Red carpet sedum, also known as Sedum spurium Elizabeth, red stonecrop sedum, red carpet succulent, or just sedum elizabeth, is an attractive ground cover that has gained popularity recently due to its ability to tolerate all types of weather from the cold of winter to the heat of summer while requiring little maintenance or care.
As many gardeners already know, red carpet sedum care requires only minimal maintenance and frequent watering, making it the perfect perennial for beginning gardeners and even those with limited time and space.
Red carpet sedum care can be tricky because the Elizabeth cultivar grows extremely slowly and is highly susceptible to a wide range of pests and diseases.
Elizabeth sedum, also known as red carpet sedum, is one of the most popular varieties of sedum because it’s attractive and grows well in many types of gardens and climates, even in full sun or partial shade.
However, it can be difficult to grow when you aren’t sure how to properly care for it, so following these tips on caring for red carpet sedum (Elizabeth) will help your plants look their best year-round.
Origin and distribution
Red carpet sedum, also known as red stonecrop sedum, is native to Japan and Korea. It has an upright growth habit with bright green leaves that range from rounded to oval-shaped. The plant’s fleshy stems are typically red or pink in color and have red margins on their top sides.
Red carpet sedum has small succulent-like leaves in dense clusters along its stems. Its flowers are usually a combination of pink and white or pinkish-white petals with a deep purple center.
The flower stalks can be up to 3 inches tall. Red carpet sedum grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8, where it will thrive during spring and summer months but may go dormant during winter months if temperatures drop below freezing for extended periods of time.
During warmer weather, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit without any damage; however, if it freezes completely during cold winters, it may not survive until springtime.
Red carpet sedum propagation
Red carpet sedum propagation is easy and can be done through leaf cuttings or division. If you’re going to take leaf cuttings, simply choose a large, healthy leaf from your plant and let it air dry for about a week before placing it on a clean piece of paper towel.
Once it has dried out completely, place it in a small container with perlite or vermiculite and keep it in bright light. In three to four weeks you should see roots forming at the base of your leaves; once they have formed, you can transplant them into soil.
To divide your red carpet sedum, simply dig up clumps of plants that are already well-established and replant them elsewhere. Be sure to water well after planting!
Red carpet sedum care information
Caring for your sedum requires minimal attention. In general, succulents prefer well-drained soil and to be watered sparingly. A succulent doesn’t need a lot of water or fertilizer to thrive, and over-watering is one of their biggest killers.
Check soil moisture levels by sticking your finger about an inch into moist soil and then pressing lightly on top. If it feels dry, water; if it springs back quickly, wait until it feels damp again before watering further.
The most important thing to remember when caring for red carpet sedum is to give it adequate amounts of sun and water. It does best in full sun and requires lots of water when it’s actively growing, but will go dormant during cooler months if left without enough moisture.
Keep an eye on your plant over winter to make sure it doesn’t get too dry, you may need to mist its leaves every few days until spring arrives.
Succulents are happy in moderate light, and red stonecrop sedum is no exception. Give it some direct sun each day to get plump leaves and a glossy appearance. If you can’t give it full sun for long periods of time, supplement with artificial lighting to keep your sedum looking its best.
The main thing to keep in mind is that sedums and other succulents require airy soil that drains well. The easiest way to accomplish these goals is by mixing 1 part potting mix, 1 part sand, and 1 part pumice or perlite.
This is a standard cactus mix for a reason: it works great for any type of succulent or cactus plant. In addition to providing excellent drainage, pumice also helps improve aeration in heavy soils. If you’re looking for something with more organic matter, try adding a handful of peat moss to your soil as well.
Red carpet sedums are in a family of succulents called Crassulaceae, which means that they all require proper watering techniques. Too much water is a quick way to kill your plant, but without it, they will begin to shrivel and die as well. The easiest way to tell when your plant needs water is by observing its leaves.
If they look limp or wilted, you know it’s time for a drink! Be sure to check the soil with your finger before giving them a good drenching; if it feels dry down at least 2 inches, then it’s time for some water.
Once you’ve watered your red carpet sedum, be sure to wait until they have dried out before watering again. Over-watering can cause root rot and other problems that might make your plant harder to save than if you had just let it go thirsty in the first place.
Red carpet sedum will not need much fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer will make it grow faster than it should and can burn its roots and reduce its lifespan. Give your red carpet sedum some time to establish itself in a pot before you add any fertilizer at all.
Once established, look for an organic, water-soluble product with low nitrogen that’s suited for succulents like cactus and peppers.
Red carpet sedum thrives in temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t let your plant freeze, keep it above 40 if you can help it. The key to keeping a succulent healthy is making sure it doesn’t dry out or get too cold, so make sure to monitor soil moisture and temperature regularly.
If your plant gets too cold, move it to a warmer spot; if it gets too hot, move it to a cooler area. You may need to water more often when plants are exposed to higher temperatures as well, but be careful not to overwater as that can lead to root rot.
Red carpet sedums like moderate to high humidity so it is a good idea to place them in an area that gets a lot of humidity. This could be near a bathroom where showers are taking place or near a sink where water is running and steam is present. These succulents can also benefit from being placed on trays filled with pebbles and water that then sit on heating vents.
The ideal humidity range is 40-70% with 50% being good middle ground. If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time and will not be able to water your plants, it is a good idea to place them in a room with a humidifier. They can also benefit from misting, especially during their winter dormancy period.
Red carpet sedum is succulent, meaning it stores water in its stems and leaves. Since it’s hardy in most regions, you won’t need to prune your plant for winter. If you want to maintain a tidy garden aesthetic, however, remove any dead or diseased stems during late fall through spring with sterilized scissors or pruners.
You can also cut back on some of your red carpet sedum’s growth to encourage bushier growth and prevent legginess. To do so, simply snip off stem tips when they reach approximately 6 inches tall. This will encourage new growth from below each node.
When to repot
While some succulents don’t need to be repotted for many years, Red Carpet Sedum should be repotted every three to four years. If you’re unsure of how often to repot your plant, use a general rule of thumb: when your plant gets root-bound (meaning it fills up its container and begins growing out of its bottom), it’s time for a new one.
To check if your Red Carpet Sedum is root bound, lift it from its pot; if you can see roots on all sides of the plant, it’s time to repot. Keep in mind that Red Carpet Sedum grows best in small containers; if you have a large container or planter with multiple plants, divide them before moving them into separate pots.
Like most sedums, Red Carpet is a cold-hardy succulent that should be allowed to go dormant during colder months. It will grow when provided with adequate light and water, but it will not flower or form buds if conditions are too cold. If you want your plant to re-emerge in spring, then stop watering as soon as temperatures fall below 50 degrees.
Your plant may show signs of stress as it goes dormant, but don’t worry, it’s normal for Red Carpet to shed its leaves and stems over winter. When warmer weather returns, new growth will emerge from its roots. The key is to keep the soil consistently moist through dormancy; otherwise, your plant won’t come back.
Red carpet sedum flower & fragrance
Red carpet sedum (Sedum spurium ‘Elizabeth’) has clusters of red flowers and a pleasing fragrance. This drought-tolerant succulent is easy to grow, making it an excellent addition to rock gardens and containers. It needs bright light, and since its fleshy leaves can collect water, it should be grown in well-drained soil.
Red carpet sedum is a slow-growing, low-maintenance succulent plant. It has a growth rate of one to two inches per year. For those with space and time, Red carpet sedum can be grown as an ornamental ground cover or in containers indoors or outside.
Red carpet sedum is not toxic to dogs or cats. It does have thorns, though, so keep it out of reach of children and pets.
USDA hardiness zones
Red carpet sedum thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. You can plant it outdoors during spring and summer, but you’ll need to protect it from cold weather by bringing it indoors during fall and winter.
Pests and diseases
Because red carpet sedum is succulent, it’s susceptible to a few common garden pests and diseases. The most prevalent is gray mold, which looks like fuzzy white or gray growth on top of leaves. Treat gray mold with neem oil. Another common disease is stem rot, this plant can also get powdery mildew from too much humidity and rainfall. The best way to treat it?
As with all succulents, red carpet sedum care involves preventing pests and diseases by keeping your plant healthy. One of their biggest vulnerabilities is over-watering.
Proper watering habits should go a long way in reducing fungal and bacterial infections—but don’t think you can use this as an excuse to let it dry out between waterings!
Red carpet sedum care is easy with a few basic guidelines. If you follow these tips, you can keep your red carpet sedum thriving for years to come! You’ll have one of the most stunning succulents in your garden and one that requires very little attention. Enjoy!