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Cacti & Succulents, Ground Cover, Ornamental Gardens

Sedum Angelina: Growing Angelina Stonecrop Succulents


12 min read

It doesn’t take a master gardener to grow Sedum angelina. This low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, perennial succulent tends to spread in a mat-forming growth habit, making it a great plant for use as a groundcover or filler around larger plants. It’s also a lovely plant for containers, with its long flower period. 

The foliage of the plant starts out bright green in the spring and summer and then slowly turns golden yellow in autumn, adding a pop of low-to-the-soil color to your garden. The star-shaped yellow flowers of the plant are bright and beautiful in summer. This cold hardy succulent can survive the winter, making it a great plant for northern gardeners. 

Not only can they be a great addition to the garden as a ground cover or grown directly in the ground, but when grown in containers, these perennials will eventually spread and trail over the edges of the pot. You can achieve the same trailing effect by planting them along the edges of rock walls. 

Sedum angelina does best in sunny areas but can survive in a variety of soil types as long as they are well-draining. They even do well in gravelly soils, which means they can be a great choice for a rock garden as well. The needle-like foliage is stunning, and star-shaped yellow flowers have a long flowering period and bloom in mid to late summer through autumn. 

Quick Care Guide

Sedum angelina
Sedum ‘Angelina’. Source: cataloft
Common NameStonecrop, Angelina stonecrop, creeping stonecrop, rocky stonecrop
Scientific NameSedum rupestre
FamilyCrassulaceae
Height & Spread6 inches tall and 12 inches wide
LightFull sun
SoilTolerates poor soil as long as it’s well-draining soil
WaterDrought tolerant once established
Pests & DiseasesSlugs and snails, root rot

All About Sedum ‘Angelina’

Sedum angelina flowers
Sedum ‘Angelina’ flowers. Source: tgpotterfield

Angelina sedum, or the Sedum rupestre plant, is native to mountain areas in central and western Europe. The plant is commonly referred to as stonecrop, like many other members of the Crassulaceae family, with the genus name Sedum. Sedum rupestre Angelina common names also include stonecrop, creeping stonecrop, or rocky stonecrop. 

The Sedum genus name comes from the Latin word sedeo, meaning to sit in reference to the general groundcover growing habit of many sedums, which sit and sprawl over rocks and containers. The succulent foliage is made up of chartreuse needle-like leaves that spiral around the stem. 

The Angelina plant produces terminal clusters of golden-yellow star-shaped yellow flowers. Its bloom time is mid-summer to mid-fall. In some areas, these evergreen perennials bloom their star-shaped flowers from early summer into late fall. Their bright golden-yellow color makes them a beautiful accent for tall plants with dark foliage. 

Angelina sedum is a perennial, and in mild climates, it will remain evergreen through winter. However, in northern climates, the foliage turns orange. These sedum plants can be grown reliably in USDA zones 5-9 in containers and areas of the garden with well-drained soil. They can spread aggressively once established and have a mat-forming growth habit which makes them the perfect groundcover. 

Sedum Angelina Care

Sedum rupestre
Sedum rupestre. Source: Skolnik

Angelina stonecrop is very low-maintenance and easy to care for both in-ground and in containers. Add this to their deer-resistances, and this makes these sedum plants a great landscaping investment for areas where you’d like to “set it and forget it.” 

Sun and Temperature

Angelina sedum does best in full sun where it receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Sedum plants can tolerate light shade, especially in areas with very hot summers. When temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees, the plant’s growth and flower power may slow down. 

The best USDA growing zones for these perennial plants are zones 5-9, which has a similar climate to that of central and western Europe, where Angelina stonecrop calls its home. This means Angelina sedum is an exceptionally hardy succulent that not only tolerates drought in heat and full sun but also survives through the winter months. 

At the end of the growing season, once temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees Fahrenheit then Angelina sedum will enter dormancy. This natural dormancy protects your sedum during the winter, meaning it does not require any specialized protection from the cold.   

Water and Humidity

As with most outdoor plants, it’s best to water Angelina stonecrop in the mid-morning or late afternoon – anytime outside of the heat of the day. This will help ensure that more moisture soaks into the ground rather than being lost to evaporation in full sun. 

You’ll want to provide new plants with regular watering throughout their first growing season. Once your Angelina sedum is established, it is extremely drought-tolerant, even in full sun. The extra water from overwatering or poorly draining soils can cause it to become waterlogged. It’s better to let the plants dry out between waterings rather than risk watering them too much. 

Once they are fully established (3 seasons after planting), they can be watered as little as once every 1-2 weeks in the height of summer and as little as once every 2-4 weeks in the spring and fall. Drip irrigation emitters or soaker hoses are a great low-maintenance way to water your plants. 

In addition to their drought tolerance, they also prefer hot and dry weather. During the winter, reduce the watering frequency to once a month if no measurable precipitation has fallen and only if temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Soil

Sedum rupestre Angelina
Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’. Source: wallygrom

Sedums can survive a variety of soil types, but they thrive in sandy soil that is slightly acidic to neutral (6.0-7.0 ph range). More important than the soil type, however, is good soil drainage. Avoid waterlogged sites in your garden. A full sun spot in sandy soils or in a rock garden is excellent. 

When cultivating container-grown plants, be sure to create a well-drained potting mix. Amendments of rocks can help provide drainage to this species when it’s grown in pots. A good mix can be achieved by mixing perlite or sand into a conventional potting mix to increase drainage. Consistently soggy soil is the quickest way to kill your sedum.

Fertilizing Sedum Rupestre Species

Angelina stonecrop plants prefer lean soil – in that of the well-drained soils of a rock garden, for instance – so fertilizing isn’t necessary. In fact, it may do more harm than good. Too much fertilizer can burn the foliage and desiccate the roots of this plant species. 

A thin layer of compost applied to the top layer of well-drained soils at the beginning of the growing season will provide all the nutrients that your sedum plants require. Use this rule for container-grown plants and in-ground plantings of Angelina stonecrop.  

Pruning Sedum Rupestre Species

Regular pruning is not required for your Angelina stonecrop sedum plants. Since they are a low-growing and sprawling ground cover, they won’t get too tall and leggy – especially in well-drained soil. You may prune the terminal clusters of the needle-like foliage by clipping the stem to keep them contained to a certain area. It’s also advisable to prune away any dead or damaged foliage to encourage new growth. 

Sedum Rupestre Propagation

Sedum rupestre can be propagated from softwood cuttings taken in early summer. Plants that have spread out and grown as ground cover can also be divided and replanted in early spring. Softwood cuttings will root easily, and though you can place stem cuttings into the water to encourage root growth, this isn’t necessary. 

Angelina stonecrop softwood cuttings are very hardy and can be placed directly into the soil. Provide your new cuttings with regular watering while they become established. 

Troubleshooting Sedum Rupestre Species

Sedum rupestre in autumn
Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ in the autumn. Source: Skolnik

Another benefit to growing Angelina stonecrop is its disease resistance. However, there are a few growing issues to be on the lookout for. 

Sedum Rupestre Angelina Growing Problems

Most growing problems arise with Sedum rupestre that has been planted in waterlogged sites. For this reason, be sure to keep them out of low-lying areas where water may pool after rains and away from downspouts where the soil may become soggy. Similarly, when this species is grown in an area with a lot of heat, growing it without shade can burn the leaves.

If you later realize that the planting site is not ideal, then you may choose to dig up your Angelina sedum and move it to another area of your garden. Sedum rupestre, Angelina stonecrop, is known to thrive in poor dry soil, so it’s better to pick an area that may be too dry rather than too wet. 

If you’re growing this plant in pots, you can move it to an area with shade if the summers have damaged the leaves. Remember that in addition to shade, you’ll need a really well-draining potting mix. This will not only help your plant thrive, but it will flower more readily in these conditions.

Pests

Another great benefit of adding Sedum rupestre Angelina plants to your landscape is that it has no serious pest issues and is deer and rabbit-resistant. That being said, slugs and snails can occasionally chomp on the foliage, but they rarely cause anything other than superficial damage. 

If the damage becomes excessive, slugs and snails can be treated with slug and snail bait commonly found at big box stores and hardware stores. Follow the directions on the bottle for application. If you’re looking for a more natural alternative then you might want to try beer. 

Slugs and snails have a known attraction to beer. Fill a container with beer, bury it so that the lip of the container is at soil level, and slugs and snails will fall in and be unable to get back out. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with deer or rabbits when it comes to this plant. 

Diseases

While this evergreen has very few disease problems, root rot can strike your Sedum rupestre Angelina ground cover if it isn’t planted in well-draining soil. There is even more risk for waterlogged sites in shade. 

This is why it’s best to plant in rock walls with good drainage rather than rich soil. The vertical nature of rock walls ensures you won’t have to deal with poor drainage, and because Sedum rupestre Angelina tolerates drought, this or a similar setting is best. 

If you notice your Sedum rupestre Angelina taking on root rot symptoms, like wilting and browning foliage or stems, you may have luck salvaging the parts that haven’t rotted. Start by removing the brown foliage, and then move the sedum plants if necessary to an area with dry soil that’s well-drained. Try not to move the plant outside of autumn or spring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Angelina flowers
‘Angelina’ flowers. Source: Giorgio

Q: Is Angelina sedum annual or perennial?

A: Angelina sedum ground cover is an evergreen perennial. 

Q: Does Angelina sedum need full sun?

A: Yes, Sedum rupestre Angelina does best in full sun, but can tolerate light shade in areas with especially hot summers and intense sun. Plant them in dry soil that gets moderate sun if early summer temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Is Angelina sedum invasive?

A: No, it is not considered invasive. It is, however, a mat-forming ground cover with foliage that will spread through the garden.

Q: What does Angelina sedum look like in winter?

A: In winter (and in cold weather in general), the foliage turns orange in northern climates. In milder climates, the foliage will remain evergreen. 

Q: Does sedum spread quickly?

A: Yes, in the right growing conditions, the foliage of the plant can spread aggressively. Give it dry soil and lots of sun, and you’ll have a lovely mat-forming plant in your garden.  

Q: Is sedum Angelina poisonous to dogs?

A: No. Sedum rupestre Angelina (common name stonecrop Angelina) is not toxic to dogs, cats, or humans. It’s a fairly safe plant for containers or in-ground plantings in the garden.

Q: What can I plant with angelina?

A: The bright green foliage of this plant makes it a great evergreen accent for plants with dark foliage. When the terminal clusters of the plant bloom their star-shaped yellow flowers in early summer, they pop amongst tall darker and lighter plants in the garden. 

Q: Can you divide sedum Angelina?

A: Yes. You can divide and replant this evergreen in early spring or autumn. Feel free to plant in other low-lying areas of the garden or among other perennials in garden beds.  

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