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Groundcover Wednesdays: Stonecrop ‘Goldmoss’ Sedum

Stonecrop sedum adorns the grave of President John F. Kennedy

Stonecrop sedum adorns the grave of President John F. Kennedy

The low-ground plant will spread quickly.

The low-ground plant will spread quickly.

Week Two:
Stonecrop Goldmoss Sedum

I remember becoming fascinated with this plant when I visited the grave site of President Kennedy in Arlington, Va., a few years ago. Just before the plant went into bloom, the foliage had a warm, rugged appearance cozied in between the granite stones quarried on Cape Cod. Later that year, when I put down a walkway at my home in Maine, I ordered a flat of the plants — which ended up being way more seedlings than I needed. They absolutely spread like crazy and are ideal for home walkways due to their ability to take reasonable foot traffic.

Here’s a rundown:
Botanical name: Sedum acre L. or Sedum acre var.aurea ‘Goldmoss’

Plant Characteristics: Low maintenance, disease, insect and drought tolerant. Tolerates wind and slopes, but grows downhill, not up. Resists deer and rabbits.

Foliage Characteristics: Slightly fragrant, shimmering green with egg-shaped small leaves.

Flower Characteristics: Bright yellow. Blooms early summer.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 to 9

Light Range: Part Shade to Full Sun

pH Range: 6.5 to 8

Origin: Europe

Soil Range: Mostly Sand to Clay Loam, but prefers thinner soils.

Foot Traffic: It will tolerate most reasonable traffic from “stepping,” but avoid “scuffing” due to the shallow roots. It probably won’t do well in a more commercial setting with foot traffic all day long.

General Comments: Like last week’s creeping thyme, this plant is self-sufficient. Just water it a few times after planting and you may never need to water it again. In fact, too much moisture is one of the few things that will do in this plant.

Troubleshooting: Avoid too much moisture or the plants may rot. Keep up with weeds until the plant is fully established and at least make a reasonable effort to keep the area weeded thereafter. Don’t apply more than a single application of balanced organic fertilizer per season; some folks don’t both fertilize at all.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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