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Xeriscape Gardens

Sedum Kamtschaticum Care: Growing Russian Stonecrop


8 min read

Sedum kamtschaticum offers lush groundcover of deep green leaves. The stem of the plant is 6″ tall. The bloom time of the small, yellow flowers is spring, early summer, and mid-summer. The foliage color turns a striking bronze in winter, while the long-lasting, star-like, golden yellow flowers mostly retain their color throughout the bloom time.

The drought tolerant Stonecrop Sedum retains its spoon-shaped foliage all season long. This plant is perfect to grow in between stone pathways or in xeriscape gardens. The plant has a variegated variety for a pop of color.

Let’s discuss growing this lovely full sun plant in your garden!

Quick Care Guide

Sedum kamtschaticum succulent spreading out
The color yellow is a staple feature of this species. Source: treegrow
Common Name(s) Orange stonecrop, Russian stonecrop, Kamschatka sedum
Scientific NameSedum kamtschaticum
FamilyCrassulaceae
Height & Spread4-6″ tall and 1-2′ wide
LightFull sun to partial shade
SoilTolerant of many types
WaterLow
Pests & DiseasesAphids, spider mites, and mealybugs, fungus problems and rot if over-watered

All About Sedum Kamtschaticum

Also known as Russian Stonecrop, this plant grows native to rocky mountains all across Japan and some other regions in Asia. You can grow it as ground cover as it has a pleasing foliage color and attractive flower color. It’s drought tolerant, so you can grow it in the crevices of your walls.

The growth rate of this plant is fairly fast. This plant is also deer and rabbit resistant. It’s member of the family Crassulaceae and grows 4-6 inches tall and 1-2 feet wide. The leaves of the plant are deep green and spoon-shaped.

In early spring, bright yellow star-shaped flowers bloom from among the foliage. As the spring turns to early summer, the flowers begin to bronze followed by foliage in fall and winter. Then spent flowers release seeds which overwinter and sprout sparsely in early spring. The plant also reproduces via rooted stems and spreading roots.

Add this lovely ground cover plant to areas where you don’t mind it spreading out, and keep it away from slower-growing plants. It’s not an invasive plant, but it can be aggressive. Rocky slopes, green roofs, and dry gardens in full sun are excellent for Sedum kamtschaticum. It’s here the plant will attract butterflies, but resist deer and rabbits.

There are two premiere types to look out for. Both are drought-tolerant:

  • Kamtschaticum sedum – deep green leaves and with yellow flower color.
  • Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ – deep green leaves with creamy white borders.

Sedum Kamtschaticum Care

Orange stonecrop on a garden border
Makes for an excellent border or xeriscape plant. Source: gertjanvannoord

This sedum is an excellent ground cover that is fairly easy to grow. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of caring for it!

Light & Temperature

Russian stonecrop grows best under full sun, but can grow in partial shade in your garden. Granted it receives 6 hours of full sunlight during the day, it is somewhat shade-tolerant. Your plant can thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9. The lowest temperature it can tolerate is -20°F.

In winter, the plant may die back, but in many zones the green foliage will remain. Heat is no problem for this plant, which does quite well in hot, brightly lit gardens. Partial shade in these areas is just fine.

Water & Humidity

Use the soak and dry method for this ground cover plant. Soak your plant and wait for the soil to dry completely before watering it again. Mature ground cover plants are drought-tolerant – they can go without water for several months.

Protect your Sedum kamtschaticum from an overly wet winter, which can put it under duress and promote infections of root rot. An appropriate soil composition should help with that.

Soil

This ground cover plant prefers to grow in well-drained, dry and poor soil. Average garden soil, clay soil, and sandy soil all work just as well. If the soil is too rich or too water retentive, it can stress your Sedum kamtschaticum. You want a soil that dries easily between waterings.

That being said, water your drought-tolerant sedum at the base of the plant rather than above. This prevents water-borne illnesses from spreading on leaf surfaces. The best pH for this plant comes from a mildly neutral to acidic level.

Fertilizer

These ground cover plants don’t need additional fertilizer since they prefer poor soil and dry soils. Remember, they are drought-tolerant. If you want to add an annual topdressing of compost, apply a very thin layer.

Repotting Sedum Kamtschaticum

You can transplant your store-bought plants into free-draining soil in containers with drainage holes, or plant them in your garden as ground cover. Space your plants 9-12″ inches apart as they need space to sprawl on the ground via short rhizomes.

If you’re growing your Sedum kamtschaticum in a pot, repot it when it doubles in size, or annually. It’s at this time you can divide the plant or take cuttings.

Sedum Kamtschaticum Propagation

You can propagate your plant via division every two to three years. This process is easy and should be done in spring or early summer. Simply dig up the plant and look for nodes with plant growth attached. Then gently separate them and plant.You can plant the larger divisions directly into their permanent spots in full sun and grow the smaller ones in pots in a cold frame.

Pruning

You can trim back the stems and dead clusters of flower heads of your plant in early spring. In early summer, pinch back the taller varieties of your grown plant by half to prevent splitting. It’s at this time you can deadhead the plant to prevent self-seeding.

Of course, as always, if any dead or diseased areas of the plant crop up, prune these with sterilized pruning shears as needed.

Troubleshooting

Sedum kamtschaticum is incredible easy-going, blooming from spring, to early summer, all the way to mid-summer. However, look out for a few things when you’re growing it.

Sedum Kamtschaticum Growing Problems

Don’t over-water your plant during winters as wet soil will kill your plant. Therefore, ensure your plant is in well-draining soil, and only water when the soil has completely dried out.

While it is shade-tolerant, too much shade is not good for your plant, so provide at least 6 hours of sunlight throughout the day. Some partial shade is fine. Symptoms of too little sunlight show in slower growth and a lack of spring blooms.

Pests

Aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs may all feed on the leaves of your plant, sucking plant sap as they go. However, they’re not usually a significant problem. You can usually blast them off the plant with a strong stream of water.

If the blast of water doesn’t do it, instead of spraying with organic pesticides (which can put foraging butterflies in danger), remove infested parts of the plant and wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove the remaining pests.

Diseases

Your plant can suffer from fungal infections and root rot, so make sure that you don’t over-water it and use well-drained soil. You can mix 50% pumice, coarse sand, or perlite into the soil to prevent these diseases. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.

If root rot takes hold, cease watering and remove the diseased parts of the plant. In cases where this doesn’t remedy the issue, dig up the whole plant, and put it in fresh media that is completely dry. Do not water again until the plant is stable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you care for a Russian Stonecrop?

A: Grow your plant in full sun, moderately fertile, dry, well-drained soil. Water it occasionally and protect it from over-watering during winters.

Q: Does Angelina Sedum bloom?

A: These plants bloom yellow, star-shaped flowers from spring and early summer to late summer.

Q: Does sedum Kamtschaticum spread?

A: It does! It spreads via its roots and via the seeds produced by its flower.

Q: Is sedum Kamtschaticum a perennial?

A: It is! It’s mostly evergreen and perennial in its native range and USDA hardiness zones.

Q: Do sedums like sun or shade?

A: While some sedums like shade, this one needs at least 6 hours of full sun daily.

Q: Does sedum spread quickly?

A: In optimal conditions this sedum will grow and spread quickly. Therefore, keep it away from other slow-growing plants.

Q: Where is the best place to plant sedum?

A: For this particular sedum, plant it in a dry garden bed with well-draining soil and access to full sun.

Q: Do sedums dieback in winter?

A: Yes, but in its hardiness zones, Sedum kamtschaticum can remain evergreen. In colder regions, it dies back in winter.

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