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9 messages
13/09/2012 at 18:22

A Sedum 'Herbstfreude' in an acquaintance's garden has collapsed.

All the stems have fallen over to reveal a centre made up of the dead bases of previous stems.

Does anyone have any idea why this may have happened? Or, more importantly, how to resolve it?

13/09/2012 at 19:18

I assume that it's still in/been in flower recently, in which case a gentle support would help with appearance until flowering is over & it can be cut back for over the winter. This 'flopping open' is common with sedums especially if they've been 'well fed' or are a large mature plant.

The dead stems from the previous years growth need carefully cutting out once flowering is over. If this is done late winter/early next spring you can often see the emerging signs of the new growth for next season, so take care not to damage those.

I've discovered that doing the 'Chelsea Chop', ie reducing the height of all shoots by about half during late May (Chelsea show week a good reminder) helps eliminate the need for any staking & no flopping. It means that the plant produces shorter, sturdier flowering shoots that possibly flower a wee bit later, but not a problem to me. J.

13/09/2012 at 19:39

I have sedum iceberg and I tie them on stakes and cut back others,they grow back again quickley.I think with all rain  they grew fast and flopped.but they are better staked.

13/09/2012 at 20:26
Time to split the plant?
13/09/2012 at 21:33

Good advice already given but I would divide the plant in spring as well. Take a spade to it and chop it in four - disgarding the inner section of each quarter - then replant. You could cut it into smaller pieces if you'd like, you'd just have smaller plants. Dividing it will rejuvenate the plant and  it should flower in the same year as normal.

13/09/2012 at 22:09
My sedums (Autumn Joy), are slowing collapsing - I'm sure if we get any hard or persistent rain that will be it. My sedums are huge this year - at least 2 1/2 feet tall and just as wide. Flowers are fantastic and bees loving it. They werent as big last year. My sister-in-law asked me in late May if I was going to give them the Chelsea Chop - I wish I had now. Always next year!
14/09/2012 at 17:53
jo4eyes wrote (see)

I assume that it's still in/been in flower recently, in which case a gentle support would help with appearance until flowering is over & it can be cut back for over the winter. This 'flopping open' is common with sedums especially if they've been 'well fed' or are a large mature plant.

The dead stems from the previous years growth need carefully cutting out once flowering is over. If this is done late winter/early next spring you can often see the emerging signs of the new growth for next season, so take care not to damage those.

I've discovered that doing the 'Chelsea Chop', ie reducing the height of all shoots by about half during late May (Chelsea show week a good reminder) helps eliminate the need for any staking & no flopping. It means that the plant produces shorter, sturdier flowering shoots that possibly flower a wee bit later, but not a problem to me. J.

Thanks for a fantastic answer, jo4eyes.

I have a clear plan of action now!

Although, it has raised one or two additional questions in my mind. Firstly, will the shoots currently flowering die after flowering? If so, when should they be cut back for best results?

Many thanks again for your comprehensive answer!

14/09/2012 at 18:06

I am not sure anyone got to do a chelsea chop on anything this year, I chopped a few things back but it was weeks and weeks after the show as the weather was so bad

14/09/2012 at 18:59

The seed heads and stems can remain throughout the winter for two reasons - the seed heads look pretty and they help to protect the plant from the weather. The seed heads and stems will both dry out and the stems will become dry and hollow. As the plant has already collapsed you might like to remove some now after the flowers have died and the rest in late winter/spring - if they look a mess , just remove them all. New growth - stems and leaves will start in spring and this new growth will give you  flowers next year.

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