Sedum adolphii is a small succulent with firm, fleshy green leaves that have a delightful, vibrant golden tint, varying to a copper-color. The color gives rise to its common names of Golden Sedum, Golden Glow and Coppertone Stonecrop.
Native to rocky areas in Mexico, it is a hardy plant that is drought-tolerant and easy to care for – great for beginners and time-poor plant owners looking to add a bit of color to their decor without the hassle.
It is a small plant that produces sprawling or trailing stems. It is perfect as low, sprawling groundcover – ideal for rock gardens. Or in a hanging basket or spilling over the edge of a container in a mixed succulent arrangement. Or beautiful just on its own in a pot.
It’s a relatively quick-growing plant and can grow up to 8-12 inches (20-30cm) in height and around 2 feet (6ocm) wide. The leaves are approximately 1.4 inches (3.5cm) long.
The leaves are smooth and waxy and grow in a rosette pattern. The stems are thick and slightly woody. No thorns or spines on this succulent!
It prefers bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate lower light conditions. Its leaves change color depending on the light conditions. In bright light, the leaves turn a golden or orange color; in lower light, they tend to be a green color.
Sedum adolphii produces small, star-shaped flowers that appear in clusters on tall, thin stems. The flowers are usually yellow, yellowish-orange or white in color and bloom in late winter to early spring.
You’ll also see this plant called Sedum adolphi (with just one i). Apparently, the single i version is technically the correct name but it is more often seen with two. It is also referred to as Sedum nussbaumerianum.
Sedum adolphii is a member of the Crassulaceae family.
Sedum Adolphii Care
Sedum adolphii, like all Sedums, is very tough and needs very little care.
Here is our guide to how to care for your Sedum adolphii.
Light Needs Of Golden Sedum
The Golden Sedum prefers full sun for up to 6 hours a day. The plant’s leaves are most vibrant in color when it receives plenty of light. If placed in a shadier area or low-light environment, the leaves are likely to lose their golden color and become a green color.
If growing indoors, your sedum adolphii will prefer a warm, sunny window. Rotate it every few weeks to ensure the whole plant receives light evenly.
How To Water Golden Sedum
Golden Sedum does not require much water. If planted in a pot with drainage holes, use the bottom-soaking method to moisten the soil and then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
If watering from the top of the soil, avoid getting water on the leaves (which can lead to fungal growth).
Sedum adolphii is susceptible to root rot if it is overwatered, and it is better to err on the side of underwatering. Check the leaves for signs of watering distress. If they are wrinkling, the plant is underwatered and needs a good soak of water. If the leaves are turning soft and mushy, particularly from the stem, the plant has been overwatered and needs to be allowed to dry out and recover before watering again.
Golden Sedum is a summer dormant plant, but it can also go dormant in winter if the temperature is too cold. Reduce watering during these times as the plant is growing more slowly and needs less water.
Ideal Temperature for Golden Glow
Golden Glow is not cold-hardy. Sedum Adolphii’s ideal temperature range is 65 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 30 degrees Celsius).
If you want your plant to live outdoors and the temperature drops below freezing, it is best to grow your Sedum Adolphii in a pot so you can bring it indoors during winter. Golden Glow does not like frost.
Sedum Adolphii prefers well-draining, sandy soil. A succulent-specific soil mix should be fine – you can mix through some additional sand if you wish to improve drainage further. Choose a wide, shallow pot, preferably with drainage holes, as this succulent likes to grow wide rather than tall.
Fertilizer is not necessary for Sedum adolphii if the plant is repotted every couple of years with fresh soil. However, if you do want to give your Golden sedum a boost with fertilizer, ensure it is a succulent-specific fertilizer rich in Phosphorus and Potassium and poor in Nitrogen and diluted to half-strength.
Apply fertilizer in the Spring, at the start of the plant’s growth phase. Water the succulent well before applying the fertilizer so the fertilizer disperses evenly in the soil.
Golden sedum doesn’t require regular pruning. You may wish to prune it to keep its shape or remove unruly trailing stems that have run to far out of the container.
You should remove any damaged or rotting leaves when you spot them.
Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
To prune, simply cut back the stems to the desired length using a sterilised sharp knife or pair of scissors. The cuts should be made just above a set of leaves, as this is where new growth will emerge.
After pruning, water the plant well and place it in a bright spot. It should start producing new growth within a few weeks.
Sedum adolphii is not considered toxic to pets or humans.
Pests And Disease
Sedum adolphii is fairly pest and disease resistant but any plant can always fall foul of attacks. Here are some common pests and diseases to look out for and how to deal with them.
Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can infest sedum adolphii. They are often found on the undersides of leaves and can cause leaf curl, stunted growth, and distortion.
To control aphids, start by spraying the plant with water to dislodge them. Then, apply an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution according to the label directions.
Mealy bugs are another small, sap-sucking insect that can damage sedum adolphii. Mealy bugs will often congregate on the stems and leaves and can cause stunted growth, leaf yellowing, and distortion.
To control mealy bugs, spray the plant with water to dislodge them. Then, apply an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution according to the label directions.
Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot can also be a problem for sedum adolphii. These diseases are often caused by too much moisture or humid conditions.
To control fungal diseases, start by improving air circulation around the plant. If needed, you can also treat with a fungicide.
Like many succulents, sedum adolphii is susceptible to root rot, which is usually caused when overwatering results in the roots being in water-bound soil for too long. Ensure your Golden Glow is potted in a well-draining soil and only water when the soil is completely dry.
Repotting provides your plant with fresh soil, which can be beneficial. If you wish to repot your sedum adolphii, either for fresh soil or because it has outgrown its current pot, do so in Spring, and no more than once every two years. Choose large, shallow pots, preferably with drainage holes and ensure you use a well-draining soil.
You can propagate more plants from your Golden Glow from leaves, stem cuttings, or seed.
All three methods are pretty simple, but stem cuttings are probably the easiest.
To propagate your sedum adolphii from leaves, you need to select a healthy leaf and gently twist it off the main plant.
Be sure not to pull too hard, as this can damage the leaf.
Allow the leaf to callous over for a few days in a dry, warm spot until the end where it was attached to the plant has dried and hardened.
Once the leaf has calloused, you can plant it. Fill a small pot or container with a well-draining cactus or succulent mix. Make a small hole in the center with your finger and gently insert the base of the leaf. Gently press the soil around the leaf, being careful not to damage it. Water your newly planted leaf lightly, and place it in an area that receives bright, indirect light.
If you want to propagate your sedum adolphii from cuttings, the process is very similar to propagating from leaves.
Begin by cutting a stem from the main plant with a sharp knife or scissors that have been sterilised in hot water or with a weak bleach solution. The stem should be about 4-6 inches long, and you should cut just below a leaf node. A leaf node is a point on the stem where leaves are growing. Look for a healthy rosette of leaves close to the base of the plant.
Once you have your cutting, allow the cut end to callous over for a few days before planting it.
Fill a small pot or container with well-draining cactus or succulent mix, and make a small hole in the center. Gently insert the base of the cutting into the hole, and press the soil around it. Water your newly planted cutting lightly, and place it in an area that receives bright, indirect light.
If you want to propagate your sedum adolphii from seed, you must wait until the plant is in bloom. Once the plant is blooming, carefully remove the flower heads and allow them to dry out of direct sunlight. Once the flower heads are dry, gently rub them between your fingers to release the seeds.
Fill a small pot or container with well-draining cactus or succulent soil mix, and sprinkle the seeds over the surface of the soil.
Gently press the seeds into the soil and water lightly. Place your pot in an area that receives bright, indirect light, and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Propagating succulents is a great way to increase your collection without having to purchase new plants. By using leaves, cuttings, or seeds from your existing plant, you can easily create new plants.
Sedum adolphii is an interesting succulent with color, leaf and growth characteristics that make it an excellent choice for any garden, home or handing basket. Its low maintenance needs add to its charm for beginners and make life easier for succulent enthusiasts with a large collection of plants!