Bees Love Sedums

SedumsIf your garden is looking careworn and listless at the end of a long summer, there is one sure-fire remedy – border sedums.

These perennials are prized for their long-lasting flowers and now is the time to plant them for a great display that will last for months.

Ideal in full sun or a lightly shaded spot, border sedums boast masses of star-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink and red. Even when the flowers fade the seed heads continue to draw the eye.

Mainly heralding from mountainous regions of Europe, parts of Russia and Eastern Asia, these bushy, clump-forming plants grow to 18-24in. Most are worth growing for their green, red or dark purple fleshy foliage – several even have striking variegated leaves.

Sedums are one of the star plants at this time of year. They provide bulk and colour and are a magnet to bees and butterflies seeking nectar later in the year.

Sedums are best at the front of beds and borders, where they combine well with many late-flowering perennials and ornamental grasses. Preferring well-drained soil, most sedums are happiest in full sun, although ‘ Herbstfreude’ and other vigorous varieties will do well in partial shade. Our favourite varieties are Matrona, Brilliant and Iceberg.

Larger varieties will thrive in 12in containers filled with good quality compost

Looking after Sedums in the ground is easy. If planting this autumn, enjoy the flowers then allow the seed heads to remain into winter. Clear away foliage when it dies back and snip off seed heads when they eventually collapse. New growth will appear from the crown of plants in early spring.

In late May, cut Sedums back by half to produce bushier plants that flower a little later. After three or four years rejuvenate overgrown plants by dividing in spring – prise from the ground with a spade, split into smaller pieces and replant