Looking for a perennial plant that’s easy to grow and a real workhorse in the garden? Learn how to grow sedum autumn joy with these simple tips.

It’s that time of year again when the air gets a bit crisper, and our beloved gardens transition into their autumn attire.

A true gem of the fall season is Sedum Autumn Joy. Have you grown it before?

If you’re looking to add a touch of effortless elegance to your garden while keeping things low-maintenance, this plant is for you!

Wait until you see how easy sedum autumn joy is to grow and maintain!

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About Sedum Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy is a versatile and hardy succulent perennial originating from China that can thrive in a range of climates. With USDA hardiness zones 3 to 10, sedum ‘autumn joy’ is a drought-tolerant, sun-loving plant that thrives when planted in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

It grows best in well-draining or gravelly soil and does not tolerate waterlogged or soggy soil. So choose a planting location where water drains well and doesn’t pool after rain.

This amazing perennial plant grows to a height and width of about 12 to 24 inches, making it great for the front or middle of a flower garden bed. This moderate height helps it stand out in garden beds and borders while also creating a visually pleasing backdrop for other plants.

As the plant grows and matures, it forms clumps with beautiful chartreuse heads that expand slowly, creating a lush and textured appearance in your garden.

When in bloom, the flower clusters are held on sturdy stems and gradually transition from pale pink to deep rosy red as they age in fall.

And it’s versatile enough to be used in a variety of garden designs. It can work as a focal point in small spaces or as a part of larger garden beds, formal or cottage gardens, adding texture, color, and visual interest.

‘Autumn Joy’ grows equally well in containers too. So if you have a small gardening space, this plant is a great option.

sedum autumn joy close up in fall

Why Choose Autumn Joy Sedum?

I’ve been gardening for over 25 years, and I can confidently say that sedum autumn joy has secured its spot as one of my all-time favorites.

Growing Sedum Autumn Joy comes with a variety of benefits that make it a popular choice for gardeners of all skill levels.

Its beauty lies not just in its appearance but in the ease-care trait it brings to the home gardener and decorating enthusiast.

Here’s why you should grow it.

  • Low-Maintenance Champion: If prefer spending more time admiring your garden than tending to it, Sedum Autumn Joy is a must-have. This hardy perennial requires minimal attention, making it perfect for both beginners and seasoned gardeners alike.
  • Fall Magic Unveiled: As the name suggests, Autumn Joy sedum truly shines during the fall. Its succulent leaves take on a rich, warm hue that perfectly complements the changing colors of the season. And when its flower heads burst into bloom, you’ll witness a captivating shift from pale pink to deep, rosy red.
  • Pollinator Haven: Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators can’t resist its late-season nectar feast. So, by adding this beauty to your garden, you’re also contributing to the well-being of these essential creatures.
  • Great Cut Flower: If you enjoy making flower arrangements, this plant adds lots of pretty texture to fresh-cut bouquets.
  • Dries Easily: If you enjoy drying flowers for your home decor, sedum autumn joy dries with ease and lasts a long time.
  • Beautiful Blooms: The late-season blooms of Sedum Autumn Joy are a sight to behold. The clusters of flowers start as pale pink and transition to deep rosy red, adding a burst of color to your garden during a time when many other plants have finished blooming.
  • Versatility: Sedum Autumn Joy’s moderate height and compact growth make it a versatile plant that can be used in various garden settings. It works well as a border plant, in rock gardens, as part of perennial beds, and even in containers.
  • Drought Tolerance: Sedums are known for their drought-tolerant nature. Once established, they can withstand periods of dry weather without wilting or suffering significant damage.
  • Yearly Return: As a perennial plant, Sedum Autumn Joy comes back year after year, providing you with a consistent source of beauty and interest in your garden.
  • Texture and Form: The succulent foliage of Sedum Autumn Joy adds an interesting texture to your garden. Even when not in bloom, the foliage remains visually appealing.
  • Propagation: Autumn Joy sedum is relatively easy to propagate through division, cuttings, or leaf propagation. This allows you to create more plants for your garden or share them with fellow gardeners.
  • Seasonal Interest: Sedum Autumn Joy’s changing colors throughout the seasons, from spring growth to summer flowers and fall foliage, provide year-round interest in your garden. And if you leave the seed heads in winter, they look AMAZING all snow-covered.

Overall, Sedum Autumn Joy offers a combination of visual appeal, ease of care, and benefits for pollinators that make it a valuable addition to a wide range of garden styles and landscapes.

front porch in summer with flowering annuals, sedum autumn joy and white rocking chairs
close up of sedum autum joy - a gorgeous plant for the fall garden

Sedum Autumn Joy FAQs

I get lots of great questions about growing autumn joy. Here are the most popular FAQs.

Is Sedum Autumn Joy a Perennial?

Yes, Sedum Autumn Joy is a perennial plant, which means it comes back every year. This is one of the fantastic qualities that makes it a popular choice among gardeners.

Once established, it will go through its growth cycle each year, gracing your garden with beauty season after season.

When we moved to our former family home over 23 years ago, we had a sedum joy plant near the road that I divided almost yearly and it still lives after we moved.

So they can live a really long time.

sedum autumn joy, coreopsis hardy hibiscus and butterfly bush

Does Sedum Autumn Joy Like Sun or Shade?

Sedum Autumn Joy is a sun-loving plant that needs full sun to thrive. This sunny exposure helps the plant develop its vibrant colors, strong stems, and robust growth.

However, it can also tolerate some morning or afternoon shade. I have grown it successfully in partial shade in my zone 6a garden.

Does Sedum Autumn Joy spread?

Yes, Autumn Joy sedum has a natural tendency to spread over time. It forms clumps of rosette-like growth that gradually expand, creating a fuller and more visually appealing display.

This spreading habit can be an advantage, as it helps fill in gaps in your garden and creates a lush, textured look.

However, the spreading of Sedum Autumn Joy is relatively slow compared to some other ground-covering plants. You won’t need to worry about it taking over your garden quickly or becoming invasive.

To keep the plant’s vigor, divide the clumps every few years. This not only keeps the plant in check but also provides you with new plants to place in different areas or share with fellow gardeners.

Sunset in the front porch cottage garden in fall with rudbeckia, sedum autumn joy and snapdragons overlooking the valley

Should Autumn Joy Be Cut Back, And If So, When?

Trimming back Autumn Joy sedum is a beneficial practice that helps maintain the plant’s health, appearance, and overall performance.

While it can be cut back in either late fall or early spring, I recommend waiting until early spring. The flowers give the garden winter interest, especially when snow-covered, and the seeds also provide a food source for birds.

Is Sedum Autumn Joy Pollinator Friendly?

Autumn Joy sedum is an excellent pollinator plant. Its nectar-rich flowers make it highly attractive to a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.

The late-season blooms of Sedum Autumn Joy provide a valuable food source for these pollinators, especially during a time when many other flowering plants may have finished blooming.

monarch butterfly on sedum autumn joy
Gorgeous cottage garden in the backyard in front of a garden shed with sedum autumn joy and wood picket fence with dahlias and zinniasin front of garden shed in backyard garden with green garden stakes topped with terra cotta clay pots - My cut flower garden in front of the shed in the backyard with a wood picket fence and sedum autumn joy - How to Save Money at the Garden Nursery
My Former Cottage Garden by the Shed

Is Sedum Autumn Joy Deer Resistant?

While some gardeners consider it to be deer resistant plant, I am not one of them. Deer have nibbled on mine and so I spray them with deer repellent early on in the season to teach them early that they don’t like the taste of my sedums.

What Are Potential Pests and Diseases of Autumn Joy?

I’ve been growing this plant for over 25 years and can tell you that I’ve seen little to no problems with them if they are planted in full sun and well-draining soil.

You’ll notice some yellowing or weak growth if it’s overwatered or grown in soil that is waterlogged.

If you treat it right, this plant will take care of itself. I highly recommend this easy-care perennial plant for beginners or those who want to grow flowers but have little time.

small cottage garden in fall with sedum autumn joy and black eyed susan and celosia and snapdragons

How Do I Propagate Sedum Autumn Joy?

If you want to increase your stock and maintain plant health, the most common method of propagation is division.

Here’s how to do it:

  • In the spring or early fall, dig up the entire plant, including its root ball.
  • Gently separate the clumps of the plant by pulling them apart, using a knife or spade shovel if needed.
  • Replant the divided clumps in well-draining soil at the same depth as the original plant.
  • Water the divisions thoroughly and keep them well-watered until they establish new roots.

While this is the most common method, you can also propagate the plant by cutting a flower stalk and stick it in the ground or pot with well-draining soil. Leave it undisturbed and it will eventually root. That’s it!

I’ve done this numerous times and it’s even easier than dividing. Keep in mind that it will be a small plant because you only planted one stalk. But trust me, this works.

garden shed with beautiful cut flower garden in fall with sedum autumn joy, dahlias and ornamental grass with pumpkins9 ways to start preparing the garden for winter
Sedum autumn joy in bloom in the backyard garden

More About Growing Sedum Autumn Joy

Are you growing sedum autumn joy? Have you ever propagated it before? I would love to know more in the comments below.

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Garden Supplies I Use

I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

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close up of sedum autumn joy
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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me?

I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as finding ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes.

Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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2 Comments

  1. Stacy,
    You turned me on to Sedum Autumn Joy a few years ago and I now have several plants. I’ve also divided some of my plants and they are growing well. Thanks for all your tips. I’ll share this link on Dirt Road Adventures.