seed. She grew a large number and sent a slide of the group of seedlings in our round robin that eventually became SFAN. I saw two that looked distinctive in the slide and said "pull these two out and grow them on". Those two turned out to be 'Raspberry Ice' and 'Silver Thaw', both great plants although frustrating as parents because they produce few seeds. Both grow great for me although my colony of 'Silver Thaw' looks a bit chimeric, as some of the rosettes are differently colored than the rest. Generally I would blame seedlings, but not in this case.


#21: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Jungle Fires')

@valleylynn says, "
JungleShadows said: 'Jungle Shadows' was rather unique when it was born and I still find it a very pleasing semp. Visitors to my garden have really enjoyed it. It is also proving to be a very interesting parent as well. I raised a large crop from both hand crosses and bee set seed when I was in MA and 'Jungle Fires' came out of the bee seed.
The list published on the Slovenian site is mostly right although they have credited Shirley Rempel with 'Jungle Fires'. She did introduce it for me but it is definitely my hybrid.

#22: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Grammens')

@valleylynn says, "Turns dark in Winter. May give five stars after seeing how it does in summer."

@sandnsea2 added, "Huge and very prolific. A star sempervivum for me."

#23: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Legolas')

@LuvNature says, "It is wonderful to see pics at different times of the year and from different locations. Amazing the transformation these plants go through."

About Dave Whitinger
Thumb of 2020-03-17/dave/72728eDave is the Executive Director of National Gardening Association.
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