Sedum rubrotinctum: Care for the Lenient Jelly Beans

Jelly Beans. Pork and Beans. What sounds like a delicious meal plus dessert is actually a succulent! Sedum rubrotinctum is a lively plant that requires little more care than a rock. It’s perfect for neglectful gardeners.

Sedum rubrotinctum’s leaves resemble beans – jelly or otherwise. These plump beans are green, but turn red on the tips when given full sun. The red tips are actually a sign of minor stress. Don’t you stress though! As long as it doesn’t get sunburned, this succulent is perfectly fine being colorful.

There isn’t much to growing the Jelly Beans succulent. To ensure your success though, here are all the details you need for this fun plant.

Recommended Products to Care for Sedum rubrotinctum:

Quick Care

A bug hanging out on the jelly beans plant
A bug hanging out on the jelly beans plant. Source: ClareSnow
Common Name(s)Jelly-Beans, Jelly Bean plant, Pork and
Beans, Christmas Cheer, Stone Crop plants
Scientific NameSedum rubrotinctum
FamilyCrassulaceae
Height & Spread12″ (30 cm) tall
LightFull sun to partial shade
Water“Soak and dry” method – typical water needs for succulents
SoilWell-draining potting mix
Fertilizer1/2 strength, balanced, liquid fertilizer
Pests & DiseasesPest resistant, root rot

All About Sedum rubrotinctum

In the spring, Pork and Beans celebrates with yellow, star-shaped flowers. The woody stems like to spread out and take up space, so they make great ground covers. Pork and Beans also grows well in containers.

This Mexico native is actually a hybrid of Sedums pachyphyllum and stahlii. It thrives outdoors in zones 9-11 but can tolerate some frost. If your zone’s temperature drops below 20° F, plant Jelly Beans in a container so you can bring it inside if needed.

If you have pets or small children, be careful! Jelly Beans may seem like a tasty treat, but this plant is poisonous to humans and animals.

Types of Jelly Beans Plant

Sedum rubrotinctum hasn’t been heavily developed by growers for variations. The most common variety is referenced by its botanical name, and it has one named cultivar. There’s no difference in care between these two.

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’, ‘Pink Jelly Beans’

The base version of this plant is red, but ‘Aurora’ has leaf tips in lovely shades of pink. This gives the plant a soft, intricate look.

Pork and Beans Care

Sedum rubrotinctum has a shiny, distinct look - like a jelly bean
Sedum rubrotinctum has a shiny, distinct look – like a jelly bean. Source: Dingilingi

As mentioned, Pork and Beans is extremely easy to care for. With a good setup and schedule, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Light & Temperature

Full sun to partial shade is ideal for Pork and Beans. The more sun exposure your succulent gets, the deeper its colors will be. Remember though that Pork and Beans can get sunburned if exposed to full sun and high heat.

If your succulent lives indoors, keep it by a south, east, or west-facing window. Pork and Beans is frost tolerant, but can’t handle temperatures below 20° F.

Water & Humidity

When it comes to water, Sedum rubrotinctum needs the “soak and dry” method. This means that you wait for the soil to dry out completely and then water it thoroughly. Your succulent should never be sitting in water for long periods of time.

Overwatering is a common problem in succulents. Watch for mushy, discolored, and dropping leaves. When underwatered, the leaves will become wrinkly and shriveled.

As for humidity, Pork and Beans prefers good air circulation in the spring and summer. Other than that, it’s not picky.

Soil

Jelly Beans is tolerant of most soil types – as long as it isn’t drowning. For best results, give it a well-draining cactus and succulent soil. You can buy this or make your own by mixing potting soil and perlite.

Some plants are finicky about pH levels, but Jelly Beans doesn’t care much about those details. This plant is about as low-maintenance as it gets.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer isn’t a requirement, but always helpful. If you choose to, give your Pork and Beans ¼ – ½ strength fertilizer (balanced or low in Nitrogen).

For optimum benefits, use a high-quality succulent fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. You can also apply fertilizer if your Pork and Beans hits a growth plateau.

Repotting

Sedum rubrotinctum will need to be repotted if it outgrows its container. The stems are sprawling, so don’t worry if they hang off the edge of their container. What you’ll want to watch for are the roots. Sedum rubrotinctum can handle being rootbound but grows best with space.

The leaves fall off easily, so don’t be surprised if there are casualties. With these, you might as well try no-effort propagation by setting them on the soil next to your newly repotted plant (they usually root on their own).

Sedum rubrotinctum can cause skin irritation, so gloves are highly recommended.

Propagation

Pork and Beans is so easy to propagate that sometimes it propagates itself! Fallen leaves root where they land and stems grow roots while still connected to the plant. This makes for fast and easy propagation for gardeners.

To propagate from leaves and stems, choose a healthy part of the plant. For leaves, gently twist them off the stem without leaving any part behind. Stems can be cut an inch or two from the top.

After you’ve gathered your cuttings, let them dry out for a few days. During this time, keep them out of full sunlight so they don’t get burned.

After the wounds have dried, place them on top of or in well-draining soil. Mist the cuttings with water until the roots are firmly in the soil. Gradually give the new plant normal water and sun as it matures.

Pruning

If your Jelly Beans is getting bigger than you want or has some unappealing stems, you can easily prune it. This is entirely cosmetic though.

To prune, use sharp pruning shears that will make a clean cut without crushing the stem. Keep the cut area dry until it calluses over in a few days.

Troubleshooting

The pork and beans plant in a botanic garden
The pork and beans plant in a botanic garden. Source: mark6mauno

Jelly Beans is fairly resistant against pests and diseases and its growing problems are typical for succulents. Overall though, this is a tough plant that shouldn’t give you much trouble.

Growing Problems

Dropping Leaves: It’s pretty normal for Pork and Beans to drop leaves when handled or even brushed against. However, this can also be a symptom of overwatering. If the fallen leaves seem mushy or discolored, check the soil to make sure it’s draining properly. If it isn’t, stop watering until it dries out or repot with dry soil.

Wilting: If your Sedum rubrotinctum is drooping or the leaves are wilted and wrinkly, it’s underwatered. Give it a good soak and it should revive in a day or two. It may be tempting to keep the soil wet for a while, but you should let it dry out before soaking again.

Etiolation: Stretched out stems are common in succulents. This is caused by a lack of sunlight. If you notice your Pork and Beans is growing tall and thin, move it to a sunnier location. If the damage is done and you’re stuck with long stems, prune them back so they can regrow normally.

Pests

Sedum rubrotinctum rarely attracts pests. To further prevent any from showing up, keep the plant and soil as dry as possible.

Diseases

Like most succulents, Jelly Beans is susceptible to root and stem rot. This is usually caused by too much moisture in the soil or on the leaves. Rot can easily make the plant vulnerable to fungal diseases and bacteria. Once infected, these spread quickly so it’s important to fix it right away. Symptoms include wilting, discoloration, and mushy flesh.

The most effective control method is to remove the rotted sections. With a sterile knife, remove any sections of the stem or roots that appear diseased. If this includes the majority of the plant, you’ll be better off removing and using the healthy stems for propagation. 

After eliminating the rotted parts, repot your Jelly Beans in new, dry soil. Let the wounds callous over before watering the plant. Prevent rot from happening again by not overwatering.

FAQs

Q. Is Sedum rubrotinctum poisonous?

A. Yes! Not only is this succulent toxic to humans and pets, it can irritate the skin. If you have pets or children, this may not be the plant for you.

Q. Why are the leaves falling off my Jelly Beans succulent?

A. The leaves fall off easily when the plant is moved or brushed against. However, this is also a sign of overwatering. If the fallen leaves are discolored or mushy, you’ll need to adjust your watering schedule.

Q. How do you revive a dying succulent?

A. The most common cause of death in succulents is overwatering. If your plant is mushy and discolored and the soil is retaining water, you need to lay off the watering can. Repot the succulent in dry soil and give it a couple of days before watering again.

Other causes of succulent death are underwatering and rot. Underwatered plants need a more consistent watering schedule. Rotted sections need to be removed.


The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Rachel Garcia
Succulent Fanatic

Kevin Espiritu
Founder

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