Lawns, Gardens & Trees


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Radiant and reliable

Sedum is a fall-blooming perennial that thrives in North Dakota.

Autumn Charm™ sedumChrysanthemum is the superstar of autumn—no other flower can match its brilliance in the late season.

That said, there is nothing brilliant about a perennial that blooms for only one year. Many mums planted this fall will not survive our winter.

Why not grow a fall bloomer that thrives in North Dakota? Something that will bloom this fall—and next fall.

Sedum is one of the most drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, hardy plants available. It’s perfect for North Dakota and is especially well-suited for harsh, rocky soils. It’s no wonder it is nicknamed stonecrop.

Sedum has year-round appeal. In spring and summer, its thick leaves provide an attractive foil to other flowers. Once autumn arrives, its pink flowers command our attention while other flowers in the garden fade. You will notice that bees and butterflies are drawn to sedum blooms. In winter, birds hop on top of the flower clusters and poke at the seeds.

Sedum is a staple plant of every rock garden but it will grow in any well-drained spot. They are effective when planted in groups, along borders or as a large groundcover.

‘Neon’ is a very popular sedum. Its magenta blooms are absolutely brilliant. ‘Autumn Joy’ has been an attractive and consistent performer for decades. Autumn Charm™ is a sport of ‘Autumn Joy’ with variegated leaves (shown). Wow!

The latest series of sedum are the Sunsparklers®. These compact plants come in vivid shades of red, purple and green. The creeping, 8-inch-tall plants are adorned with deep pink flowers in autumn. They are hardy to Zone 4.

Fall is coming and chrysanthemums will soon be appearing at garden centers. Enjoy them, but also keep in mind there are more reliable fall-blooming perennials for us in North Dakota: sedums.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Additional photos are available in the August 23, 2015 edition of the NDSU Yard & Garden Report

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