(Ice plant) Sedum, in my opinion, are amongst the most garden worthy perennials. I am referring to the big border types that tend to be the upright, not the little alpine sedums that form very short carpets.
Above: Sedum 'Matrona', Sedum 'Jose Aubergine', Sedum 'Bertram Anderson'
Sedum Flowers & Leaves
A tough, easy-to-grow bunch these blooms from late summer until the first frosts. The flowers, which range from white, yellow, pink and red, are tiny and star-like. These provide essential food for insects in late summer and during autumn. The tiny blooms sit so tightly next to each other that a broad, gently domed head is formed, which creates a platform for feeding butterflies and bees. Fat and succulent, the leaves look as though they are filled with water. This is because they are designed to live in arid parts of the world. The leaves are carried on strong stems are sturdy, and are often attractively coloured and add much to the plant, especially if they come in red shades.
Above: Sedum 'Xenox', Sedum 'Carl', Sedum 'Red Cauli'
Growing & Caring For Sedum
Sedum will grow in any soil that is not so wet it turns into a bog, but they are perfect for dry gardens. The one thing they do command, however, is as much sun as possible. The flower heads of Sedum can be so big that they can tumble over. This tends to happen as the plant ages, therefore its best to divide these types every 3 or so years. Otherwise, the only job required to cut back the old foliage before new shoots appear. As the old flower heards can be attractive throughout winter, this is best done as spring approaches.
What to Grow With Sedum
They blend with almost all other perennials, providing wonderful contrast when planted next to more fluffy plants such Aster or Sanguisorba. Others are quite short and are lovely at the front of a border. I don’t cut back taller varieties until spring as they leave a lovely skeleton of stems and flower heads that adds much to a winter garden.