Sedum nussbaumerianum [SEE-dum] [nuss-baw-mer-see-AH-nuh] is a subshrub with rosettes of copper-colored leaves. It’s an easy to grow succulent coming from Mexico.
It’s commonly called a Coppertone stonecrop or Coppertone sedum and part of the Crassula plant (stonecrop) family of succulents.
Coppertone stonecrop was first discovered at a sulfur spring in Mexico in 1906 and is now a popular houseplant due to its uniquely colored leaves.
Sedum Nussbaumerianum Care
Size and Growth
Coppertone stonecrop reaches a height of about 8″ inches, with multiple rosettes of thick succulent leaves.
The leaves are pointed and measure about 2″ inches long when fully mature.
The leaves are initially yellowish green.
When placed in full sun, the leaves of Sedum nussbaumerianum turn rosy gold to a coppery red.
The compact plant may eventually produce trailing ground cover, spreading up to 3′ feet wide.
Flowering and Fragrance
Clusters of small white flowers appear in the spring.
Unfortunately, plants grown outdoors may not bloom every year.
To encourage flowering each year, overwinter the plant in a cool spot with temperatures between 35° and 44° degrees Fahrenheit (2° – 7° C).
Light and Temperature
Coppertone stonecrop is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 and higher.
It grows best in full sun in warm regions.
In cooler areas, grow the plant indoors as a potted houseplant near a sunny window.
The intensity of the sun determines the hue of the leaves.
In direct sunlight or full sun, the plant should achieve its coppery red color.
With less sunlight, the leaves may remain somewhat yellowish green.
Watering and Feeding
Mature Sedum nussbaumerianum plants are drought tolerant, while young plants require moist soil.
The frequency of watering for outdoor plants depends on the climate.
If the area receives a lot of rain, the soil shouldn’t need additional moisture.
The top inch or two of soil should be completely dry before watering.
During the summer, the plant typically needs watering about once per week, unless it rains.
If kept outdoors during the winter, it only needs moisture once per month.
Add liquid fertilizer diluted to about half strength or quarter strength.
Use the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season, which includes spring and summer.
Soil and Transplanting
- Use well-draining soil, such as commercial cactus potting mix with perlite.
- Use about two-parts cactus mix to one-part perlite.
- Transplanting is relatively simple, but the roots are shallow and break easily.
- When transplanting, carefully dig the soil around the plant and remove it.
- Allow the plant to sit for a day before replanting in its new home.
- This gives the roots time to heal before receiving water.
- Use fresh soil for transplanted plants.
- The Coppertone stonecrop roots should be at the same depth as before transplanting.
If the stems become too leggy, trim them back to promote thick, compact growth.
Otherwise, the plant doesn’t need grooming.
How to Propagate Sedum Nussbaumerianum Coppertone Stonecrop
Propagate Coppertone stonecrop from seeds or stem or leaf cuttings.
Sow seeds indoors in sandy, moist soil.
Using cuttings provides the fastest results.
To propagate using stem cuttings, cut a stem containing several leaves.
- Allow the cut stem to dry for one or two days.
- The cut end of the stem should develop a callous.
- Dip the calloused end in rooting hormone powder and stick it in a well-draining potting mix, such as succulent mix or cactus mix.
- Place the plant in partial shade and keep the soil moist.
- Water every few days or when the top inch or two of soil is dry.
- The cutting should take root in about four to six weeks.
- As the plant matures, begin to limit the frequency of the watering.
- Transplant the plants to their permanent homes the following year.
Propagating using leaf cuttings involves the same steps used for stem cuttings.
- Select a healthy leaf and pull it from the base of the plant.
- Instead of sticking the leaf in the soil, lay it flat on the soil.
- Roots should grow from the leaf within a couple of weeks.
Coppertone Stonecrop Pest or Disease Problems
Pests tend to leave drought tolerant Sedum nussbaumerianum plants alone.
The main concerns include brown leaves and soft, mushy leaves.
Brown leaves occur due to sunburn.
If the plant receives intense direct afternoon sunlight, the leaves may develop brownish-black spots.
Move the burnt plant to a shadier location.
Wait for new growth in developing or trimming back the damaged parts of the plant.
If the leaves become soft and mushy, the soil is receiving too much moisture.
Cut back on watering the plant and allow it to dry out.
Wait for the leaves to harden before watering again.
If root rot develops, cut off the dead portions and propagate the healthy portions.
Luckily, there isn’t much else to worry about.
As with most of the stonecrop plants, Coppertone stonecrop isn’t considered toxic to people or animals.
It’s also noninvasive.
Suggested Sedum Nussbaumerianum Coppertone Uses
Coppertone stonecrop provides succulent ground cover for rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and succulent gardens.
It’s also an attractive plant for containers or hanging baskets.