By Lynn Smith aka valleylynn (valleylynn) on March 18, 2010
Miniature gardens are tiny little garden treasures of the plant world. Choose the right plants and conditions to grow in, and they can last for years with just a little maintenance. Sedum, and some of their companion plants are ideal for such gardens.
To begin your minitaure garden, start with the right soil mix making sure it has very good drainage. Using plants that are drought tolerant, but remain green and attractive with little care needed, will get your tiny garden off to a good start. A good commercial potting mix will work, you can add coarse sand and a little bone meal to get things going. If planted in the ground you shouldn’t need to fertilize. When planting in a pot you can use a slow release fertilizer maybe once in late spring. Don’t fertilize late in the summer, as that can cause the plant to put on a spurt of new growth going into winter. The new growth is prone to winter damage and or die back.
One of the wonderful attributes of Sedum is how easy they are to propagate. A new plant can be started with just a piece placed on the ground or in soil in a pot, and it will take off growing. Some plants have been known to start even from just a leaf falling on the ground. The taller varieties will root easily from a stem cutting placed in the ground or pot of soil. Sedum are drought tolerant, hardy to zone 4, deer and pest resistant and love full sun or filtered sun in hotter more arid climates. Just remember they are not fond of standing in water, no wet feet for these hardy little guys. : )
Okay let’s look at some of the plants you might want in your tiny garden. Album turns brilliant red in hot dry weather. It is a groundcover that stays under 2” tall and is evergreen. Album var. Micranthum is just 1/2” tall and makes a nice solid mat of beady leaves. It is a hardy plant and is evergreen. Angelina is one of my favorites. It is such an easy to care for plant with color changing from bright yellow/gold in summer, to dark green and orange/rust tones in winter. Angelina grows 4” to 6” tall and is evergreen. Cape Blanco grows under 4" and has amazing gray/green succulent foliage that has a silvery-white waxy powder. It grows yellow flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Kamtschaticum variegatum grows to 5” tall and can be used to give the appearance of a grove of colorful bushes or trees in your miniature garden. It also has attractive orange/yellow flowers from June through September and is semi-evergreen.Red Cauli grows 8 to 12” tall and has beautiful dark blue/green leaves that take on purple tones as the season progresses. The Pink buds open to bright pink flowers that darken to red. Fall brings dark maroon seed heads. Pinching Red Cauli back early in the summer keeps the plant busy and upright.Red Cauli tends to flop over if it doesn’t get enough sun and is winter dormant. Silver Stone is an evergreen with wonderful blue/green needle like foliage that turns pinkish/purple in winter. It is a ground cover that gets about 4” or 5” tall with starry yellow flowers reaching about 5” above the foliage. Sedum hispanicum ‘Purpureum’ is a tiny treasure growing just 1” tall, with blue/green evergreen foliage tinged purple. It blooms small white flowers in summer. Sedum spurium ‘Tri-Color’ is a beautiful and interesting plant that grows to 4” tall. It has wonderful green, pink and cream leaves with pink flowers in summer. It is a mat forming groundcover and is semi-evergreen. This is just a tiny sampling of what is out there in the world of Sedum, there are hundreds of varieties ranging from under 1” to 24”. Have fun finding just the right ones for your Miniature Garden.Please come by our Sedum and Sempervivum Cubit to discover more plants for your miniature gardens.http://cubits.org/sedumandsempervivum/
I have a love for just about all plants. The process of finding and learning about new plant varieties is very interesting to me. I have tried to pass that on to my four wonderful children with varying success. : ) My two Rat Terriers (Nikki and Petrie) and one cat (Suzie) are my gardening companions. My husband graciously does the heavy things around the garden for me.
I have really been focusing on Sedum and Sempervivum for several years now and have a deep interest in learning all I can about them. Between the two Genus of the Family of Crassulaceae there are thousands of species to discover, so I will never run out of things to learn about them.