Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 12:30 pm
Sedum nussbaumerianum, also known as the coppertone stonecrop, is one of the hardiest of succulents, but the way in which you care for it will depend on where you live.
In climates with dry summers and mild winters, the plant will do well outside, but if your area experiences temperatures below freezing during any part of the year, it’s best to bring your coppertone stonecrop indoors before the temperature drops too low.
Sedum nussbaumerianum grows most successfully in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, but gardeners as far north as zone 4 can often grow it successfully if they provide the right growing conditions for it.
Origin and distribution
Sedum nussbaumerianum is an ornamental succulent plant native to Mexico, and it belongs to the Crassulaceae family. While it’s drought-tolerant, this plant has a relatively high-water requirement and will appreciate supplemental watering during dry spells.
It’s also not very tolerant of frost, so consider bringing it indoors for the winter if you live in a region with freezing temperatures. If you can’t bring your sedum inside, place pots on trays of pebbles that are partially filled with water and keep them out of direct sunlight.
If grown outdoors, place them near a wall or other shelter that blocks harsh winds or intense sun exposure.
The coppertone stonecrop gets its common name from the distinctive coppery orange hue of its foliage, making it an ideal candidate for planting in drab winter landscapes, especially with the snow on the ground. Though relatively easy to grow indoors or out, there are some key things to know about caring for sedum nussbaumerianum to make sure you can keep it growing strong and healthy year after year.
Sedum nussbaumerianum propagation
Propagate potted coppertone stonecrops by digging up a small portion of root with attached crown and replanting in moist, well-drained soil. Since they are slow-growing plants, it’s best to re-pot every few years.
After planting, keep the area lightly shaded until new growth appears, then move to its permanent location in part sun or full sun. Be sure that its roots do not become waterlogged; allow the surface to dry between waterings.
Plants may be divided after flowering. Prune back damaged foliage and stems as needed to maintain the desired shape.
Coppertone stonecrop is drought tolerant once established but needs regular watering when young. It tolerates moderate frost but does not like overly wet conditions so drainage should be good.
Sedum nussbaumerianum care information
Sedum nussbaumerianum is a very easy-to-grow succulent. However, due to its unique sun exposure requirements, it can be challenging for novice growers. This plant prefers filtered light and although it’s drought-tolerant and prefers little water, it should never be allowed to dry out completely.
Watering once a week will keep your coppertone stonecrop happy in most indoor environments during all seasons except winter when it is best to allow it to go dry.
Place coppertone stonecrop in a spot with at least four hours of direct sunlight per day. Ideally, set up your sedum in a south-facing window or in an area that receives full sun for most of the day.
Alternatively, you can place your stonecrop under grow lights to ensure it gets enough sunlight. However, bear in mind that too much light will cause leaves to fade and may even cause root burn if conditions are not just right.
Coppertone stonecrown prefers soil that is evenly moist but well-drained. The ideal potting mix for sedum nussbaumerianum is one that maintains some moisture, yet has excellent drainage capabilities.
A good quality potting mix with small gravel will do nicely, but you can also add additional perlite or vermiculite to increase drainage in heavy clay soils. Good drainage is essential for coppertone stonecrown, as it will rot if left to sit in standing water.
Water newly planted stonecrops regularly to get them off to a good start. For established plants, water only during hot spells, as wet roots can cause root rot.
Plants that are naturally drought-tolerant need little watering once they’re mature, but keep an eye on them; if it stays unusually dry for a long period of time, your plant may need a small drink. If you see any wilting leaves or stems, water immediately.
Feed Coppertone stonecrop every three weeks during its growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Feed it once with a high-nitrogen fertilizer in February or March to help it get off to a strong start. After that, switch to a balanced fertilizer for slow-release nutrients.
Avoid fertilizing in the hottest months of July and August, since this will promote lush growth rather than drought tolerance.
Sedum nussbaumerianum thrives in temperatures that are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can also handle colder temperatures, but it may stop blooming at these times.
The best temperature for growing Coppertone stonecrop is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Allow your plant to rest in temperatures ranging from 32 to 45 degrees at night once you’ve brought it inside for winter storage.
Sedum nussbaumerianum grows best in moist soil but not water-logged. If you have clay soil or are growing it indoors and there isn’t enough humidity, increase your watering accordingly. You can also place a saucer underneath your pot to catch water; be sure not to let water sit for too long. The roots of these plants are sensitive, so check on them often and make sure they’re not drying out.
The ideal humidity range is between 40% and 60%. Consider using pebbles with holes at the bottom to help keep the soil from becoming saturated. In areas where rainfall is sparse, supplemental irrigation may be necessary.
Sedum nussbaumerianum can be aggressive growers. Prune sedums by harvesting a few stems and starting new plants. A healthy sedum should continue to spread and will do so even with regular pruning.
To control the size of the plant, cut it back in early spring before new growth begins. If you need to take out an entire pot or two, dig them up carefully, dividing any large clumps into smaller pieces for replanting elsewhere.
When to repot
If your plant is really struggling and seems to be wilting faster than it can recover, it’s probably time to repot it. Otherwise, you shouldn’t need to repot until its root system has filled its pot.
This may take anywhere from one year for a small plant to five years or more for larger specimens. When repotting, make sure the soil isn’t too wet and there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
Avoid planting stonecrops outdoors during hot summer months when they could become stressed by extreme heat.
Sedum nussbaumerianum is a flowering succulent that does best when grown as an annual. Therefore, dormancy should be enforced by withholding water in late summer and early fall and keeping it in a cool location. When you bring your sedums back into active growth, do so gradually.
Do not give them too much water at first. After they are re-hydrated, they will benefit from more light than they received while dormant.
The ideal situation would be to put them outside for the day during warm weather for six weeks or until new shoots start to form. If this is not possible, then place the plants under fluorescent lights for 12 hours per day.
Sedum nussbaumerianum flower & fragrance
The coppertone stonecrop makes a great display flower and is loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers have red to orange centers that contrast beautifully with their yellow petals.
This stonecrop can grow to be about six inches tall, so it is also an excellent ground cover for sunny garden areas. The leaves of Sedum nussbaumerianum are thick, leathery, and hairless, which allows them to grow in hot weather. The underside of each leaf has white hairs.
When looking for succulents to add to your indoor garden, you might be surprised that Sedum nussbaumerianum has such a slow growth rate.
It is one of those plants that seem to grow overnight. It is a low-growing, evergreen succulent type with medium green leaves. Stems and leaves are covered in tiny hairs so you may wish to wear gloves when touching them or use a brush when planting it.
Sedum nussbaumerianum is safe for pets and small children. Keep it away from dogs and cats.
Though not a poisonous plant, they may mistake it for food if they are hungry. The only negative effect of ingesting Coppertone stonecrop is digestive discomfort or mild stomach ache.
Pets will avoid eating it after having eaten it once, so long as there’s other food available to them.
USDA hardiness zones
Sedum nussbaumerianum thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 3-8. If you live in a colder climate, it can be grown indoors. It prefers moist soil with high organic content and should be fertilized once a month during the growing season.
The sedum is drought tolerant and can survive on rainfall alone, but will produce better blooms if watered regularly.
Pests and diseases
Pests are a fact of life for sedums, so it’s no surprise that pests and diseases sometimes attack your stonecrop. If you find signs of pests or disease on your plant, you can use insecticidal soap to get rid of them. The soap kills aphids, mites, and other harmful bugs by dehydrating them; make sure to reapply after rain showers.
You can also try horticultural oil or spray, but keep in mind that both can damage plants if used incorrectly! If all else fails, the only option is to wait until next year when new shoots come up and hope they resist the bug.
If it’s too late for next year, there is one last resort: digging up the rootball, washing off any soil that clings to the roots with water from a hose (letting it run freely over the roots), then potting up the plant into fresh soil with an organic fungicide mixed in as directed on the product label.