Friday, 1 March 2019

Time to cut back the Sedum!

Yes, it's that time of year again - we're trembling on the edge of spring, I am seriously thinking about getting back into shorts for work, and the Sedum are looking brown, tatty, and no longer bring joy and uplift to the hearts of their owners.

Here's one I half-did earlier (memo to self: really must remember to take the "before" photo BEFORE starting work on the plant...), showing the lanky brown stems which are left over from last year.

Many people like to leave them up for as long as possible, for the "frost display" (excuse me while I laugh in a hollow manner, as in the UK, we rarely get strong, dry, crisp frost: we usually get a ton of damp weather beforehand, so our "frost display" is more likely to be blackened mush than anything else) but there comes a point where they have to be cut back, and NOW is that point!

As you can seem the new shoots are just starting to sprout, so if you leave it much  longer, you won't be able to cut out the old brown stems without damaging the fresh new green ones, and that would be a bad thing.

So break out the secateurs, put on your gloves, and carefully snip off all the old stems, as close to the base as you can.

Don't be tempted to pull them off: they don't snap, and you will find yourself holding a dead brown stem with a piece of Sedum sprouting from the bottom end. These scraps are invariably too small to be worth planting elsewhere, so they tend to be thrown away, so take the time to cut them off neatly.

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  1. Thanks for the prompt Rachel. As chance would have it I "discovered" Sedums (Sedae?) a couple of years ago, partly because I was exploring living roofs, and I am all at sea about looking after them. My leaf cuttings a la Monty all failed whereas stem cuttings are coming up roses. There are so many varieties I was unaware of and I am a bit of a sucker for novelty. I used to think there was only one!

  2. Hi Mal *waves enthusiastically* - I very nearly typed Sedums as Sedi but then I realised I would have to make jokes about lightsabres... Sedae, huh?

    Living roofs, now there's something that was as trendy as a trendy thing for a few years, does anyone still install them? The ones I see now are sad, tired, tatty things which are far from beautiful.

    I think that whoever had the bright idea - and it IS a bright idea - didn't think about ongoing maintenance: all plants need maintenance, and if it's a roof which "one" can't easily access, then it won't be looked after...

  3. Thanks for making light of my latin faux pas. Yes it's all hugelkulture nowadays isn't it! The greenroof I built is very accessible being the roof of a 3ft high bug hotel! It has just survived its first winter so we shall see how it comes on this year. It looks as if the Sedi are the survivors and most the rest (even btutes like Ajuga) have succumbed to the Scottish winter.


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