Sedum plants are popular as outdoor plants in gardens all over the world. There are tons of species of sedums, and they are usually broken down into two main groups. Short ground cover plants, and tall flowering plants. Both varieties love the sun and sandy, well-draining soil. These plants are very drought tolerant and relatively easy to care for.
Even the easiest plants have their challenges though, and if your sedum is looking unhealthy or dying, here are some common reasons why and the solutions on how to fix them.
7 Signs Your Sedum is Dying and What To Do
Use these 7 indicators to easily spot a dying sedum and figure out how to nurture it back to health.
1. Mushy leaves and stems
If the leaves and stems of your plant are turning yellow and seem mushy, it could be that your plants are getting too much water, or are in poorly draining soil. Check the soil around your plants. If it is soggy you will likely need to pull your plants from the ground and check for root rot.
You can tell if your plant has root rot by looking and feeling the roots. Healthy roots are firm and whiteish in color, while unhealthy, rotten roots are squishy and dark brown or black. If you see a mixture of healthy and rotten roots, remove the rotten roots and rinse the healthy ones. If the roots are all rotten, your plant isn’t going to make it.
Once you have the rotten roots removed from your plant, you can place it in new soil or a new area in your yard. One way to improve the soil for your sedum if the current soil is dense or rich is by adding sand and mixing it in.
If your plant is in the right soil and getting enough sunlight, it should bounce back in a few weeks.
2. Withered or Misshapen leaves
If your plant has leaves that seem deflated or yellow, it could be due to pests called aphids. Aphids are tiny insects that feed on the sap of plants, draining them of all their moisture. You can check your plant for aphids by looking at the underside of leaves or near the stems of the plants.
Aphids are about the size of a pinhead and are usually brown or green. Placing a piece of paper under your plant and tapping the branches can also be a good way to check for aphids as they will fall from the plant onto the white paper and be easier to see.
If your plant does in fact have aphids, there are a few methods of treatment. The first is neem oil. You can spray neem oil on your plants every few days for 2-3 weeks. This should take care of your aphid problem, but if you live in a region that gets a lot of rain you may need to spray more often or extend your treatment time.
Another method of eradicating aphids is to introduce native ladybugs to your backyard. Ladybugs are the natural predators of aphids and they can usually take care of an infestation in just a few days. Be sure when introducing ladybugs that you only use native species as some imported species can be highly invasive.
The last method is insecticidal soap. You can spray insecticidal soap on your plant once daily for up to a week. This should also cure your aphid problem, but it can be a bit harder on the environment, so I recommend using this method only if the other methods don’t work for you.
3. Top Heavy Leggy Growth
If your plant seems to be drooping and getting leggy it could be for a few reasons. If your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight and the growth is reaching toward the sun, it may be trying to tell you to move it to a sunny spot. Relocating it and giving it a good trim back should solve the problem.
If your plant is leggy and not reaching toward the sun, it could be that your soil is too nutrient-rich and dense. Sedums prefer sandy soil with poor nutrient density. So, if you are trying to grow them in prime garden soil, it could be doing them harm. Try to move your plants to an area with poorer soil, or mix sand into your current soil.
4. Powdery Spots
If your plant is exhibiting powdery spots on its leaves it could be caused by a fungus called rust. Sedums get rust from poor air circulation and from being overly moist. It is hard to control rust once you have it, so just destroy any plants that are exhibiting symptoms and try to keep the area dry and free of weeds and other debris.
5. Crown Rot
If you notice that your plants are rotting near the soil, this is likely crown rot. There, unfortunately, isn’t a cure for crown rot, so if you see it you will need to destroy your plants and remove the top layer of soil from the area. Avoid planting succulents in or near the area where the crown rot appears for a few years to eliminate the fungus in the soil.
6. Holes in Leaves
If you see holes in your Sedum’s leaves it’s likely due to either snails, slugs, or grasshoppers. To find out who the culprit is try going into your garden around dusk or during the night. If it is slugs or snails, there are a few natural methods you can try to keep them away from your plants.
You can sprinkle crushed eggshells on the soil around your plants. The eggshells will be hard for the slugs and snails to move over and they will likely find another place to eat.
You can place citrus peels in a shallow pan in your garden before you go to bed and gather them up in the morning. Most of the snails and slugs in your garden can easily be trapped and relocated this way.
If you are looking for a lethal way to do away with your snail and slug problem, you can also create a beer trap. Place a shallow tray of beer near your plants. The slugs and snails are attracted to the smell of the yeast but will drown once they are in the beer.
For grasshoppers, the solution is a bit easier. Make a mixture of garlic spray and ghost pepper powder and spray it on and around your plants. The smell and taste of the mixture will deter any grasshoppers from making your plants their snack.
7. Moldy or Blotchy Leaves
Leaf Blotch is caused by mold that grows on the leaves and flowers of sedum and kills them. If you have this in your garden, you will want to remove any affected areas of the plant and dispose of them. Then apply a copper-based fungicide. You should follow the instructions on the label, but be sure to do at least 2 applications for the best results.