Sedum reflexum (SEE-dum ree-FLEKS-um), also known as Sedum rupestre (rue-PES-tree) is a hardy evergreen perennial stonecrop (Sedum) species hailing from mountainous regions throughout North America and in some dry parts of South America.
The plant is a member of the Crassulaceae a family in the genus Hylotelephium, otherwise known as stonecrops.
These plants are so-called because in their native settings they typically grow in stony, rocky areas.
The plant’s scientific name (Sedum) is Latin derived from the word, sedeo. This refers to the plant’s growth habit of sitting and sprawling over stones.
Reflexum means “bent backward”, the alternate, rupestre, is a reference to rocks.
Common names include:
- Blue Spruce sedum
- Crooked Yellow Stonecrop
- Stone Orpine
- Jenny’s Stonecrop
Blue Spruce Sedum Reflexum Care
Size & Growth
This succulent with a blue-gray foliage color can quickly reach a height of six or eight inches. Individual plants may spread as wide as two feet.
The plant spreads rapidly forming a dense mat of bluish green leaves arranged on their stems much like spruce needles.
Flowering & Fragrance
The star-shaped yellow flowers are small individually, but they grow in attractive yellow clusters beginning in early summer and continuing all summer. The lightly fragrant flowers are quite attractive to butterflies.
Light & Temperature
Blue Sedum is easy to grow in full sun settings with well-drained soil and little water. It can tolerate some shade, but it greatly with prefers heat and sun.
The plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9.
Watering & Feeding
This drought-resistant plant requires very little water. Water deeply from below or at ground level only when the soil is dry.
Fertilizing is not necessary, but you can sprinkle a bit of granular fertilizer on the surface of the soil in the springtime if you wish.
Soil & Transplanting
Any soil pH level is acceptable, and the plant likes to be in well-draining ordinary or sandy soil. The spruce sedum does best in very gravelly unfertile soil. Rich soil produces floppy, weak growth.
Grooming & Maintenance
To encourage more dense growth habit and more blooming, mow ground cover plantings early in the spring.
When kept in pots or containers, pinch or trim to encourage bushier growth and more blooms. Use cuttings to propagate new plants.
How To Propagate Blue Spruce Sedum reflexum
Propagation is easy. Break off healthy stems in early or late summer and poke them into the soil. They will take root readily and grow in a quick and carefree manner.
You can also propagate the plant through almost any other means of propagation, such as root ball division, simple layering or sowing seed indoors or outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
Other Popular Sedum Plants
- Donkey Tail Plant (Sedum morganianum)
- Sedum Acre Gold Moss
- Pink Sedum sieboldii
- Jelly Bean Succulent (Sedum rubrotinctum)
Blue Sedum Reflexum Pest or Disease Problems
This rugged plant has few if any, disease or insect problems. Just be sure to maintain a sparse watering schedule and plant reflexum in a full sun setting with sharply draining soil, and you should experience no problems at all.
In a damp setting, slugs, snails and bacterial and fungal infection may be problematic.
In settings where the plant is overcrowded or over watered, scale insects, mealybugs and aphids may be present.
To deal with these problems, see our article on Controlling Succulent Pests.
Is Reflexum Considered Toxic or Poisonous To People, Kids, Pets?
Sedum reflexum is an edible plant and is sometimes used as an herb or added to fresh salads.
Is The Jenny’s Stonecrop Considered Invasive?
Although this plant is not listed as invasive, it is wise to keep an eye on it and control its growth and spread.
Reflexum is hardy, adapts well and grows rapidly. It’s a good idea not to mix it in with slower growing stonecrops because it can quickly overtake them and smother them.
Suggested Sedum ‘Blue Spruce’ Uses
Grow Blue Spruce in containers and tubs or in open areas where you seek a trouble-free groundcover.
The plant is also good for edging and for naturalizing, but you’ll need to stay on top of it to prevent it from running rampant.
The plant has naturalized in Washington state and many eastern states and a good portion of Canada.
It is an especially good choice for rock gardens and to naturalize in areas with very dry soil, clay soil or problems with erosion.
The plant is rabbit and deer resistant, drought tolerant, and in some very hot, sunny locations it can even be used as a lawn substitute.