Sedum spurium 'Dragon's blood'
Creeping mat of succulent foliage, red-tinged dark green, with red flowers in summer. We also have the similar Sedum 'Tricolor', with pink/white/green foliage. Other S. spuriums growing in our garden are 'John Creech', a rugged low-growing variety with serrated green leaves, and 'Fuldaglut', described as an 'improved Dragon's Blood.
||caucasian stonecrop; two-row stonecrop
|'John Creech' on a sunny September day |
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
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Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Sep 15, 2006||Hi, I have a question you might be able to answer. I have some Dragon's Blood Sedum seeds that need planted. I live in Old Hickory, Tn. My question is, when is the best time to plant the seeds? Also, the seeds are so small, how do i spread them? I have over 30000 seeds, but all can fit into the palm of my hand! Hard to believe they can cover the 100 feet of land I want to cover, will they cover that big an area? Am I just crazy??? Thanks for your input!|
I've no idea how well broadcast-seeding sedum would work - they spread more by roots than by seed in our garden.
|Hemant||Apr 21, 2009||I hear this is fairly invasive ground cover. How do you restrict it to borders in your perennial beds? I am planning to plant this year in Atlanta and would seek some advise.
When happy, it's aggressive enough to fight weeds, but I don't find it invasive. It doesn't like shade, so it won't compete with taller-growing plants that shade the soil.
|Samantha||Aug 15, 2009||I have just planted and succeeded growing this variety from seed, and yes, the seeds are like dust. I had 3,000 seeds and spread 60 into a 50 cell tray. My method is this: Fill the cells with a combination soil of rich compost and lots of perlite until it appears ash-like. Lightly pack this mix into the cells...I use a bottle cap to pack the soil down evenly. Take the seeds and put them in a small stiff paper envelope and merely tap them evenly onto each cell. I usually put a loose layer of fine rock crystals on top the seeds for extra drainage and to retain moisture. Lightly mist and wrap cell tray with syran wrap. Place in filtered sunlight and within 1-2 weeks they should begin to grow their first true leaves in a cluster. Some algae development in the cells, which will appear green, is okay. Check for fungus when the seedlings start to grow by making sure every cell has at least some plants growing in it. If some cells are full and others completely empty, it may be hard to revive the seedlings but the full cells should be moved into another sterilized tray. Let the soil go somewhat dry inbetween waterings. Within 6 months they should be about 2-4" tall with well established roots and foliage. Check for meeley bug's often...white cotton insects inbetween leaves. Spray with coffee or pepper juice. |
Thanks for sharing your method, Samantha. I'm not familiar with "fine rock crystals", I'll have to look for that.
|Debbie Merchant||May 17, 2010||I purchased my first Dragon Blood Sedum plant. Ihad no clue what it was , Just thought it was interesting. I plan to plant it in a stack of clay pots, hoping it will cascade fron the higher pots. Does it have to be used as ground cover?|
It will cascade to some extent - as long as the jump between pots isn't too large, it sounds like an interesting plan!
|Sharon||Nov 22, 2010||I wood like to plant sedum on a slope. We have deer that treat everything I plant like a personal salad bar. Is there any hope that they would leave the sedum alone?|
|Diane Roberts||Mar 12, 2011||We live just north of San Antonio at the beginning of the hill country. We do have deer who are always hungry and help themelves to plants that are not "deer resistent". Do you know if "Dragon's Blood" is deer resistent. We would like to use it as a ground cover. Thanks.|
I doubt that it would be considered deer resistant. Its leaves are succulent, without the milky sap that makes some other plants deer-resistant.
|Judith||Mar 29, 2011||We live in North Alabama. I wanted to plant Dragons Blood sedum in my rose garden to fight off the thriving weeds. Will this be effective in weed control?|
The sedum will suppress weeds to some extent, but it's not the best groundcover. There will be some bare soil, allowing some weeds to take hold, so periodic weeding will still be necessary.
|Judith||Mar 31, 2011||If sedum is not the best groundcover, do you have any suggestions on a groundcover that is fast growing, non climbing and will not reach more than 6 inches high?|
In my climate, sweet woodruff would work well, especially if the base of the roses receives some shade. I'm not sure how it would hold up in the South, though.
|Cheryl||Apr 13, 2011||what would you suggest I plant with this dragons blood sedum? something I can mix in with it.|
|Greenwick||May 19, 2011||I managed to snag a little sedum spurium plant from a local garden sale. I wanted it because I understood that sap from Dragon's Blood plants is good for making ink and incense. However, while what I have is definitely sedum spurium, I have also learned that the resin comes from the tree instead. Is there any relation between the two, would I still be able to use it for the purpose I intended? Thanks!|
I have no idea – never heard of such a use for the sedum; the tree sounds like a more plausible source of pigment and incense.
|Dawn||Jul 22, 2011||Hi - wondering if you have a picture of the seedlings of Dragons blood? Trying to grow from seed but not sure what they look like.|
I don't have a picture for S. spurium - but they will look somewhat similar to the photo I have for S. glaucophyllum: rounded leaves, with a succulent appearance to the first set of true leaves.
|karen||Sep 18, 2011|||Hi I love your webpage on plants. I found it by goggling purple oxalis info.
I live in Winnipeg, Canada cold not sure how to protect this plant for winter.
Up to now i bring in a few of the little tender bulbs and grow them in with a house plant.. Do you have any suggestions i have tried a little mulch but never saw that plant come back thouhgtmaybe it was a bi-annual. Do u know. rsvp karen|
Most sources rate this plant hardy to USDA zone 2 or 3, so I think overwintering it should be doable for you. Make sure they get plenty of sun in the summer, and don't languish in sopping wet conditions, and they should do OK.
|Tim||Sep 28, 2011||I live in central Minnesota and have a large planting of Dragons Blood. This season after the plants flowered they all turned brown and lost their leaves. They never did start growing again. The plants are about 12-14 years old. Is there a life span to a perrenial? We had a pretty wet spring and summer could they have gotten to much water? They get full sun and are growing in sand.|
Sorry to hear about the loss of your plants. It's possible they picked up a fungal disease from too much moisture, although your well-drained full-sun conditions would normally suffice to keep them healthy even through wet weather. Ours did lose vigor and eventually disappeared, but that was partly because the garden area were they grew became shadier over the years.
|Greg & Joan Tice Dover, De.||Nov 01, 2011||Hi Samantha, we just planted 500 Dragon's Blood Sedum. Full to 3/4 sun. we got tired of mulching. We'll be going back to Lancaster, Pa. to get more flats in the spring. We're looking foward to a really nice ground cover. We're filling in the bare spots in some 3,000 sq. ft. of beds.|
|Lori Janeiro||Jan 17, 2012||If the Sedum dept. Isnt the most confusing plant group. I collect these and when I started the lady at the store told me that they were lithops, however some of these are in the Lithop family, they are not all lithops, though most of these being deer resistant, I live in high deer area they only ate my roses when they were gone my neighbor got them. Im getting at, I have always been told my Vodoo sedum is Dragons blood and that my dragons blood was coral reef, well tonight I have seen a whole lots of sedum, and I think im pretty straight, as before. IT depends where in the world you live and what is plenty. Some say the Sexangulare is one thing when really its spiral and has 6 sides, This is my example that its more to the lithop Man If I wasnt confused before the more I dip into sedum the worst I am getting. Happy planting all. I just know one thing. I have my sedum growing out of hallow tree trunk, this keeps it trailing and stops it from rooting along the way. Its all, even my blue and angelina dropping over and its so pretty, It actually grows sturdyer this way, before my stems were thin and now they are thick. I guess its just how its planted and the amount of sun it gets. My opion. This is an awsome site very informative thank you....|
|eldon||Apr 21, 2012||how do i prepare the ground to plant sedum? can i just plant it in grass and will it take over? thanks|
You'll have to clear the area of other plants before you put in the sedum. It will not outcompete taller-growing grasses and weeds.
|Anne||Nov 03, 2012||How do you prune dragonsblood? I live near lake tahoe so snow is coming. Plants have lots of red foliage. Do you trim just the foliage? Also trim the green? Plant is doing extremely well - probably time to divide as well - does this need to happen in spring vs fall? Any suggestions would be awesome! Thank you!|
There's no need to prune. The plant will survive as is just fine under a layer of snow. You can divide any time – at this point, I'd wait till spring.
|Armine Malekian||Mar 27, 2013||Hi, My stonecrop dragon's blood failed the leaves. Only I have few brown stem. I don't know is it died or not? Please answer my question. Thankyou.|
That doesn't sound good. You can wait and see if any new growth occurs, but I'm afraid you may have lost it.
|Jean||May 27, 2013||I started dragons blood sedum on a bank and it is growing beautifully. I go out of the morning and weed around them with my fingers to stay ahead of weeds. Will the sedum gradually take over the weeds? |
If the sedum is happy enough to achieve a dense coverage, it will discourage most weeds – but it will still be necessary to remove occasional weeds that make it through. Good luck!
|kim||Jun 18, 2013||yes, we have planted several sedums (50) on a rather steep bank in my back yard. It gets full sun for most of the day. It's been a yaer now & I was hoping that the growth spread would take off, however it hasn't. There is just small clusters of sedums on the bank, they are burgundy in color, some are green & a couple are starting to flower....we were hoping for more ground cover....since they are starting to grow now, my question is how quickly will they start to cover the ground? It is a bank that is mostly dirt & we are anxious for ground cover!|
Sedum spurium will spread, but in my experience not as fast as some other low-growing sedums, such as S. rupestre, S. kamtschaticum, and S. sexangulare. As long as they get plenty of sun and some moisture through the worst times of drought, they will eventually fill out and cover their area.
|Brenda||Jul 24, 2013||I planted Dragon's blood sedum on the advice that it would do well in my very hot full sun and sandy soil. It died within 3 weeks. What did I do wrong? Is there a better ground cover for my extreme conditions? I live in Rio Rancho NM zone 7|
The sedum should be a good candidate for the conditions – but any newly planted specimens should be watered through dry periods until they are established. Without knowing more about the conditions they experienced after planting, it's hard to say why they perished.
|Brenda in Michigan (zone 5-6)||Jun 14, 2014||In my area I can no longer find sedum "Red Carpet" in flats, so I purchased several 6" pots. How do I separate it to fill a big area? Can I plant the tips right into the soil? Thanks!|
The safest bet is to shake off the soil and divide the plant into different rooted pieces. It should be quite easy to do this. Unrooted cutting might take, but it's more of a risk, especially if you can't provide perfect conditions during rooting and growing on. Plant each section some distance apart, and if necessary, repeat after they have expanded their clumps.
|joe ||Jun 30, 2014||I have Dragon blood sedum for over 20 years, last few years leaves but no flowers. any idea?|
Is it still getting plenty of sun? Besides lots of direct sun, these sedums are very undemanding.
|Andy||Mar 19, 2015||I want to plant creeping red sedum (Dragon's blood) on a long steep bank. If I plant the top row about 1 foot apart, how far down should I plant the next row? Will it tumble downhill much ?|
With groundcovers, it's always a matter of "how quickly do you want it to fill in"? Sedum creeps more than it tumbles – in my experience, it doesn't go very fast. If it's very happy where you plant it, it might grow together in a year or two if your original spacing is 1 foot. If conditions are less than ideal, it would take much longer.
|Kathy||May 15, 2015||I have dragon's blood in my rock garden/ledge. it has spread and looks good except there is grass growing up through it and when I try to pull the grass out a lot of the plant comes with. Any suggestions?|
Yeah, that's a problem with many groundcovers – I find it especially troublesome with creeping phlox. In theory it should be possible to kill the grass with a specific herbicide that doesn't touch non-grassy plants, but I can't say that I've tried it. Maybe others will have alternative suggestions.
|Kathy||May 15, 2015||Yes I have phlox too and same problem, but the phlox out numbers the grass. So if anyone has any ideas I would be truly grateful :)
|Tammy||Jun 02, 2018||I purchased Sedum Dragon's Blood Seeds for my flower bed that gets very little water, poor soil conditions when we moved in and fast growing weeds. My perennials have been coming back every year so I know I'm doing something right yet my Sedum's keep dying. they are in full sun light. What am I doing wrong or not doing that I should?
Hard to say, without seeing the situation. Even sedum needs some reasonable care (regular water) when first getting established, but if you're providing that, then I don't know what could be causing your troubles.
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