When summer slips into fall and temperatures begin to cool down, that’s when Neon Stonecrop heats up. This peppy Spirit gives your beds and borders a jolt of intense late-season color with its electric-pink blossoms. At other times of the year, it has more subtle charms to offer. In winter, dark stems persist, along with a platform for receiving freshly fallen snow. In spring, Neon is one of the first Spirits out of the gate, with bright mint-green growth to greet the new season. In summer, it develops into a sculptural, broccoli-like plant, covered with buds and ready to burst into glorious hot pink bloom once again!
This species of Stonecrop, or Sedum, hails from China and Korea, where it is found on rocky slopes and forest edges. Over the years, particularly attractive selections have been introduced. One of these is ‘Brilliant’, with rich pink flowers. Brilliant has become a favorite among gardeners and growers. Recently, Richard Davis and Meriwether Payne were inspecting a crop of Brilliant Sedum at their Virginia nursery, the Ivy Farm, and noticed something unusual. One plant’s blooms were an even more vivid pink color than all the rest. It also had larger, more rounded flower clusters and a more compact habit. Neon was born.
If you love butterflies, then you need Neon Stonecrop. Monarchs, buckeyes, and painted ladies especially are drawn to its dazzling pink flowers and the nectar they contain. In fact, pollinators of all stripes are crazy about Neon and will contentedly work over the blossoms all day long.
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. Leave the spent stems standing for winter interest, cutting them down when they begin to look unsightly. Spring growth starts early, so don’t wait too long to cut the stems back. Aphids may occasionally strike Neon, but they usually disappear before doing much damage. Ladybugs and other natural predators will most likely take care of the pests before you feel the need to intervene.
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