How To Water A Sedum (Stonecrop) So It Doesn’t Die

Sedums are low-maintenance houseplants that are a staple in terrariums and shady gardens. Here's how to tell if you're watering your sedum too much or too little, and how to help them flourish year round.

Sedum is a genus of plants that are also known as Stonecrops. These succulent plants come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They are great for adding interest to gardens with contrasting foliage colors, textures, and forms. The Sedums are well-suited for container gardening because they do not need much water or care. However, it is important to follow proper watering procedures when growing this plant.

So what are the golden rules for watering sedum? Sedums like it hot and dry, but they can’t handle arid conditions in summer. Plants in containers need more water than those planted in the ground. Take care not to underwater or overwater as it can be fatal to Sedums. Water them in the evening, and avoid watering the leaves if possible. Most importantly, water while the plant is actively growing (spring to fall).

Sedums are interesting plants to grow, but they can be unforgiving if you mess with its watering schedule. This article will discuss 7 golden rules for watering sedum and properly caring for this succulent. Let’s get started.

1.     Do not overwater

One common mistake that people make is over watering Sedum plants. This can be especially harmful in the winter when cold temperatures freeze water sitting on top of leaves and stems, causing them to rot or become sickly looking. To avoid overwatering a Sedum, it’s best not to allow the soil to become completely dry before watering, but not to water too often. A good way to test if your sedum needs water is to stick your finger in the soil. If it feels dry, then it’s time to water.

2.     Do not underwater

This is another common mistake when watering Sedum plants. This can cause the leaves to droop, and the plant will not look healthy. To ensure you are watering properly, wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering. You can tell if a Sedum needs water by checking the color of the leaves. If they are starting to turn pale, then it’s time to water.

Stonecrop in a pot.
You can tell if a Sedum needs water by checking the color of the leaves.

To avoid underwatering,  it’s best to water in the evening when evaporation is less likely to occur. This way, by morning, any excess water will have evaporated, and your sedum will be ready for another day of bright sunlight!

3.     Water them in the evening

Another key tip for caring for a Sedum is to water them in the evening. At this time, the sun has gone down and cooled off. This will help reduce wilting during hot days and minimize the risk of root rot.

 Watering in the evening also reduces the chance of water getting on leaves and creating a place for mold or mildew to grow.

4.     Never pour any water on their leaves or stems

The Sedum (Stonecrop) plants should only be watered from the soil. Never pour any water on their leaves or stems, as this can cause them to rot and die. For better results, use a spray nozzle to provide a gentle shower which will also help the sedum’s leaves and stems retain moisture.

Alternatively, you can also use drip irrigation to water your Sedum plants. This method allows you to water them slowly and efficiently without overwatering or under watering, which is the best way for growing healthy succulent plants like this one.

5.     Avoid watering the leaves

One mistake that’s easy to make when watering a Sedum is accidentally wetting the leaves. This can cause them to rot and die, so be very careful. If you do happen to get water on your plant, try using a small paintbrush or cotton swab to dab it off of each leaf as soon as possible.

When planting sedum, be sure to give it the proper amount of room. These plants grow slowly and don’t require much space, so you can plant them close together for a full effect.

6.     Allow soil to dry out between waterings

Try to water your Sedums about every two weeks. When planting, be sure that you allow the soil to dry out a bit between each time you water them. This will help reduce root rot and keep your plant looking healthy for years. In case of a major heatwave, you may need to water them more often.

A sedum plant growing on the ground.
When planting, be sure that you allow the soil to dry out a bit between each time you water them.

For better results, use a spray nozzle to water them gradually. In the hotter months, you may need to be watering your Sedums every few days for them to stay hydrated and healthy-looking.

7.     How much water does stonecrop need?

As a rule of thumb, Sedum plants only need water when the top inch of soil feels dry. You can tell if a Sedum needs water by checking the color of the leaves. If they are starting to turn pale, then it’s time to water.

Air plant dying.
You can tell if a Sedum needs water by checking the color of the leaves.

The amount of water needed will depend on the climate, the size of the pot, and how much sun the plant is getting. In general, try to water them about every two weeks or so.

8.     Avoid watering in direct sun

Another key tip for caring for your sedum is to avoid watering them when the sun is directly shining on them. This can cause the plant to burn and wilt, so try to water them in the morning or later in the evening when they won’t be in direct sunlight.

When you decide to water your Sedum plants, try not to leave any puddles on top of the leaves after you’ve watered because this can cause mold or mildew to grow.

9.     Water more often while the plant is actively growing (spring to fall)

Watering a Sedum in the winter is usually unnecessary, as they will go into a dormant stage. However, during the spring and fall, when they are actively growing, you may need to water them more often- about once a week.

Closeup image of Stonecrop.
During the spring and fall, they are actively growing.

During this period, the plant will need more water. In general, keep an eye out for any signs that your sedum needs to be watered, such as dry leaves or a few cracks in the soil.

Steps to watering your Sedum (Stonecrop)

Watering a Sedum plant is easy once you know the proper steps. This helps reduce the chance of overwatering or underwatering and keeps your plant healthy for years.

Step One:

 Check the top inch of soil to see if it’s dry. If the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plant. 

Step Two:

 If you’re using a drip irrigation system, then just plug in your hose and allow it to run until the soil is completely saturated.

If you’re watering with a spray nozzle or water can, use a gentle spray to water the soil evenly. Be sure not to wet the leaves, as this can cause them to rot and die.

Step Three:

 Once you’ve saturated the soil, let it run until it begins to trickle out of the bottom. This ensures that your plant has enough water and helps flush excess salt from fertilizers or other chemicals in the soil. If you have a drip irrigation system, just plug it back in when done.

Step Four:

 Wait until the soil dries out before watering again. As a general rule, Sedum plants only need water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Repeat this process every two weeks or so, depending on the climate and size of your pot.

Best water type to use on Sedum (Stonecrop)

Sedums prefer slightly acidic water, so you can use distilled or rainwater to feed them. Tap water is usually fine if it has been left sitting out overnight and allowed to evaporate some of the chlorine in it. This will help reduce leaf burn when watering your plant with tap water.

A water.
Sedums prefer slightly acidic water, so you can use distilled or rainwater to feed them.

However, if you live in a very hard water area, it’s best to use distilled or rainwater on your Sedum plants because they will need the extra calcium and magnesium. If you can’t locate either of these types of water, then tap is fine as long as you allow it to sit out overnight before using it for watering.

Final Word

Watering your Sedum (Stonecrop) plants will keep them looking healthy and beautiful for years. The next time that you’re thinking about planting succulents like this one in your garden or container pots, remember to water them properly. Proper watering will not only keep your plants healthy but will also help them resist pests and diseases. Like most succulents, Sedum plants are drought tolerant and very low maintenance. However, this is not to say that you can neglect them and still thrive.

Drip irrigation is the best way to water succulents like sedums because it delivers a slow, steady stream of water directly to the roots. This helps reduce the chance of overwatering or underwatering and keeps your plant healthy for years. If you don’t have a drip irrigation system, using a spray nozzle or water can with a gentle stream is the next best option. Watering from the top can also help flush excess salt from fertilizers or other chemicals in the soil.

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