HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Sedum it is a genus that includes many species native to southern Europe, Mexico and also central Africa considered "succulent plants".
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Sedum belongs to family of Crassulaceae, large group of succulent plants native to southern Europe, Mexico and even central Africa. The genus includes a very large number of species, about 450.
Almost all of them are perennial and very rustic plants with a mostly creeping or drooping posture even if there are species with erect posture, sapling and bushy. They are very popular plants as they are very beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, with very particular and attractive green leaves and form starry flowers of great decorative effect.
Both the stems and the leaves of the Sedum they are fleshy and have the function of storing water. The leaves are opposite and alternately arranged along the stem and covered with a waxy substance or a light down.
The flowers are mostly star-shaped and of very different sizes but mostly small, depending on the species; in some species they are united in corymb, cluster or panicle inflorescences. Depending on the species, it blooms from March to September.
There are numerous species of Sedum among which we remember
A widespread belief is that succulents or succulent plants grow well even if they are neglected. This is not true at all because like all living beings, they need attention and care. They can "survive" if they neglect them but certainly not live to the best of their abilities. Considering that the care they require is not that many, we dedicate a few minutes a week to these incredible plants and they will pay off with a stupendous growth.
They are plants that require a lot of light, even direct sun, in all seasons of the year. The best is a southern exposure and a northern exposure to be avoided.
They do not have major problems with maximum temperatures while the winter ones must be around 10-13 ° C but be careful that they do not drop below 10 ° C. If temperatures reach these values, be sure to leave the plant perfectly dry.
They love the air so give them fresh air especially in summer by placing them near an open window.
The watering of the Sedum they must be carried out when the surface of the soil is dry. A good practice is to wet the soil well, then drain all excess water and then wait until the soil is dry before proceeding with the next irrigation.
During the autumn-winter period (from mid-November to mid-March), irrigation must be suspended until spring.
It is necessary to carefully avoid leaving stagnant water in the sub-pot as water stagnation is not tolerated in any way and would cause the roots to rot.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The plant needs to be repotted periodically, in spring, if the roots have occupied all the space available to them.
Repotting is also an excellent time to check the state of the roots: if you notice blackened or greyish roots (the roots must be creamy-white) they must be eliminated. Then take some washed and sterilized scissors (possibly at the flame) and proceed with the cut. Then sprinkle broad spectrum fungicide powder into the cut wounds and then repot. In this case, however, wait at least a week before watering to allow the wounds to heal.
For repotting, use a specific compost for Cactaceae to which add coarse sand or perlite in the measure of 2: 1 (2 parts of compost and 1 part of sand or perlite).
Take care to place pieces of crock in the drainage hole so that the earth or roots do not obstruct the drainage hole as waterlogging is lethal for this plant.
Personally, I always recommend using terracotta pots and not plastic ones as they allow the earth to transpire and if the drainage hole has been arranged to ensure a good drainage of the water, well, I would say that it is perfect. Furthermore, the vessels must be wider than deep as the root system tends to develop in width rather than in depth.
The first watering after repotting, do it by immersion of the pot. Remember that if you have pruned the roots you need to wait at least a week before watering to give the wounds time to heal.
From spring and throughout the summer it should be fertilized every 4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the irrigation water by decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
Starting from autumn and throughout the winter, suspend fertilization because the plant enters vegetative rest so you must not give fertilizers that would accumulate in the soil, creating a harmful environment for the roots of the plant.
To ensure optimal growth for your plant, give a fertilizer equally balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, for example 30:30:30 (macro elements). In addition, however, make sure that it also contains microelements such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
If you ensure the right amount of light, water and fertilizer, as indicated in the respective paragraphs, you will have beautiful growths and blooms.
The plant usually begins to bloom from March and continues throughout the summer, until September.
Sedum is usually not pruned. The leaves that gradually dry up or damaged must simply be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.
The Sedum it multiplies by cutting or by seed.
In choosing the technique to be adopted, it should be borne in mind that the multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, taking over the genetic variability, it is not certain that there will be plants equal to the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a very specific plant or you are not sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
The best time to take Sedum cutting is usually between May and June.
The cuttings are obtained by cutting the apexes of the stems to a length of 8-10 cm using a very sharp and disinfected knife (possibly at the flame) and the lower leaves are removed for about 2-3 cm in the lower part.
The cut surface is left to dry for 7-10 days or more to heal the wound and then planted in a compost formed by sand and peat.
The soil should be kept slightly moist and the pot should be placed in a place where the temperature is about 13-16 ° C.
Once the first roots begin to appear (usually after a few weeks) it means that it has rooted at that point treat it as an adult plant.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
Sedum is multiplied by seeds between January and March by distributing the seeds as evenly as possible on a soil made up of 2 parts of fine sand and one of soil per seed.
You can use pots that are not too tall or multiplication trays leaving a space of at least 2 cm between the edge of the pot and the ground. Then immerse the pot in water until the soil is well wet. At that point, let the excess water drain and arrange the seeds on the surface of the wet soil evenly and do not bury them but simply sprinkle a little water so that they adhere better to the soil.
The tray must be covered with a transparent plastic sheet or a glass plate that will guarantee a good temperature and avoid a too rapid drying of the soil.The plastic sheet must be removed every day to check the degree of humidity of the soil and remove the condensation that shape on plastic or in glass.
The tray or pot containing the seeds should be kept in the shade, at a temperature around 13-18 ° C and slightly humid (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.
Once the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic sheet or the glass. Now as the seeds do not germinate all together but in a scalar way, it will be necessary to guarantee the new born a little light. So arrange the tray so that they receive more light, but not excessive, so as to respect even the seeds that have not yet germinated.
Once the seedlings are large enough to be handled, they are transplanted into the final pot as indicated for adult plants and treated as such.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Sedum, like all succulent plants, are not particularly prone to diseases. In their case, perhaps it is more correct to speak of physiopathies, that is to say diseases due not to pathogens but to bad cultivation techniques.
The stem of the plant rots
This is the classic symptom of too much watering.
Remedies: unfortunately if the whole plant looks like this, there is nothing more to be done. If, on the other hand, some stems are not yet affected, you can try to save the plant. Remove the plant with all the earthen bread from the pot and leave it in the air so that the soil dries quickly. Check the roots and remove any rotten ones by cutting them for at least 1 cm above the rotten area with a sharp and disinfected scissors (possibly with a flame), as well as the now dead stems. Sprinkle the cutting surface with a broad spectrum fungicidal powder and then repot. Wait at least two weeks before watering again and above all, take greater care in the amount of water you administer for the future.
The plant withers and sheds its leaves
Mostly this symptom is due to too low temperatures or cold drafts.
Remedies: place the plant in a more suitable position.
The green parts of the plant discolour and appear shriveled
This symptom is usually due to too little irrigation. If we stay several months without watering the plant, especially in summer, it uses up all the water contained in the tissues and therefore appears to be emptied.
Remedies: not always if you reach this stage it is possible to recover the plant, in any case, it is worth giving a try by giving a little more attention to our plant with the right irrigations.
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal: brown cochineal and cottony (mealy) cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended that you make use of a magnifying glass and observe yourself. Compare them with the photo shown: they are easily recognizable. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.
Remedies: they can be eliminated using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or you can wash the plant with water and neutral soap by gently rubbing with a sponge to remove the parasites. Once this is done, the plant must be rinsed to remove the soap. Only in case of severe infestations is it recommended to use systemic pesticides.