Autumn Joy Sedum

Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy'

Family: Stonecrop

Type: Perennial

Other Common Name: Autumn Stonecrop, Showy Stonecrop

Autumn Joy Sedum, scientifically known as Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’, is a robust, easy-to-grow perennial famed for its spectacular late-season blooms. This hardy succulent presents dense flower heads that start out a light pink and mature to a deep coppery-red in the fall. It’s a favorite in gardens for its ability to provide enduring color when most other plants have finished blooming.

Growing to about 18-24 inches in height with a similar spread, Autumn Joy Sedum forms a neat, clump-like shape that fits well in a variety of garden settings. Its succulent leaves and sturdy stems make it particularly resistant to drought and other harsh conditions. This plant is a great choice for adding interest to the garden with minimal maintenance.

Autumn Joy Sedum thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Its drought tolerance makes it a fantastic choice for xeriscaping and water-wise gardens. The plant’s showy blooms not only add aesthetic appeal but also attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, enhancing garden biodiversity.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 2b-4a

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes

Growth

Growth Rate: Fast

Average Height (feet): 2

Average Spread (feet): 2

Average Life Span (years): 15

Form: Upright spreading

Ornamental

Flower Color: Pink

Bloom Season: From late summer to late fall

Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Round

Landscaping Your Yard With Autumn Joy Sedum

Autumn Joy Sedum is ideal for creating a vibrant display in perennial borders and flower beds. Its upright form and striking blooms make it an excellent focal point or accent plant. Group it with other late-blooming perennials for a long-lasting display of color.

Incorporate this sedum into rock gardens or as part of a drought-tolerant planting scheme. Its tolerance for poor soil and dry conditions makes it a practical and visually appealing addition to these landscapes. Autumn Joy Sedum also works well in container gardens, bringing color and texture to patios and balconies.

Due to its robust nature, Autumn Joy Sedum is excellent for mass plantings and groundcover. It creates a dense mat of foliage that suppresses weeds and provides year-round interest in the garden.

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Suitable Garden Styles

Contemporary Garden

In contemporary gardens, Autumn Joy Sedum adds a touch of natural beauty with its structured form and vibrant blooms. Its simplicity and elegance fit well with the minimalist aesthetic of contemporary landscaping.

Cottage Garden

For cottage gardens, Autumn Joy Sedum brings a warm and inviting feel with its colorful, late-season flowers. It fits perfectly into the relaxed, abundant style typical of these gardens.

Wildlife Garden

As a pollinator-friendly plant, Autumn Joy Sedum is ideal for wildlife gardens. Its late-season blooms provide a vital source of nectar for bees and butterflies.

Autumn Joy Sedum Landscaping Ideas

Use Autumn Joy Sedum in mixed borders for late-season interest. Its colorful blooms stand out among other plants, especially as many perennials begin to fade in the fall. Combine it with ornamental grasses for a stunning autumn display.

Seasonal Interest

Spring

In spring, Autumn Joy Sedum starts to produce fresh green growth, laying the groundwork for its later blooms.

Summer

During summer, the plant forms light pink buds, hinting at the spectacular show to come in the fall.

Fall

In the fall, Autumn Joy Sedum's blooms reach their peak, displaying rich coppery red flowers that add depth and warmth to the autumn garden.

Winter

In winter, the dried flower heads of Autumn Joy Sedum can be left intact for added interest and texture in the garden, especially when dusted with frost or snow.

Companion Plants

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Stella D’oro Daylily

Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'

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Little Spire Russian Sage

Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire'

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Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Autumn Joy Sedum should be planted in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. It’s perfect for dry, rocky areas, sunny borders, and spaces where other plants might struggle.

Light

This plant performs best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. In full sun, its flowers are more vibrant and its stems are sturdier.

Soil

Autumn Joy Sedum is adaptable to a variety of soil types but thrives in well-drained, sandy or gravelly soil. It prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.

Spacing

Space plants about 12-18 inches apart. This allows for adequate air circulation and room for growth, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Autumn Joy Sedum is in the spring or early fall. This timing allows the plant to establish a strong root system before extreme weather conditions.

How to Plant

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the plant in the hole, fill it with soil, and water thoroughly. Adding organic matter can improve drainage.

Plant Care Tips

Watering

Water the plant regularly until it’s established. Once established, Autumn Joy Sedum is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering.

Fertilizing

Fertilize lightly in the spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Pruning

Prune back in early spring to remove any dead or damaged stems. Deadheading after flowering can encourage a second bloom.

By Season

 

Spring Care

Remove dead foliage and apply fertilizer. Begin regular watering as new growth appears.

Summer Care

Water occasionally during prolonged dry spells. Monitor for pests and diseases, although Autumn Joy Sedum is generally quite hardy.

Fall Care

Reduce watering as the plant prepares for dormancy. Deadhead spent flowers if a tidy appearance is desired.

Winter Care

No special winter care is needed. The plant's structure provides winter interest and habitat for wildlife.

Plant Alternatives

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Angelina Sedum

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'

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flowers

Autumn Fire Sedum

Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Fire'

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flowers

Frosted Fire Sedum

Sedum 'Frosted Fire'

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FAQ

Can Autumn Joy Sedum Be Divided?

Yes, Autumn Joy Sedum can be divided in the spring or fall to propagate the plant or manage its size.

Is Autumn Joy Sedum Deer Resistant?

While no plant is completely deer-proof, Autumn Joy Sedum is not a favorite for deer and is considered relatively deer-resistant.

How Long Does Autumn Joy Sedum Live?

With proper care, Autumn Joy Sedum can be a long-lived perennial, often thriving for several years in the right conditions. Regular division can help maintain its vigor.

Products That Feature This Plant

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