Let this easy perennial put a smile on your face.


Some plants stand the test of time. ‘Autumn Joy' sedum is one. I've enjoyed it in my garden for more than 30 years and know I can count on weeks of blooms in late summer and fall every single year.

‘Autumn Joy' sedum is a succulent. During the growing season, it stores water inside its thick, light green leaves. This means it's quite tolerant of drought and seldom needs watering. I like that. It also has few pests other than deer (which can be solved by applying deer repellent). I like that too. It grows into a tidy mound about 1 to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Flattened clusters of light pink flowers appear in late summer. As they age, they deepen in color to copper and finally to rust. Butterflies, particularly cloudless sulphurs, find them irresistible. Cut stems last a long time in water and also dry well.

Autumn Joy Sedum in Planter
Credit: Steve Bender

This is one easy plant to grow. Just give it well-drained soil and full to part sun. It's adapted to USDA Zones 3 to 9. You can grow it in a container, as shown above, or in a mixed border with perennials that bloom around the same time, such as salvia, black-eyed Susan, Russian sage, goldenrod, asters, blue mist caryopteris, wild ageratum, and Joe-pye weed.

You'll find this winner available at most garden centers. White Flower Farm is a good online source.

Time to spread some ‘Autumn Joy'!