Ask a Question forum: Sedum Autumn Joy question

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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 11:18 AM CST
Hi! I have a very small garden area and would like to plant for butterflies as much as possible. I understand that Sedum Autumn Joy is a great one and easy to grow.

My question is about sun needs. I'll be planting it in a pot and I know that it needs great drainage, but it's listed as needing full sun. As I understand it, full sun means between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Would this plant do well with less? Depending on the time of season, it would probably get only about 4 hours average, and maybe a tiny bit less. I do hope so because I'm loving all the pictures I'm seeing of this plant with butterflies on it!
AKA Joey.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 21, 2017 11:48 AM CST
It will tend to flop more if it gets less than optimum sun. To be honest I see more bees on it than butterflies.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 11:49 AM CST
sooby said:It will tend to flop more if it gets less than optimum sun. To be honest I see more bees on it than butterflies.


Hmmmmm.....
AKA Joey.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 21, 2017 3:39 PM CST
Here is autumn joy with west 1/2 day sun exposure in zone 4b Michigan.

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/0eef44

Here, north exposure 2-3 hours of sun
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 3:42 PM CST
katesflowers said:Here is autumn joy with west 1/2 day sun exposure in zone 4b Michigan.

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/0eef44

Here, north exposure 2-3 hours of sun


Oh, wow! But which one is it, north or west? West being what, 3 - 4 hours of sun?
AKA Joey.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 21, 2017 3:58 PM CST
Woops, hit finished and I wasn't!
North exposure, autumn joy, 2-3 hours of sun at most:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/6a8adc

East exposure, all morning sun:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/274394


Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/dc1c1e

And, here in the northeast exposure with no sun at all:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/35f12a
The autumn joy are a snap to propagate. In spring through midsummer you can trim a stem and stick it in the ground with only the top 2" above ground. All that I have shown you were started that way.
I love them.
I notice every pollinator we have around here are on the flower heads, including butterflies.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 4:06 PM CST
katesflowers said:Woops, hit finished and I wasn't!
North exposure, autumn joy, 2-3 hours of sun at most:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/6a8adc

East exposure, all morning sun:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/274394


Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/dc1c1e

And, here in the northeast exposure with no sun at all:

Thumb of 2017-09-21/katesflowers/35f12a
The autumn joy are a snap to propagate. In spring through midsummer you can trim a stem and stick it in the ground with only the top 2" above ground. All that I have shown you were started that way.
I love them.
I notice every pollinator we have around here are on the flower heads, including butterflies.


Wow! Okay then, these are beautiful! Be right back....I'm buying my first one now! Thank You!
AKA Joey.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 21, 2017 4:09 PM CST
Wahoo.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 21, 2017 7:45 PM CST
"I notice every pollinator we have around here are on the flower heads, including butterflies."

I agree with Kathy -- mine are a magnet for butterflies, bees, and lots of other bugs. And, even though mine are in more or less "full sun," they still tend to get top-heavy and flop over at times; putting a ring-type cage around them (size depending on the size of the plant), will help keep them upright.
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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 7:48 PM CST
Thank You! ! Ordered and due to be shipped soonest! I was going to order two but then I realized, thanks to you all, that I could use cuttings just as easily! Yaay! Hurray!
AKA Joey.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Sep 21, 2017 8:36 PM CST
I have Brilliant/ Neon and Autum Joy, all with about 4 hours of sun, all attract bees and butterflies. Great plants!
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Sep 21, 2017 8:40 PM CST
I've had them grow a new plant from a leaf that broke off and was lying on the soil. Smiling
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Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Sep 21, 2017 9:00 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:I've had them grow a new plant from a leaf that broke off and was lying on the soil. Smiling


People keep saying that! It sounds impossible but I can't wait to find out!
AKA Joey.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 22, 2017 1:06 PM CST
They make a great hedge when you line the plants up. Nice and orderly, no pruning needed all season.
At fall cleanup you can leave them for winter interest, but come early spring [or fall, your choice] they should be trimmed to the soil line.
They form next year's plant from new growth buds at the soil line.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Sep 22, 2017 6:47 PM CST
katesflowers said:They make a great hedge when you line the plants up. Nice and orderly, no pruning needed all season.
At fall cleanup you can leave them for winter interest, but come early spring [or fall, your choice] they should be trimmed to the soil line.
They form next year's plant from new growth buds at the soil line.


Thanks you! Great advice! I'm going to print it out and include it in my simple calendar!
AKA Joey.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Sep 23, 2017 5:40 AM CST
joannakat said:Hi! I have a very small garden area and would like to plant for butterflies as much as possible. I understand that Sedum Autumn Joy is a great one and easy to grow.

My question is about sun needs. I'll be planting it in a pot and I know that it needs great drainage, but it's listed as needing full sun. As I understand it, full sun means between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Would this plant do well with less? Depending on the time of season, it would probably get only about 4 hours average, and maybe a tiny bit less. I do hope so because I'm loving all the pictures I'm seeing of this plant with butterflies on it!


My Autumn Joy Sedums have been growing in 3'wx 2'tall cages for 20 years at least. They get about 5 hours of sun these days and are doiung fine. In fact, they are spreading. This Fall, I will dig up the shoots on the outside of the cages and expand them.

It is hard to find a more durable and dependable Fall plant than Autumn Joy. I intend to spread them around.

I've never seen an insect or disease problem with them, and they aren't invasive. I've never seen a voluntter elsewhere in the yard (more than I can say for many perennials). I suppose the seeds are sterile. In fact, it was only last year after 20 years that 2 of them sent up shoots outside the original cages.

From 2 years ago...



Thumb of 2017-09-23/Yardenman/4ffe57

Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 24, 2017 10:50 AM CST
Self-seeding?
Normally I have never seen Autumn Joy set plants from seed ... except this year...surprise. Look!
This is a wall with a north exposure.

Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/d05509


Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/49a89b




Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/c9dfce

"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Sep 24, 2017 11:00 AM CST
katesflowers said:Self-seeding?
Normally I have never seen Autumn Joy set plants from seed ... except this year...surprise. Look!
This is a wall with a north exposure.

Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/d05509


Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/49a89b




Thumb of 2017-09-24/katesflowers/c9dfce



That's both beautiful and encouraging! North exposure, does that mean not much sun time?
AKA Joey.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Sep 24, 2017 11:11 AM CST
You are correct, Joey, not any direct sun. We had a strong nor-wester come through and it buried any seeds nicely against this wall. I have loads of seedling coral bells in that area, too. All will be transplanted next spring.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Sep 24, 2017 11:21 AM CST
katesflowers said:You are correct, Joey, not any direct sun. We had a strong nor-wester come through and it buried any seeds nicely against this wall. I have loads of seedling coral bells in that area, too. All will be transplanted next spring.


Excellent. Thank you!

If you left one or two there, do you think they would flower?
AKA Joey.

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