Dragon's blood sedum is a popular varietal of the succulent family with dramatic, crimson flowers and nearly evergreen foliage. In fact, in many locations the plant will merely change colours to a rusty red and retain these leaves through the winter season. Growing dragon's blood sedum is an easy task, and the plant will very nearly govern itself once started. Propagating and tending this plant is easy to learn and will provide a unique solution for certain areas of the yard.
The Solution for Your Barren Spots
As Gerald Klingaman, extension horticulturist at the University of Arkansas, points out, dragon's blood sedum is a member of the succulent family of plants. As such, it has excellent drought resistant features and thrives in full sun. Its relatively low need for water makes it a great addition to rock gardens and bare expanses in the yard that need filling in, and it is surprisingly flexible. Henry Field's Seed and Nursery Company notes that dragon's blood sedum will continue to grow even in partial shade, though full sun will facilitate more dramatic plant colour and flowers. If you have a spot in the garden that few plants will tolerate, this ground cover may be just the thing for you.
When to Plant
The right timing for planting dragon's blood sedum depends, for the most part, on what you are planting: seed or cuttings. If starting from cuttings, you can take a deep breath. Klingaman notes that propagating dragon's blood sedum this way is simple to do at any point of the year. Since this plant is evergreen in most growing zones (zones 3 through 8), a cutting planted in winter will set root and be ready for spring. If you have access to cuttings through a friend or neighbour, or if your local gardening store carries whole plants, this is going to be a much simpler solution for propagating the plant.
In areas where dragon's blood sedum cuttings cannot be obtained, though, it is not difficult to start from seed. As with most seeds, you can plant this variety at any time. It won't germinate until the soil warms with the spring sun, though. To keep from losing your seedlings among weeds, you may want to start them inside in a seed starter. Then, when the soil has warmed to around 15.6 degrees Celsius, you can transplant your little seedlings to their permanent location.
Contain Growth If Necessary
Once planted, water your dragon's blood sedum on a semi-regular basis. Henry Field's Seed and Nursery Company cautions against over-watering, though. Succulents as a family prefer a drier soil, so give just enough water to moisten the ground slightly. All you're trying to do is give the plants a little bit of a jump start and some softer soil for spreading roots. After two to three weeks your plant should be mature enough to grow with little or no maintenance. At this point, the gardener's role becomes more focused on containment. Your dragon's blood sedum may do so well in a previously barren location that it begins to crowd out other plants. You can clip away errant runners and give them to friends and neighbours, or contain them with barriers. Either way, you'll know you've given your plant a great start if this is the main problem you have.
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