Sedum sarmentosum

Got some ground to cover? Check out this tough and drought-tolerant lime-green sedum.

Colorful Succulent Groundcover

Colorful Succulent Groundcover

You can use a mix of sedums and succulents to create a vibrant groundcover.

You can use a mix of sedums and succulents to create a vibrant groundcover.

Pick out the hottest, driest spot in your yard with the thinnest soil, and you have the perfect place for growing Sedum sarmentosum. This tough-as-nails plant can grow where little else will, transforming the ground into a living blanket of lime green. The bright color of Sedum sarmentosum is inviting in spring, refreshing in summer and a great backdrop to autumn’s palette. 

Sedum sarmentosum
is best known for its ground covering capabilities. If groundcovers earned awards like hotels, this fast-growing creeper would be in the five-star category. As a matter of fact, use caution planting it around slow-growing plants, like alpines or newly planted seedlings, because it can quickly overrun them, even to the point of killing them. 

Some gardeners avoid Sedum sarmentosum due to its rapid growth rate, but in the right spot, Sedum sarmentosum shines. On a rocky slope or along the top of a rock wall, Sedum sarmentosum provides a pop of steady color. Its earth-hugging stems will root in crevices on a rock wall surface and even grow in a tiny pocket of soil atop the wall. 

This groundcover sedum is drought-tolerant and tough as nails. It makes an ideal addition to a xeriscape or low water use landscape. You can use Sedum sarmentosum as a lawn replacement in areas that don’t receive heavy foot traffic. Some gardeners replace a strip of grass in or alongside a driveway with Sedum sarmentosum. It makes a good addition to sidewalk (hell strip) planting beds. 

Combine Sedum sarmentosum with stepping stones in areas that receive heavy foot traffic. It grows quickly enough to fill gaps between stones or pavers in a single growing season (even before the season is up in warmest regions). In that type of setting, Sedum sarmentosum can stand up to the foot traffic of children and pets. 

The one caution is that when Sedum sarmentosum flowers, the blossoms attract bees. This can definitely be a problem in areas where folks tend to go barefoot, like alongside a swimming pool or main path from house to patio. The flowers are a bright, cheery yellow and, like all sedums, star-shaped. 

One of the common names of Sedum sarmentosum is graveyard moss. That is because, in the old cemeteries, people would plant this groundcover on graves for the steady splash of green it provided. Over time, Sedum sarmentosum would quickly and easily spread throughout the entire cemetery. In areas of the South, it’s not uncommon to still see Sedum sarmentosum in older cemeteries today. 

Sedum sarmentosum is hardy in Zones 3 to 8. If a leaf or stem piece falls to the ground, it can root. If you’re concerned about the invasiveness of this sedum, plant it cautiously. Due to its shallow roots it does pull up easily, and many gardeners grow it with the understanding that they’ll be pulling it by the handful once in spring and again in summer. You can also grow this sedum in pots or hanging baskets, where it will cascade.

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