When you consider plants like Sedum and Echeveria, both of them are succulents. But both plants can be distinguished from one another because of their different colors, textures, foliage and flowers.
In this article, we have discussed all the information you need about Sedum vs Echeveria, the differences and similarities between the two and how to care for these plants.
Read on to learn all about them.
Sedum vs Echeveria: Differences
Belonging to the Crassulaceae family, Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants that are also known as stonecrop. The genus contains around 400 to 500 species.
The word “Sedum” comes from the Latin word “sedeo”, meaning “to sit” because sedums usually sit and sprawl over walls and rocks.
These plants are hardy, drought-tolerant succulents that are native to the Northern Hemisphere, but they are also found in South America and Africa in the Southern Hemisphere.
Belonging to the Crassulaceae family, Echeveria is a large genus of flowering plants that is native to the semi-arid desert regions of Mexico, Central America and the northwestern part of South America. Echeveria plants may be deciduous or evergreen.
Sedum plants come in varying heights, forms and colors. There are mainly two categories—upright Sedum and low-growing Sedum.
Upright Sedum usually grows as tall, upright clumps and produces large flowerheads comprising very small reddish-pink-colored flowers. These plants are suitable for pollinators or border gardens.
Although re-classified as “Hylotelephium”, upright Sedum is still referred to as a Sedum.
Low-growing Sedum grows up to a few inches in height and spreads along the ground, making it perfect for rock gardens, ground cover or dropping down a stone wall.
There are different types of Echeverias, where some are small in size and have subtle colors, others look like cabbage or lettuce heads with vibrantly colored, frilly heads.
3. Foliage and Flowers
Sedum plants have thick stems and fleshy leaves that come in various shapes right, from large, cylindrical or flattened to small and needle-like. Through the seasons, the foliage changes colors from blue to green, orange, yellow, purple and red.
The plant bears small 5-petaled star-shaped red, yellow, pink or white flowers that bloom in clusters during summer and fall.
The Echeveria plants come in colors like gray, blue and green. The leaves of the plant are usually plump, flesh and spoon-shaped.
The plant bears many bell-shaped red-, orange- or pink-colored flowers during the warmer months on short stalks or cymes that arise from compact rosettes. The rosettes of the Echeveria plant grow to a diameter of up to ¾ inches to 20 inches.
The plant often produces many offsets and the chicks grow from a base stem, all together in clumps.
4. US Hardiness Zones
Depending on the species, Sedums usually grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.
Echeveria is hardy to the USDA zones 9 to 11.
Sedum vs Echeveria: Similarities
Belonging to the Crassulaceae family, both Sedum and Echeveria are drought-tolerant, flowering succulents. Both have thick, fleshy leaves that store water and come in varying colors and textures.
Both succulents bear delicate flowers. Sedum and Echeveria are heat resistant, need plenty of sunlight and thrive with very little water.
And, all these aspects make both these succulents great for rock gardens, xeriscapes and they can also be grown in containers or pots.
How to Care For Sedum and Echeveria
Sedum and Echeveria are easy-to-grow. They are low-maintenance plants, which makes them great for growing outdoors, as well as indoors in containers.
In this section, we’ll discuss how to care for Sedum and Echeveria.
Sedums need at least 6 hours of sun and do well in areas having full sunlight. The plants can tolerate partial shade but don’t grow well in completely shaded areas.
If you’re growing Sedums indoors, then keep the container near a sunny window or under artificial growing lights.
Sedums need well-draining soil and don’t do well in waterlogged soil. So, use a well-draining potting mix to plant your Sedum to prevent root rot. These plants can also thrive in poor, rocky, shallow or sandy soils.
Sedums are tolerant to very cold, even freezing temperatures, and they are also heat- and drought-tolerant. Some species can tolerate temperatures between -20°F to 30°F, while other species can tolerate cold temperatures down to -30°F.
During winter, you must keep the plants indoors at a temperature between 60°F and 70°F. The plants will enter dormancy when the temperature falls below 50°F.
Although Sedums are drought-tolerant plants, they still need some water. From spring to fall, they need regular watering. Water thoroughly, and water again only when the soil dries out.
When watering, avoid wetting the stems, leaves and flowers. When you plant the Sedum, the young plant needs additional watering for one to two weeks until the roots are established.
During winter, the plant will need just enough water to prevent it from shriveling. Sedums growing in containers need more water as compared to those planted in the ground.
Every spring, use a balanced fertilizer. The plants do not need feeding as long as they are divided every year and the old soil is replaced.
In general, Sedums are not prone to pests or diseases. But if the plants are overwatered, then they may be prone to scale insects and mealybugs.
Plants located outdoors may be susceptible to slugs and snails. They may be prone to diseases like rot, mold and rust in wet environments.
Sedums grown in pots or containers require more care compared to those in the garden. When your plant outgrows the pot, then it’s a good idea to repot in a larger pot/container.
The best time to repot is spring but you must ensure that the soil is completely dry before repotting.
Unless the plants are wild and unkempt, there is no need to prune Sedum plants. Simply remove the dead or damaged branches and leaves after winter.
Echeveria plants need plenty of light, around 4-6 hours of bright and direct sunlight every day. If they do not receive adequate sunlight, the plants will become leggy and elongated and will not produce flowers.
If you’re moving the Echeveria plant outside after overwintering, then make sure to do it gradually because the intense sun may cause sunburn.
Move the plants indoors during the winter months but place your Echeveria plant near a window that receives the most sunlight.
Echeveria plants do well in hot and dry conditions and don’t tolerate cold temperatures very well. Excess humidity can cause root rot. When the weather is very cold and frost threatens, move the plants indoors.
Echeveria plants need a porous, well-draining soil mix that prevents the roots from getting extra moisture as this can cause root rot.
You can use regular cactus or succulent potting mix. Or you can make your own potting mix by using 3 parts of regular potting soil with 1 part perlite and 2 parts of coarse sand.
Echeveria plants need proper watering and don’t do very well if the soil is too wet or too dry. From spring through fall, Echeveria plants need moderate watering.
If the leaves look wrinkled, it means that the plant needs more water. If overwatered, the plant can succumb to root rot. When watering the Echeveria plants, allow the soil to dry out fully before watering again.
The plants require more water during the summer months than during winter. During water, water the plant just enough to prevent the leaves from shriveling.
Echeveria plants do well without fertilization but the extra nutrients can help them grow better. In spring, feed the plants with a diluted liquid or slow-release fertilizer.
The biggest problem that Echeveria plants face is overwatering, as this can cause root rot. The plants may also be susceptible to mealybugs.
Remove any dead leaves as this can cause fungal diseases or attract pests.
Echeveria plants do not require repotting. But if needed, repot the plants in early summer or spring. The plants do not need pruning. You may need to remove the dead leaves and flowers to prevent any diseases.
In conclusion, while Sedums and Echeverias are both succulents, they are quite different in terms of their origin, characteristics, appearance, etc. The care for these two plants is also quite different.
We hope that with all the information you have about these two types of succulents, you can decide which one will be better suited for your home.