What's not to love about plants that perfectly fit low-maintenance lifestyles and water-wise ways? Succulent plants can store water, giving them added resilience against drought and heat. One of our favorite groups of low-maintenance succulents are the hardy sedums – especially beloved by succulent lovers in northern climes. Give these sedums full sun and enjoy their fleshy, water-storing leaves plus bonus flowers and abundant color. These five selections are cold-hardy to at least zone 5:
Hot, dry garden spots spell problems for many plants, but not for Angelina Sedum. This tough little plant flourishes in rock gardens, on green roofs, and in containers and troughs. The succulent, needle-like leaves take on tinges of gold during the regular season, made all the more attractive when Angelina's yellow midsummer flowers arrive. But the real show comes with fall, when the trailing green and gold growth lights up with orange and red. This heat- and drought-resistant plant stays under 6 inches tall. (Hardiness zones 5 through 8)
Autumn Joy Sedum has been an international favorite for decades. This adaptable plant grows up to 24 inches tall on thick, sturdy stems that reign in summer and keep on standing through winter snows. Late-summer blooms start as light pink, then pass through salmon on their way to a gorgeous russet glow that leaves no doubt to how Autumn Joy won its name. Beautiful combined with daylilies, in mass plantings or in small groups, the blooms are favored by pollinating butterflies, bees and birds. Keep the flower heads intact for winter interest or try dried arrangements indoors. (Hardiness zones 3 through 8)
Purple stems and blue-gray, purple-tinged leaves give Cauticola Sedum color that captivates all season long. An exceptional choice for hot, dry, sun-baked gardens, this tough little plant is up to the challenge. Cauticola stays under 4 inches tall and spreads up to 16 inches for a blanket of cool color. Rosy pink-purple flowers add to the beauty in August and mature to purple-red through fall. Tuck this heat- and drought-resistant plant into a rock garden or let it spill over the garden's edge. (Hardiness zones 5 through 9)
Clusters of lemon-yellow blooms on Lemon Drop Sedum often come long before other sedums show their flowers. In some summers, it can be as early as June. This mid-size sedum grows 8 to 12 inches tall and wide, forming a tidy, compact companion that's easy to contain and maintain. The frosty green foliage takes on sun-sational orange fall color, but the plant will defoliate and die back with cold. Cut Lemon Drop back to a few inches tall after the first hard frost, and it's ready to go for spring. (Hardiness zones 4 through 8)
Excellent for challenging, dry conditions, Matrona Sedum combines succulent ease with striking blue leaves washed with rosy red, purple and pink. Shiny red, 18-inch stems add to this sturdy, upright sedum's gorgeous, colorful mix. An introduction from Germany, Matrona blooms in September and October as white budlike bracts open to long-lasting pink flowers, that mature to milk-chocolate brown. Leave flower heads standing until spring for snowy interest and food for hungry winter birds. (Hardiness zone 3-4 through 8)
With succulent sedums like these favorites, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of these easy-care, water-wise plants. For home delivery anywhere in the continental United States, shop our online selection of sedums and more to simplify and beautify your world. If you're near the Madison, Wisconsin area, stop in at Winterland Nursery, our new retail garden center, where inspiration, expertise and friendly faces all go hand in hand.