Sedum “Autumn Fire” is a succulent belonging to the sedum genus of flowering plants. These plants are part of the Crassulaceae family, also known as the stonecrop family.
Sedum plants are native to Europe and found throughout the world. They’ve become popular houseplants, thanks to their compact shape and showy flowers.
The autumn fire variety features rich, rosy-pick flowers which slowly age throughout the season, eventually turning a coppery red color.
It’s a hybrid plant, bred as an improvement over the Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ variety.
The newer creation features larger flowers and longer blooms.
Sedum Autumn Fire Care
Size and Growth
‘Autumn Fire’ isn’t a large plant, rarely growing more than 24″ inches tall and 18” inches wide.
It’s a slow-growing plant, with herbaceous leaves. The foliage is often a blue-green color, with small, round leaves and thick succulent stems.
Flowering and Fragrance
This plant is a late bloomer, known for the showy flowers it produces in the late summer.
Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Fire’ has clusters of bright, rosy-pink flowers beginning as green buds at the start of summer.
As the large flower heads open, the rose-colored flowers appear.
Throughout the summer, the color of the flowers gradually change. The flowers go from a bright rose color to a dusty, coppery red adding winter interest.
Light and Temperature
The plant is native to parts of Europe and winter hardy in USDA hardiness zone 3 to 9.
It can last outdoors throughout the winter, even in freezing temperatures. But, grows best in a location with full sun to partial shade.
If grown indoors or on a porch, ensure it receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day, but keep it away from a window with direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight, even through a window, may eventually scorch the leaves.
Keeping the plant in a room kept at standard room temperature should provide an adequate environment, but slightly cooler temperatures during the winter help encourage a fuller bloom.
Watering and Feeding
This is a drought-tolerant plant. As a succulent, autumn fire sedum retains water in its stems and leaves.
Water infrequently to avoid overwatering the plant. The plant needs less watering as it matures.
Young plants may require more watering during the active growth period, but established plants become more drought tolerant.
When grown outdoors, it only needs supplemental watering if it doesn’t get enough rainfall.
In areas receiving less than an inch of rain each week, give the plant a light watering.
Use all-purpose fertilizer once per year. Add the granular pellets to the soil in the spring and cover with 2” inches of mulch.
In the winter, the plant may not need any water.
Pay attention to the leaves. If the leaves start to drop, it may require watering.
Soil and Transplanting
Use well-drained soil. If planting outdoors, space the plants at least 18” – 24” inches apart.
Cover the top of the soil with 2” inches of mulch. The mulch helps retain moisture and prevent weed growth.
After adding the mulch, clear it away from the base of the plant, ensuring it doesn’t touch.
Avoid transplanting the plant. Only repot Sedum autumn fire when the root system outgrows its pot or planter box.
Sedum autumn fire doesn’t need grooming.
How to Propagate Autumn Fire Stonecrop
Propagate with stem or leaf cuttings in the summer.
To propagate with leaf cuttings…
- Cut several leaves from the plant.
- Simply plant the leaves in well-drained soil.
To propagate with stem cuttings
- Cut a healthy stem and remove the lower leaves.
- Plant the stem in the same type of soil.
- Protect leaf cuttings and stem cuttings from drafts and keep in a bright, sunny location.
- Water occasionally, as this is when the plant needs the most water.
- After the cuttings take root, transplant to their permanent homes.
To propagate by division, wait until the spring.
- Divide the plant every three to four years
- Plant the divided sections in the same soil used for the mother plant.
Autumn Fire Stonecrop Pest or Disease Problems
Aphids and mealybugs may attack indoor plants.
Spraying the plant with water may help remove the pests, but it also increases the risk of overwatering.
Remove the pests by hand, using tweezers or cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.
For severe infestations, treat with an insecticide. If the infestation remains, move the plant outdoors.
For more on controlling pests on succulents
The plant may also suffer from root rot or fungal growth from overwatering.
If fungus appears, cut away the affected areas and stop watering the plant.
Move it to a brighter location, allowing the soil to dry out. After the soil dries, water sparingly.
Suggested Uses For Sedum Spectabile Autumn Fire
Thanks to the bright flowers lasting throughout the summer, this plant makes a great choice for garden borders. Beneficial for pollinators, it attracts butterflies and rabbit and deer resistant.
It also grows well in containers, or on a slope or bank, providing an easy solution for adding more color to a patio or balcony.