Sedum dasyphyllum, also known as Corsican stonecrop plant, is an easy-to-grow succulent ground cover with attractive purple foliage that grows well in full sun to part shade and needs very little care once established.
It’s also low maintenance and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including poor drainage, making it an ideal choice for many landscaping situations.
Obtaining the perfect stonecrop isn’t as easy as it may seem. Though the plant itself grows rather easily, its care can be tricky to master, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’re thinking about adding some Corsican stonecrop to your garden, this post will give you everything you need to know about keeping it happy and healthy, from fertilizing to watering, to pruning and repotting!
Origin and distribution
The sedum dasyphyllum originates from Corsica. It has become very popular in Europe and is becoming widely used in North America. The Corsican stonecrop is hardy to -30° F (-34° C). It has become naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, North Africa, South, and Central America and grows wild on many Caribbean islands.
It can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and prefers dry conditions with poor soil. The leaves are a dark green color and the flowers are usually white but can also be pink or red depending on the variety.
Sedum dasyphyllum is great for low-maintenance gardens because it requires minimal watering once established. One of the most important things you need to know about this plant is that it spreads rapidly through its long runners.
If you do not want your Corsican stonecrop spreading too far, make sure you have enough room between plants. To propagate Corsican stonecrop, remove runners in spring and give them a cool rest period before replanting them elsewhere in the garden.
Sedum dasyphyllum propagation
Sedum dasyphyllum is propagated by the division of an established plant. To propagate stonecrops, you must first take cuttings from one of your healthy plants. To do so, use a sharp pair of pruning shears to cut away healthy shoots with their tips pointing downwards.
If your stonecrop is potted in soil, take a 6-inch cutting from just below a node on one of its branches and place it into a pot filled with moist potting soil. Place the plant in a location that gets plenty of sunlight and water it thoroughly until the potting soil becomes moist again.
Place the newly transplanted plant where it will receive plenty of light but not be exposed to direct sun. The success rate for this type of propagation can vary greatly depending on the species and conditions but typically ranges between 20% and 60%.
Sedum dasyphyllum care information
Sedum dasyphyllum is a low-maintenance plant, but it does require periodic watering, even in winter. When planted in full sun, it can be allowed to dry out slightly before watering.
In partial shade or as a houseplant, regular watering is recommended; water thoroughly and then allow excess water to drain from the container.
In its native environment, sedum dasyphyllum grows in full sun to partial shade. When grown indoors, however, it prefers a sunny location, with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
If you can’t provide direct sunlight, use grow lights to give your stonecrop enough light. Never expose your sedum to more than 6 hours of direct sunlight at any time or its leaves will burn and turn brown.
Sedum dasyphyllum require well-draining soil that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium. The pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5, with a magnesium level of at least 0.3% to prevent yellowing leaves.
A potting mix made of 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part peat moss will work well for sedums; the compost provides extra drainage, while the sand improves drainage without clogging the potting mix with heavy particles that can trap water against the root ball.
If you have time, add a layer of mulch around the plant. A layer of gravel or stones on top of the soil will also help to keep the plants’ roots cool. If you have large gaps in your stonecrop, add rocks or other decorative objects for it to hide behind and make itself comfortable.
Water early in the day, once a week. Don’t overwater and do not fertilize. Be sure to avoid wetting your leaves and stems when watering. Keep in mind that if you can stick your finger into your soil an inch down and still feel moisture, you don’t need to water right now.
Make sure to give yourself some breathing room in between watering so you can monitor how much water is actually needed on a weekly basis.
Contrary to popular belief, Sedum dasyphyllum is not a rock garden plant. It will grow in a rocky environment but prefers well-drained soil mixed with gravel. It also prefers partial shade and soil that doesn’t get too hot in full sun. To help it grow its best, water it regularly but avoid letting it sit in water for long periods of time.
During winter months cut back on fertilizer to prevent overgrowth or yellowing leaves due to an excess of nutrients. You can fertilize the plant when new growth starts again in spring.
Some people recommend feeding the plants every two weeks during their growing season, while others recommend feeding them monthly during their dormant season.
The sedum dasyphyllum requires cool temperatures, which means it doesn’t do well in hotter climates. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -25°F or lower. This also makes it a good plant for people who live in cold climates but want to grow tropical plants in their yards.
If you live outside of its ideal temperature range, though, you will need to use a container and bring it inside when winter arrives.
Corsican stonecrop needs at least 50% humidity. If your home is on lower humidity, you can place a pan with pebbles and water underneath your plant to increase its humidity levels. This will help keep its leaves healthy and thriving.
While sedum dasyphyllum is a drought-tolerant plant, it requires well-draining soil and plenty of sunshine to thrive. The most important part of caring for your Corsican stonecrop is pruning: shearing off dying stems and leaves will encourage new growth while giving your plant a better shape.
Additionally, pruning promotes blooming. When you see flowers, remove them so they don’t disrupt photosynthesis or attract bees and other pests.
Cut the stems near the base of the plant just above a node (the spot where one stem splits into two). Keep the height at 18 inches and remove any dead stalks. Finally, add fertilizer every three months in spring and summer.
When to repot
Repot your sedum dasyphyllum in spring to promote new growth and a bushy, attractive shape. Some people will repot as often as once a year, but every 2 years is fine for most plants. Since it’s slow-growing and tolerant of dry soil, sedum doesn’t require frequent watering or special treatment. In fact, overwatering can cause root rot!
Remember that Corsican stonecrop dislikes being transplanted often, so be careful when planting this plant.
Sedum dasyphyllum can benefit from dormancy or a winter rest period but is not always necessary. If you live in an area that does not experience frosts, Corsican stonecrop will remain evergreen year-round. If you would like to give your plant a dormant period though, during late fall to early spring stop watering it completely.
During dormancy, Corsican stonecrop will appear shriveled and dry on top. It may also wither away in its entirety. However, don’t worry! When the weather warms up again, so will your Corsican stonecrop and it’ll be just as healthy as before!
Sedum dasyphyllum flower & fragrance
The flowers of sedum are greenish-yellow and appear in clusters on long stalks in late summer. These clusters are an added bonus to an already attractive plant, but they’re also a good source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
The Corsican stonecrop can be planted near shrubs that will attract these insects or it can be used as a border along paths where butterflies like to flutter.
Sedum dasyphyllum grows slowly at first but can spread quickly once established. It needs a lot of water to keep it happy, so make sure to water it thoroughly and then allow it to dry out between watering. Ensure that its leaves don’t sit in standing water.
A mature sedum will happily take root along pond edges and in soil rich with organic matter. If you want yours to bloom, don’t cut off any flower heads—they’re edible!
Sedum dasyphyllum species are generally considered to be non-toxic to humans and pets when ingested. They do have thorns which can cause skin irritation. In extremely rare cases, children may have allergic reactions to Sedum species.
Contact your healthcare provider if you believe your child is having an allergic reaction. If swallowed, drink water or milk and contact your healthcare provider immediately.
USDA hardiness zones
Sedum dasyphyllum thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 4-7. It is a perennial plant and will die back to the ground during the winter months, but it can be brought back in spring by simply pulling off some of the dead leaves and planting them again.
The Corsican stonecrop prefers to grow in moist soil that is well-drained and provides full sun exposure.
Pests and diseases
Fortunately, all these problems can be avoided by keeping your plants well-watered, especially in winter when they’re dormant. This will discourage slug activity and keep them healthy while they go into hibernation.
In the spring make sure to fertilize before you water your new plantings and then water them as needed from there on out.
Make sure not to overwater or underwater! Keep an eye out for any signs of damage on the leaves or plant itself and address it right away.