Golden Sedum (Sedum adolphii): Types, How to Grow and Plant Care

Classed as both outdoor and indoor succulents, sedum plants are known for being robust, withstanding much more water, and colder temperatures than other types of succulent plants.

Different types of sedum come with different growth habits. Some stand upright, some trail, and others branch out, meaning that there is one for every space imaginable.

Like most succulent plants, sedums do benefit from full sunlight for as long as possible, where they will provide the best color.

Fancy growing your own golden sedum plants? Here’s everything you need to know.

At a Glance: What You Should Know About Golden Sedum

Part of the Crassula plant family, the golden sedum is known by a few names, including Coppertone stonecrop, Sedum adolphii, and Sedum nussbaumerianum

You can recognize a golden sedum by its thick stem and foliage. This particular sedum has an upright growth habit, each stem capable of growing to about 15cm, but about 60cm wide when it gets to maturity. 

While that sounds petite – and it is – this plant holds its own in any garden scheme because of its vivid color.

In lower light areas where the sun doesn’t directly reach, the golden sedum will be a bright green. 

When you place a golden sedum in full sunlight, however, the plant turns a gorgeous gold with a hint of copper. The longer the plant has to bask in direct sunlight, the more vivid the color will be.

It’s a perfect plant to use as a ground cover or at the front of a border, where it can make the most out of any sunlight that warms the soil. It will also thrive in rockeries or even in containers.

You’ll notice that once the plant gets mature, the stems become woody at the bottom, helping support the rest of the plant’s growth.

If you live somewhere that gets cold winters, where the temperature drops below 20°F (-6°C), it’s worth growing the golden sedum in a container, so you can take it inside during the winter months. You could treat it as a tender annual, too.

You can also grow it indoors if you prefer, making sure to keep it in the brightest light possible, while keeping it away from any drafts or radiators.

The golden sedum also produces flowers during the first few weeks of spring, like most sedums. These tiny white flowers are star-like, providing a great contrast against the foliage.

While the growth habit of the golden sedum is very vigorous, it’s not considered invasive or harmful. If it spreads too much, just pull up the unwanted parts, and you can divide the plant to have it elsewhere in your garden, or indoors.

Gold Sedum Varieties You Should Try Growing At Least Once

Sedum adolphii ‘Golden Glow’

One of the most widespread cultivars of golden sedum, this particular variety features boat-shaped foliage, and depending on the light levels, it comes in lime green, golden yellow, and coppery tones. 

In very bright light, the tips of the leaves turn red. 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’

A trailing golden sedum, this one gets to a more compact height of 20cm tall, featuring yellowy green foliage which is tinged with red either in colder temperatures or bright light.

Sedum adolphii ‘Lime Gold’

Another trailing sedum, ‘Lime Gold’ features lime green leaves with a hint of gold once they mature. To get the most golden hues possible, place it in bright sunlight. 

The flowers that this cultivar produces are more of a cream toned white than other cultivars. 

‘Lime Gold’ can reach 25cm tall, and up to 60cm wide/ 

How to Make a Golden Sedum Thrive

Sunlight and Position

Like most succulents, the golden sedum loves as much sunlight as possible. The brighter the light, and the longer the plant can bask in it, the more vibrant the foliage will be. This goes for growing golden sedums both outdoors and indoors.

Indoors, it will need as much light as it can get, more so than it can cope with outdoors, as sunlight doesn’t always filter well through windows.

Keep this plant away from drafts or sources of heat if you’re growing it indoors, as it won’t tolerate much of either. Outside, it is a little more robust, but it will benefit from a sheltered position.

If you are growing it indoors, make sure you rotate the plant every few days. This will keep the growth balanced, and it will stop the plant leaning towards the light. 

If you don’t have a bright enough windowsill, the golden sedum will benefit from a grow light.

Fertilizer and Watering Needs

A golden sedum doesn’t need a lot of water, and it will withstand periods of drought much better than soggy soil. 

Constantly drenched soil will cause the roots to rot, so only water a golden sedum when the soil has at least partly dried out.

Make sure the water isn’t too cold or too warm, as this will shock the plant.

When it comes to fertilizing a golden sedum, it’s not really necessary. If you really want to give it a feed, only do so once a year, using a very small amount of general purpose, granulated feed.

Make sure to water it into the soil, otherwise the plant won’t benefit.

Humidity and Temperature

The golden sedum is used to warm environments which are fairly humid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow it elsewhere. 

The plant is highly adaptable, and as long as the soil drains well and the temperatures don’t get lower than 20°F, it will survive.

How to Propagate a Golden Sedum

You can propagate a golden sedum in a number of ways, and which one you choose comes down to personal preference, and what you’ve had success with in the past.

You can take cuttings from the stem, or the small leaves, but you can also divide clumps of the plant. 

Propagation by division helps keep the growth of the plant vigorous, and it’s also the fastest way to ensure more golden sedums in your garden or home.

If you decide to propagate a golden sedum by stem cuttings or leaf cuttings, it’s helpful to let any wounds callus over, otherwise they may absorb too much water to start with and rot once you plant them in their new home. 

How to Prevent Pests and Disease

Sedums are fairly robust plants (see also How To Grow Sedums), but that doesn’t mean they are completely immune. Aphids are among the most common, and leaving an infestation unchecked can result in a decimated plant. 

One way of helping to control aphid populations is to encourage ladybugs in your garden. You can do this by growing flowers which have a lot of pollen, such as calendula, sweet alyssum, and yarrow.

Keeping your golden sedum in the right conditions can go a long way to discourage pests and disease from taking hold. Keep the plant in a well-ventilated area, where the air can get to the foliage easily.

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