Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Should I cut back golden sedum flowers?

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Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Dec 7, 2017 3:26 PM CST
I brought in my giant mixed planter for the winter and of course they're all P.O.ed at the lack of sunlight- growing all stringy and loosing their colors- (them and me both, except the long skinny part, lol). I'm actually shocked at how LONG they've gotten in 6 weeks. I figured they'd just slow down- instead they're all rampaging out - like there will be more light if they could just reach it. Poor things.

The golden sedums are throwing out flower stalks. I don't want them to waste the engery to bloom, but how far back should I cut the bloom stems? all the way back to the original stems, half way? Will the stems bulk up in the sun next year outside or will they always stay stringy?
What do you do?

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Dec 7, 2017 3:46 PM CST


Cut the inflorescences off at the base if you want. That's what I do on a regular basis with my patio plants. I have a rule that I don't allow more than one plant of any given particular type to flower, at least the rosette succulents like yours. Usually I nip the inflorescences off in the bud, to favor vegetative growth instead.

Only time will tell, but I don't think the weak stems will improve in the spring. But then spring is a most excellent time to use pruning as an excuse to propagate some plants from cuttings .
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Dec 7, 2017 3:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Dec 7, 2017 6:22 PM CST
If you took them into your warm cozy house, they probably think its spring.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Dec 8, 2017 1:29 AM CST
They ARE in my warm cozy house- UNDER my roof- that's why they're "acting out" lol. I feel like I should appologize for winter

Thanks Baja, I should have realized the amount of energy expended and cut them back sooner. I wasn't sure if those ~8" stems were just stringy growth until the buds showed up.
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Dec 8, 2017 11:03 AM CST
Since you have blooms, can you save one stalk to be crossed with something compatible that's also blooming? I'm the curious/inquisitive type. Whistling
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Dec 17, 2017 11:36 PM CST
genetics of hybridizing succulents is well beyond my imagination... I m sure it can be done, but seed is not the primary method of spread- I would bet good money anything that's this good a growing a brand new daughter plant from a fallen off leave is probably really hard to crossbreed selectively for seed. Plants are usually not good at both-

If you can pick off a fat leaf and end up with a new plant, I can't imagine those same evolutionary circumstance would support easy hybridization through flowers and seeds. I think the flowers are a mechanism for gene transfer over millenea- but the primary survival year to year is the willingness to root from scraps
Greece (Zone 10b)
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Jan 12, 2018 1:14 PM CST
I cut mine early on, before they became unrully. Actually, I like the bushy look it has without the longer flowering stems. Mine is also inside, so I guess Baja is right, it must have thought it's spring. Shrug!
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
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