Sedum praealtum: Care and Propagation Guide
The Sedum praealtum is more commonly referred to as the shrubby stonecrop or the green cockscomb. As the name suggests, this plant grows in the shape of a shrub with branch-like stems and thick and fleshy leaves.
The leaves are bright green in color but the tips can occasionally turn pinkish-red in the presence of strong sunlight. The leaves themselves grow in rosettes.
The plant can grow up to 12 inches in height. It also blooms flowers in late winter to early spring. These are yellow in color and resemble a star in shape.
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How To Care For Sedum praealtum
If you have fallen in love with the beautiful leaves and equally gorgeous flowers of Sedum praealtum and want to bring it home, you must also educate yourself on how to grow and care for it.
Here are a few tips that will be useful:
Sedum praealtum grows best in locations where they will enjoy the full sun at least six or more hours per day. Most species will tolerate partial shade but will not thrive in deep shade.
As much as it loves light, make sure to protect it from very harsh direct sun rays that can potentially harm the leaves.
When indoors, keep the succulent in a sunny window or under artificial lights.
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Sedum praealtum is quite drought tolerant but does need some water. They do their best with weekly watering from spring through fall, but may require more in extremely hot weather or if planted in a container.
Like any other succulents, Sedum praealtum does not tolerate waterlogging. Excess water must be able to drain freely or be poured out of the planter after watering because wetness quickly leads to root rot in these succulents.
Wait until the soil is completely dry between watering. Newly planted Sedum praealtum should be watered daily for the first couple of weeks.
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The ideal soil for Sedum praealtum is a substrate mixture of nutrient-poor soil and mineral components. A substrate for succulents should be well permeable to water so that no water can accumulate after watering. This can be achieved by mixing 60% succulent soil (also called cactus soil) and 40% mineral components, such as gravel or perlite, lava rocks and some quartz sand.
The open-pored mineral components, perlites and granules support the airflow and crumb structure of the substrate, they store the nutrients and moisture but allow excess water to flow quickly after watering.
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Sedum praealtum can tolerate freezing temperatures. Most are cold hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5a to 9b, -20 to 30 °F (-28.9 to -1.1 °C). Some species will tolerate temperatures down to USDA hardiness zone 4a, -30 °F (-34.4 °C). Sedum praealtum is also tolerant of heat and drought.
Keep indoor Sedum praealtum at temperatures between 60 and 70 °F (15 and 20 °) through the winter. When temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C), plants start to go dormant.
Sedum praealtum prefers lean conditions. In fact, unless your soil is extremely poor, it may be best to avoid fertilizer at all. If you do need to add some nutrients to the soil, it is best to apply an organic fertilizer at half-strength during the growing season or a light layer of compost.
Chemical fertilizers tend to cause stretching and flopping on taller varieties. Mulch should not be applied up against the base of the plant because this can cause rot.
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Pruning Sedum praealtum
Sedum praealtum is very low maintenance and pruning isn’t necessary. You can clean them up a bit after winter by removing any dead or damaged branches or foliage; this will also help keep your succulent healthy.
For Sedum praealtum, pinch new growth in spring to promote branching and shorter growth; this will help keep them from getting leggy and drooping. Deadheading the succulent in fall isn’t necessary, as the flower heads provide fall and winter interest.
Ground cover types can be trimmed to stay within their boundaries. If you don’t want seedlings from these creeping varieties, the flower heads can be removed after blooming in summer.
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How to Propagate Sedum praealtum
Sedum praealtum can be propagated by division, cuttings, or seed.
For Sedum praealtum, division is the easiest and is best done in early spring. Dig the plant up and divide it into wedges, making sure to get some new budding areas within each section. Replant the sections. Sedum praealtum can be divided every few years.
If you are using leaves or cuttings, ensure that you cut them from a mature plant. Keep some of the roots intact with the leaf clusters. You should let the stem cuttings or leaf clusters rest and dry for a few days so that they can become ready for planting. The cuttings might swell up a bit as well.
Then, prepare a pot or container and fill it with the soil mix. Sow the seeds, leaves or cuttings into the soil. Lightly water the plant without overdoing it. Keeping the soil moist enough will be sufficient in the beginning.
For the leaves and cuttings, the roots will grow out within a couple of weeks and develop into tiny plants. The seeds might take a bit longer than that to germinate.
You can then go on to carry out the regular care requirements. Once the plant grows big enough, you can repot it carefully into a larger container.
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