Garden Advice: Caring for the Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’

Miss Chen purchased a specimen of the Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ from Bide-A-Wee in the summer of 2007.

"I planted it in a gravel, but regrettably a waterlog developed in the same area just before December 2007. You can probably see this from the attached photographs.

I understand that the sedum prefers well-drained soil and I was very concerned, but I did not dare to move the sedum during the winter season. However, this week I discovered that the sedum has started to produce little buds at the base of its stems.

I am very excited, but at the same time I’m very worried because I am not sure how to take care of the sedum plant and it’s new buds now that the weather is turning cold and the winds are so strong.

I found a variety of information on the internet, some advising that I wrap the bottom of the plant in bubble wrap while others advising that I transplant the new buds and take them indoors. I am very confused by the conflicting information and I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice on how to take care of the sedum plant and its new buds."

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'


Bide-A-Wee response (by Mark Robson)

Thank you for your advice email, you are right that this plant needs free drainage and will resent being waterlogged at any time of year. The plant should actually grow from the base below ground, it is not unusual for it to be showing growth already as it may not seem like it, but spring is round the corner and the days are starting to get longer.

You should shortly cut the plant back to about 2inches above ground level and ensure the plant is not left under standing water.

Good luck and we hope to see you at the garden next summer again.

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