Let’s start with facts: Succulents are native to semi-desert and desert areas. Sun shines a lot in the desert–that’s likely no surprise to you :). Logically they prefer direct or indirect sunlight (depending on the variety of a succulent), and Sedum is no exception to the rule. However, we not always have a fitting place in the garden, or we sometimes want to grow succulents inside. The question is then, whether you can actually grow Sedum in shade, at least with some success. LEt me tell you what I’ve learned in years of experience with this beautiful succulent.
Sedums can grow in shade but they will thrive only in full sun. This means that they grow better outdoors than indoors, in a sun than in shaede. What I learned that as long as a succulent doesn’t get something they prefer–such as full sun when it comes to Sedums, you need to do everything else right, that means really make sure that your plants do well. Let me explain it a bit more in detail.
Different varieties of Sedum and they light preference
Sedums are succulents with thick leaves, fleshy stems, and star-shaped flowers. These plants are a great addition to your garden, and I’ve enjoyed them more than most of my plants. However, it is important to note that sedum comes in different varieties. All the varieties are commonly known for their hardiness, ease to care for, and ease to multiply.
Generally speaking, we know two types of sedums based on their growth characteristics: low-growing and upright sedums. The low-growing sedums are those that spread and cover the ground. In most cases, they are only a few inches high. If you want some sort of ground cover in your garden, then this type of sedum is the best option. Upright sedums on the other hand grow upright clumps with a mass of tiny flowers. This type of sedum is perfect for border gardens. In my experience, low-growing sedums do better in shade than upright sedums.
When is the Perfect Time to Plant Sedum?
Although you can plant sedum anytime you want, the best time I found is in the spring when the temperature is perfect for sedum. It isn’t too cold anymore, but it is neither too hot yet, something the plant may struggle to bear with while too young.
However, make sure that you plant sedum in well-draining soil. Remember that succulents do not like regular garden soil because it retains too much water. Good succulent soil is the one that provides drainage and aeration to the plant.
Planting in sunny spot is better, but shade will also do, especially for low-growing sedum
Although sedums can grow in shade, they grow better in full sun. Give them an outdoor space with access to sunlight whenever you can. Having said that, I know people who grow sedums indoors, and their plants do not do badly. I think it is a matter of care that you dedicate to these plants.
If you are growing sedums outdoors, it is a hardy plant and with enough sun you can almost forget it and just enjoy its beauty (especially when the flowers appear). But if you grow it indoors, you must be more careful with soil selection and everything, and perhaps even consider getting a great grow light.
Guide on planting sedum
If you are a beginner in growing sedums, you probably wonder how to plant them. Well, much like many succulent varieties, planting sedums only takes a few steps. Let me show you these steps:
- Prepare for enough space for the plant. For maximum growth, it is important to provide space in between. That said, I usually leave at least 1-2 feet of space between sedum plants. Space however depends on the type of sedum you’re growing. If you have low-growing sedums, then you can adjust the space between the plants. Usually, a larger space is ideal to allow them to grow freely.
- Plant the cuttings. The next thing you can do is actually plant the cuttings. Just put the end of the cutting into the soil and it will root on its own. With the right amount of water, light, and soil the cutting should grow.
Planting sedums is just a starting point. You need to make sure that they grow well and thrive. Let me share with you a few things to remember when you want to keep sedum plants healthy.
- Right amount of water. Although sedums are hardy and can tolerate drought, they cannot last forever without water. The amount of water depends on the plants’ needs. However, too much or too little water can be detrimental to sedums. Thus, make sure that you do not overwater or underwater your plants. There is an effective watering method you can use. I also use it for all my succulent plants: the soak and dry watering technique. It involves soaking the succulent soil completely when watering. Water again only when the soil is completely dry. The excess water should drain through the drainage hole of the pot.
- Appropriate soil mix. Generally speaking, succulents do not like compact or garden soil. It retains too much water. Make sure that you are using fast-draining soil. This soil retains just enough moisture for sedums to enjoy. Not only it helps drain the excess water during watering, but it also provides good aeration. You can make your own succulent soil or buy it online.
- Sunlight exposure – Although sedum can grow in shade, it will thrive in full sun. If you grow them indoors, place them near the windows, carry them on a balcony every other day, or get a grow light.
Sedums love full sun but it does not mean that they cannot survive in shade. However, if you want to enjoy them in their full beauty, you should give them a sunny spot… Growing sedums is like growing other succulent varieties. You need to give them enough sunlight, water, and an appropriate pot. I hope this post helps you, and make sure to check also my full guide on succulent growing. Thank you!
Q: Will sedum grow under trees?
A: Some varieties of sedum plants can grow under trees. Make sure to check with the salesman though, to make sure you are getting the right variety.
Q: How fast do sedums spread?
A: The growth of sedums depends on the variety. Some sedums stay small while others can grow up to 1 inch a month in their growing season.