Sedum Autumn Joy

Sedum Spectabile Autumn Joy brings great colour to the border when so many other perennials have gone over.

 The flowers when first opening in late Summer are a pale pink developing to a dusky rose red in Autumn.

In Spring and most of the Summer the succulent foliage is a silvery pale green and the developing flowers resemble a pale coloured broccoli, of which I am beginning to acquire a taste for, considering it has been getting rammed down my throat in recent months, apparently for my own good.

After the flowers have gone over most gardeners prefer to leave the flower stems in place and cut them back in late Winter when you will likely see the fresh protruding stems of the plant. I seem to remember that Autumn Joy is sterile, however the butterflies and hoverflies still seem to love it, I guess lack of sterility has nothing to do with the amount of nectar which the plant may have.

Position your plant in full sun otherwise it will get very leggy and will require support. The Chelsea chop, recommended by many for this plant will make it more compact and a little later in coming in to flower, for this reason I would not do it, being so far north, anything that makes a late flowering plant even later is perhaps not to be recommended.  Sedums do not like to get water logged and prefer soil which is not too rich. Autumn Joy has been renamed –  ‘Herbstfreude’ will I conform to this – probably not.

See how the colour of Autumn Joy has deepened by October 18th.

Hardiness – Fully hardy

Height – 50cm – it does grow taller in our garden

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The Summer bedding plants and Begonia tubers were lifted from the borders a few weeks ago.  The pots and hanging baskets were also emptied. Not my most favourite of jobs, but nevertheless satisfying when completed.   The borders have been planted with annuals which will give a bit of colour now, and through the Winter, however its Spring when these ones will truly come to life.  Tubs have also been planted with annuals and a good few with Spring flowering bulbs.

In the front garden we have planted — Forget me nots,  Pansies and Polyanthus.

© 2011 – 2017, Alistair. All rights reserved.

48 thoughts on “Sedum Autumn Joy

  1. Hi Alistair,

    Perhaps I ought to pull up my Dahlias; I contemplated it yesterday but as they’re still blooming I put it off… I should bit the bullet as such and just do it do I can protect them over winter.

    I love your sedum and look forward to mine getting as big – they’re only a year or so old so not as massive yet.

      1. Hi Alistair
        I planted Autumn Joy in in my Perthshire garden about 10 years ago. For the last few years I have cut it back about the end of May to stop it flopping. This year the weather was so cold that it didn’t grow as quickly and I didn’t cut it back. Now it’s about 18”- 24″ tall and the flowers are appearing so I may just leave it alone. Other years I found cutting it back helped to make it sturdier – but I hated that in between period when waiting for the flowers to grow back! On the plus side the flowers I cut off other years are now dotted about the garden growing into lots of other Autumn Joy plants and the flowers on the original remained upright despite a hilly Perthshire location.

  2. this sedum looks a bit like the one I have been nuturing after it went yellow last year, mine is from my parents garden planted by my Dad over 20 years ago (I took some pieces from the parent plant when I moved here) I notice you say it has silvery pale green foliage so perhaps mine should be pale green I thought it was under nourished …. we learn, mine goes more fushia than red though so not quiet the same, yours is a beautiful plant,

    I love your pots especially the ivy trailing and the mossy, they make a nice combination with the pansies, do you sometimes get problems with a bit too much moss? Frances

    1. Hi Frances, perhaps I use the term red! a bit loosely. Moss does form in the shadier parts of the garden but not so much that it would be a nuisance, birds like it in the Spring.

        1. Hi Frances, I think all Sedum spectabile carries the common name (Ice plant) The one you have probably is Sedum Spectabile Neon. I will have to add the name spectabile to my Autumn Joy post. I am glad you brought this to my attention.

  3. Hi there, love the sedum, the colour so rich, I don’t think many of the other varieties compare as well as this one. Brilliant choice. Gardens going o look lovely when the winter bedding goes through into early spring. Cauld here, hail and snow have put an appearance in. I don’t like end of season jobs either. Just removed all the window boxes from upstairs (in, of course) as the tomatoes are all but finished. Funny it seems like only yesterday that I was trudging upstairs with them to plant tomatoes in!

    Getting back to sedums the White form ‘snowflake’ nor many of the dark/variegated foliage types never did well in islay with me despite high hopes.

    I’ve been taking your name in vain, I’m working on my website (well the content, a very clever persons working on the actual site) and I’m beginning to compile ‘plant profiles’, I’ve found myself calling this task ‘doing an alistair’. Hope you not mind, I’m going to blog one of my favourite plants soon and take your name in vain publically if that’s ok?

    I’m hoping you don’t mind! Happy gardening, great post

    1. Thanks for the visit Fay, hope I have your name right as I am going through a senior stage, should be ok when the tablets start to work. I will look forward to your plant profiles and of course I don’t mind, in fact doing an Alistair feels like an honour to me, unless its used in some of my other habits which I would rather not talk of.

  4. Alistair – Just wondering how old your spectacular sedum is? Do they get more flowers as they age?
    The pansies in the pots surrounded by moss are my favourites.

    1. Hi b-a-g, planted the Sedums four years ago. Just regular sized plants which you would expect to see in the garden centres 2ltr pots. By the second year they looked very much as they do today.

  5. Alistair you have reminded me of a few things. One, some of my sedums need moving to a sunnier, drier location. And two, I need to remember pansies in the fall. They look lovely in the fall and again once the snow melts in spring. But I think I delay because the deer find them edible delights too. Your sedum is gorgeous.

        1. So very true Donna, I hope you don’t mind me enquiring but do you have some set up which gives you an email when I answers a comment which you have made on my post. Or is it just that you go back and spot that your comment has been answered. I know that the replyme does this for wordpress users.

          1. If you reply to my comment, I get an email from the ReplyMe widget. Then I go back to the blog and reply again if I so choose as I just did. I now use ReplyMe because I learned it from your blog. I love it. Did that answer your question??

          2. Ah, when I look at your website address I didn’t realise you were using wordpress, I now see it is. Its a pity replyme is not available to others who use blogger etc. Certainly did answer my question, thanks Alistair

  6. Hi Alistair, you are ahead of me, I have the pansies, but have not planted them yet – mainly because I too dislike the chore of emptying the summer annuals from their pots so there is nowhere for them to go just yet! I really must get on with it, this balmy (and barmy) weather is about to come to an end, and I will be kicking myself if I find myself emptying pots in dull grey coldness.

    1. Yes Janet, it really is the only gardening job which I dislike. I left a message for you on blotanical about a week ago, blotanical virtually freezes up on me now, so I have given up in the meantime trying to get in. What I was asking is, on my site I have a page (Your Gardens) I placed a picture of your garden and a link to your site on it. If you are not happy with this I will remove it.

      1. Hi Alistair, sorry, I am very rarely on Blotanical, so it could have been months before I picked up your message, sorry! Anyway, I am more than happy for you to link to my blog and have a pic of my garden on your page, thank you for checking though!

  7. Hi Alistair, I really admire your energy, getting everything planted out like that, ready for Spring. By this time of year, I barely do anything in the garden….the excuse being that the soil is too wet to dig, and the winter frost makes clearing herbaceous stuff so much easier. Even stuff I buy for ‘Autumn planting’ is apt to remain in its pots until March. I’m in two minds about Seedum spectabile – I have a few, but I have organised my life to have a June garden, rather than an every-season garden, so they annoy me when they flower….why couldn’t you have done that in June? Succession planning is just not me.

    1. Kininvie, we used to have the garden when it was a total explosion of foliage and flowers in Summer only. I must say it has been so much more satisfying trying to get the garden looking good all year round. Although wait for it, I kind of miss how it used to look in July/ Aug

  8. that sedum is one of my faves but somehow I have never found a place for it in the garden. Pansies are so characterful and cheerful they must be worth the effort. Can you grow Johnny Jump Ups in your climate? They are trouble free, re-seed themselves each year.

      1. Hi Alastair, I didn’t undeerstand what you said on my blog that my blog doesn’t open when I comment. Does it still not do that? cheers, cm ps now I understand – should have fixed it.

  9. It’s Sedum time indeed! Such a great plant that associates well with both lush and dry style of planting 🙂 And your plant is very erect and neat too! Is it supported at the moment or have you given it a chelsea chop last May? The front garden is looking great as always!

  10. Alistair

    Firstly thankyou so much for the compliment and the offer of a link to my blog on your special page – which I will graciously accept.

    Sedums are a favourite of mine and Autumn Joy is a much easier name for me to remember. I notice that it’s the continental stock that uses the word ‘Herbstfreude’ while the herbaceous stock sourced directly from UK nurseries is labeled up as ‘Autumn Joy’.

    Sedum is a plant I can remember as a little child as it was always so easy to propagate from those little rosettes. I like Purple Emperor aswell though it’s just not as hardy in my cold garden.

  11. I used to grow sedums in Orkney but they got vine weevil damage. Yours look spetacular Alistair and they are so good for attracting butterflies. I decided earlier this year to make a space for some so I bought a plant at a sale and turned it into several cuttings. I’m amazed how easily they take. I’ll plant them out next year in a sunny spot. Thanks for that piece of advice.

  12. I have it too and it is one of my favourite large sedums. I have another sedum called ‘Matrona’. Not so bold like this one bur also beautiful having reddish stems and pink flowers.

  13. Hey my friend,
    I also enjoy Autumn Joy. and have for over thirty years. The key to growing it for me is being sure to pinch it to keep it sturdy and not flip over when in full bloom

  14. Your garden looks great all the time Alistair. I love pansies and I like how you have a mass planting bordering the garden. I got your message on adding my garden to the Your Garden’s Page. Thank you, it was nice that you did that.

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