Sedums, common name stone crop, are a wide-ranging genus of about 400 species with a variety of flowering colours and times. The Sedum illustrated (above right) is Ruby Glow which produces spectacular red flowers from late summer into early autumn. Sedums vary in size from low growing species are suitable for a rock garden, (middle image) and others such as Ruby Glow and autumn flowering species are around the 25cms in height suitable for the front of a mixed border.
I love Sedums, they have so much going for them. Sedum look great when they are emerging fresh strong green waxy foliage, beautiful just as the buds are emerging, and when fully in flower. I leave the seed heads on over winter they look great in the Autumn and also when dusted with frost. They attract dozens of pollinators, bees and butterflies as soon as the flower heads form and they are very easy to propagate. On this page are many images of Sedum and they are one of my top ten plants. They are all very easy to grow requiring no attention once planted.
Sedums are best planted where they will enjoy good sun with soil that is not too dry. Sedums will grow in partial shade but not full shade. Sedum is a very undemanding plant and is virtually maintenance free apart from a trim back in the spring, see below. A major advantage of Sedums is that they are greatly attractive to bees, hover flies and butterflies, especially when they first start to flower and are full of nectar. It is not unusual to spot several butterflies, a mass of bees and hover flies all together on a single Sedum plant on a warm day. Sedums are known as the butterfly's friend and they really are a magnet to butterflies. A good place to plant Sedum is near a garden seat so you can spend time relaxing, watching the bees and butterflies feeding on the Sedums.
A small downside is that some of the taller Sedums, can be a bit floppy, lax in habit with plants not standing upright and they have a tendency to spread outwards with a bald centre. This can be a problem if Sedums are grown in too much shade, or rich soil, but this can be very easily over come by pinching out the plants to make them bush or by using the Chelsea chop in late May or early June. Cut top growth by around 10cms, don't throw cuttings away because it is easy to propagate new Sedums from these clippings, see below. Nipping back stops the floppy growth and makes for a better behaved plant. The more modern varieties and some traditional varieties Sedum do better than others, I do not find it a problem with Ruby Glow and the RHS garden merit award varieties tend not to do this. Also the shorter varieites have a more upright in habit.