Low maintenance, evergreen and drought tolerant, sedums are perfect for containers. So, it’s no surprise that large ceramic bowls and stone troughs with a collection of low-growing hardy sedum are ever-popular, whether for a small balcony or a large patio. These mat-forming succulents spread out, creating a gorgeous tapestry of leaves, and often produce fabulous star-shaped flowers in summer in a range of colours, from pink to yellow, which butterflies and bees love.
Hardy sedum, also known as stonecrop, are a varied group of plants with different leaf forms and colours from grey to green and purple to pink, providing masses of opportunity for creating miniature landscapes. They often add a trailing element to your arrangement. Some have tiny needle-like leaves such as Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ which forms a mat of succulent golden-yellow leaves and clusters of yellow starry flowers in summer. S. relexum ‘Blue Spruce’ has silvery-blue needle-like leaves and Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ also has grey-green leaves. For contrast, S. 'Coccineum' has small, red-flushed green leaves and flat clusters of star-shaped crimson flowers in the summer and S. spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’ sedum has dark purple leaves.
Sedum work well with sempervivum, which like similar conditions, their rosettes of fleshy leaves adding a coarser leaf texture. Like sedum, they spread with tiny new plants appearing in a circle around the main plant. Again, there are hundreds of varieties in green through to bronze, purple and red. Sempervivum 'Cosmic Candy' has pink-leaved rosettes and Sempervivum arachnoideum has fleshy rosettes of green leaves with cobwebby white hairs at the tips and starry pink flowers on stems.
Succulents have shallow roots, so you don’t need a very deep pot. Use a good free draining compost mix, water moderately in the growing season and cut back spreading species after flowering if needs be. Pop your container somewhere sunny – and enjoy!