a plant i’d order: sedum ‘angelina’

angelina-sedum-as-filler-in-potSEDUM ‘ANGELINA’ JUST NEVER STOPS. Maybe that’s why I like it (as in, it takes one to know one). But seriously: What perennial provides such a bright, textural carpet every day of the year, even in my Zone 5B climate—actually, even in the garage all winter, where some of it looked nice in pots all winter long despite the dark deep-freeze treatment? Not that you’re looking for plants to grow in your garage…but wow.

sedum-angelina-detailThat’s S. rupestre ‘Angelina’ cascading over the rim of one such big pot (top), home to a Japanese maple as well; the two are going on three years together in that container, with several rounds of back into the barn each Thanksgiving or so, out again around mid-April. Above, a photo of how it looked at the end of March, once the snow receded from the bed it edges, in its even-hotter-colored cold-weather hues. (I wish I looked that good after so many wintertime weather-related insults.)

‘Angelina’ is basically bright yellow-green in summer, particularly in sun, with needlelike foliage rising to 3 or 4 inches high, and spreading about 18 to 24 inches in a season.

I even have ‘Angelina’ growing in an old concrete birdbath, high on a pedestal, in perhaps an inch of nasty old soil, where you’d think it would die from exposure but doesn’t even miss a beat. It has been happy there for a few years.

If I didn’t have ‘Angelina,’ I’d get it now (it’s widely available in local garden centers). It’s touted as a drought-tolerant groundcover for hot, dry areas, but I grow ‘Angelina’ in sun and in semi-shade, in pots, and just about anywhere that a broken-off bit I dropped in transit made contact with even a teaspoon of soil in some crevice somewhere. ‘Angelina’ (Zones 3-8) doesn’t seem to be aware that its patent has been applied for, meaning no propagation allowed; it just keeps making more of itself with abandon.

  1. chris says:

    does angelina stand up to being walked on? i am using vinca minor to green up a drywall supported hillside and would like to introduce some variety. must be able to take sun and the occasional trampling upon.

  2. Christine says:

    YAY! I finally have something growing you recommend! I bought several of these last fall and they weathered the winter well (I am also Zone 5B). Already starting to spread. Love the gorgeous color.

  3. margaret says:

    @Chris: It’s succulent so if you step on it, it will crumble/squish. I bet it would like some cracks and pockets among the stones, but wouldn’t put it a high-traffic pathway spot.

    @Christine: Great minds think alike on this one, huh? :) See you soon again.

  4. Susan says:

    I am lucky to have this in my new garden. It is on a slight hill with rocks, once it fills out it will be beautiful.

  5. Linda says:

    It does like cracks and chinks, and is filling them in nicely along my stone stoop, in almost pure sand! I never even need to pull weeds out of it. And its colorful in January when not under snow, here in zone 3b/4a. How can they patent something now when its been on the market so long?

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Cindee. I am starting to suspect that ‘Angelina’ would grow in a desert or on the moon or maybe even under my bed upstairs, it’s so tough. Thanks for the Zone 9 report, and so stop back soon again.

  6. Melinda says:

    I love, love, love my Angelina! I have a pot where it overwintered and a cold wind snapped a bit off. It fell down onto the soil below and rooted. It looks like Angelina just dripped on down from the pot and and left a spill below. LOVE IT! Mine didn’t take on that lovely fall color…but right now, the new growth is so delightfully chartreuse, I wish I had it everywhere!

  7. maggiemay2day says:

    Good morning Margaret! I love sedum, any kind..everywhere ;). I have various types, some are gathered from the rock ledges here in Oregon and are so beautiful in the rock garden up front with the petrified wood pieces next to it..think I’mm post a picture on my page. I always look forward to your comments! Maggie2day…a shorter version of maggiemay2day! :)

  8. lena says:

    i’m a new gardener in brooklyn, and i bought the angelina sedum at gowanus nursery last summer. it did so well! it spread so nicely and looked beautiful through the winter. now i’m excited to go back and get more to use as ground cover around some stones in our garden. none of the ground covers we bought last summer did well. what does it mean that the plant can’t be propagated because of a patent? sorry for the naive question!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Lena. So exciting to be a new gardener, welcome to the club. As for the patent thing, it means garden centers can’t pot up little pieces and resell them without paying royalties. Doesn’t really mean anything to us regular folks who are not trying to sell the patented plants. Not naive at all…it’s a pretty advanced topic, really, and not all that interesting…but Big Business rears its head even in the garden. :) Sounds like you like sedums, as I do (I have 10 or 12 kinds and they fascinate me with how tough they are). Do come back soon, and NEVER worry about asking anything. We are all beginners, really, as there is so much to learn about the botanical world…enough to fill many lifetimes.

  9. lena says:

    thanks very much for explaining, Margaret. that’s interesting! well, i’ve been spreading the angelina sedum all over my garden, so i’m glad to hear it’s not illegal. ha! just kidding…
    i do love really sedum, and i was initially surprised that they grow so well in this climate. i grew up in san francisco, where it’s so common. i’m planting veggies for the first time this year– fingers crossed!

  10. Janet says:

    Do you have to cut back Sedum Angelina to the ground in the Spring for new growth or do the leaves turn the bright green?


    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Janet. I never bother, though I do dig out (pull up) excess that has crept beyond where I want it, and start new patches. Sometimes there are ratty, dried-out bits that i simply tease out or snip off, but even here in my cold zone it stays pretty much intact. If you want to cut it back you will have the makings of more plants, so don’t throw any juicy bits away! I swear it roots from a speck, even. :)

  11. Chris says:

    Hey everyone,

    I just found this site and this post about Sedum Angelina, Wow! It is really neat looking. I have tons of Sedum Sarmentosum also known as “String Sedum” which I use as a hillside groundcover and around the pond. I think this Sedum is awesome too and takes anywhere you toss it on soil. Does anyone on here trade plants? (sorry if I missed info about this if there is. This post is the first and only thing I have read on this site). I would happily share this great perenial and also have Sedum ‘Dragons Blood Red’ which is a great plant and would trade this too.


    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Chris. Nice to meet a fellow Sedum-lover. Yes, ‘Angelina’ is a beauty, and so prolific (like most of them). See you soon again, I hope.

  12. Deborah says:

    One of the many places I have Angelina is in the bed right next to our driveway. She has been run over by an occasional careless car, and though a bit worse for the experience, rebounds fine!

  13. Emily says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I started looking through your perennial list, as we’re trying to figure out a good replacement for some old evergreens we inherited from previous owners, and I love the look of this ‘Angelina’ sedum. My question for you is, now that it is August, is it too late to consider planting ‘Angelina” before fall rolls around? Would we be best to wait until next spring and plant then? I tried googling around for this answer but didn’t have much luck.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

  14. meri says:

    no propagation ? Oops ! My small children routinely collect the dropped and broken bits from under the tables at Lowes and stuff them in their pockets. And then they enjoy poking it in the ground all over the garden. I love the stuff, it is even growing out from in between the deck boards in places…

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Meri. I don’t think you and the kids will be thrown in the slammer. Probably really means no commercial propagation, not the home-gardener type of multiplying the plant. Love the story of the kids treasure-hunting. :)

  15. Jean Sharac says:

    Dear Margaret,don’t know how this works as I am joining the conversation so much later than your posting, but I am afraid that Angelina might be really invasive in my tiny,sunny Zone 6 garden,as it looks so much like what I think is called “stone acre sedum” that I could never get rid of in my former garden in zone 5 . Do you know of that plant? Is Angelina as bad as that? Jean

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Jean. I have grown most of the groundcover-type sedums, and know acre, yes. I find it easy to lift out — the key being not to compost it as it runs the risk of multiplying even there. ‘Angelina’ will spread but nowhere near as lustily if my experience is similar to yours. Again, it’s not deep-rooted and doesn’t seed around, so you can edit out handfuls pretty easily without even a shovel.

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