Blue Spruce Stonecrop
It really does look like Blue Spruce needles! Blue Spruce Stonecrop, a.k.a. Sedum, makes a carpet of dreamy blue conifer-like foliage for covering bare ground beneath your trees or shrubs or for planting in a rock garden, green roof, or planter. Unlike a prickly conifer, however, this welcoming Blue Spruce is soft to the touch. It also offers up cheery lemon-yellow flowers in early summer that are adored by butterflies and other pollinators. Blue Spruce Sedum is a moderately fast-growing groundcover that will fill in sunny areas nicely, but it won’t take over your garden when you leave for vacation!
There are hundreds of species of Stonecrops that grow around the world. These sun-loving and drought-tolerant (usually) Spirits can be found in a dizzying array of forms and colors. There are groundhuggers, clumpers, and even a few small shrubs among them. There are Sedums with blue, green, gray, purple, red, and yellow foliage, and Sedums with yellow, white, and pink flowers. This species, the Reflexed Stonecrop, is native to Europe, where it was once used as a salad ingredient. (The fleshy leaves have a tangy flavor.) ‘Blue Spruce’ was chosen for its superior blue color.
Like a Blue Spruce Tree, Blue Spruce Sedum is evergreen, at least when winters aren’t too harsh. When the weather gets cold, the plant may take on a pink blush to accent its blue color. This pink and blue Spirit is so much more uplifting to see in the wintertime than plain brown mulch!
How to Grow
They don’t call it Live-Forever for nothing! Neon Stonecrop, a.k.a. Live-Forever, is about as easy to grow as they come. Simply site it in a sunny, open space in soil that drains well. The two things it won’t abide are deep shade and soggy soil. Cut the flowering stems back after blooming if you find the spent blooms distracting. This will also help the plant put energy into new foliage instead of seed production. Trim any lanky or damaged growth in late winter, before new leaves push out in early spring. Dig and compost clumps that have strayed too far, or move them to another part of the garden.
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