Goldmoss Plant Info: Caring For Sedum Acre Plants
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
You may know Sedum acre as mossy stonecrop, goldmoss, or not at all, but this darling succulent should be something you include in your landscape scheme. The versatile plant fits perfectly into a rock garden and thrives in poor soils, such as sandy or gritty compositions. Continue reading for fun goldmoss info and cultivation tips.
What is Sedum acre?
Sedum acre‘s common name, goldmoss, is about as explanative as you can get. It is a low-growing groundcover that tumbles gleefully over rocks and other objects in the garden. The European native has become popular in North America primarily for its adaptability and ease of care. Gardeners know that caring for Sedum acre is a breeze and the sweet little plant has the ability to accent many other types of flora.
Do you have an alpine garden or rocky site in your yard? Try growing Sedum acre. It is useful in full sun to partial shade locations where the low profile of just up to 2 inches (5 cm.) in height allows it to caress hills, rocks, pavers, and containers with the tightly packed leaves. The thick, succulent foliage overlaps alternately.
Sedum acre spreads with a moderate rate via rhizomes to a width of up to 24 inches (60 cm.). In late spring to early summer, the stems elongate and flowers form. The blooms are star shaped, have 5 petals in vibrant yellow and last throughout the summer.
There are no special instructions when caring for Sedum acre. As with other sedum plants, just watch it take off and enjoy.
How to Grow Goldmoss
Sedum acre prefers slightly acidic sites with excellent drainage and gritty soil. Even shallow soil, limestone, rocks, gravel, sand, dry, and hot locations pose no problem for this little plant.
Growing Sedum acre as a groundcover is less tolerant of foot traffic than other species, but can survive the occasional step. Goldmoss is useful in gardens in USDA zones 3 to 8. It tends to be self-seeding and will expand season by season into a dense mat of succulent foliage.
If you wish to start new plants, simply break off a stem and stick it into soil. The stem will quickly root. Water new plants for the first few months as they establish. Mature plants can tolerate drought conditions for brief periods.
Additional Goldmoss Plant Info
Sedum acre can withstand severe site conditions but is also relatively immune to rabbit and deer nibbling. The name comes from the plant’s acrid taste, but this sedum is actually edible in small amounts. Young stems and leaves are eaten raw while older plant material should be cooked. Addition of the plant adds a spicy, peppery flavor to recipes.
Be warned, however, in some cases gastrointestinal distress can occur. A better use for the plant is in its powdered form as a treatment for everything from cancer to water retention.
In the garden, use it as a sunny border, rockery plant, in containers and along paths. Sedum acre even makes a fun little houseplant, especially when combined with other succulents.
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Sedum, stonecrop – planting, care and tipsSedum - Stonecrop
The sedum, also known as stonecrop, belong to the family of the stonecrop family. Their flowers are quite different, because there are about 600 species of stonecrop worldwide. However, the fleshy, water-storing leaves look very decorative.
Profile of sedum:
Plant family: stonecrop family (Crassulaceae)
Sowing time / Planting time: spring or autumn/fall
Flowering period: June to August
Location: full sun to sunny
Soil quality: nutritient-poor, dry, stony, sandy
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: beds, borders, stone garden, plant in groups, container
Winter hardiness: hardy
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
SEDUM ACRE CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Sedums flourish in well-draining soil. If you give them a gritty combination of limestone, gravel, brick chunks along with river sand, that’s really all they need.
The soil needs to be really loose, non-compact, and quite non-organic. Organic components like peat, mulch, compost, etc. should be less than 1/4th of the mix.
Your standard sticky garden soil or anything that’s somewhat clayey won’t work for this plant. In fact, the soil you use to grow Sedum acre shouldn’t form a clump if you try to tightly compress a handful of it in your fist.
It is said the Sedum acre care requires slightly alkaline soil .
But in my experience, it grows in any pH level you give it as long as drainage is perfect. If you have a rock garden at home, you should grow Sedum acre in that.
Having said all this, let me tell you that if there’s a clay patch that’s never watered and it is hard and dry, you may be surprised to see your Goldmoss creeping along the surface happily there!
But such miracles can’t be planned and clayey soil is certainly the wrong starter medium for Sedum acre care.
If you grow Sedum acre in full sun it gets orange to reddish tint on the leaves. You want to give it a full unrestrained sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
Indoors is a total waste of space for this plant unless you give it very bright grow lights. Quite honestly, if you’re trying to grow a rock garden plant under grow lights, I would judge you!
My favorite spot for Sedum acre care is right on the roof where it gets unobstructed sun the whole day. That’s where it arrives in spring and stays there until mid-autumn before heading back to the east window by the kitchen for winters.
Pro-tip: Don’t place Sedum acre in direct sun as soon as you bring it from the nursery. This is a typical mistake that beginners make with sedums after reading all about them being sun-loving.
They need to be adapted to the full sun over 4 to 6 weeks after arriving home.
The watering needs of Sedum acre care vary according to the stage of development and maturity. During the propagation and early growth, it has very different requirements compared to a mature plant.
Here in this section, I will be addressing regular watering needs for a well-established plant. Watering for propagation and juvenile plants is addressed in a separate section.
Sedum acre is a hardy succulent that stores moisture in its leaves and stems quite well. What it doesn’t tolerate is too much watering especially if the soil holds back any of that.
If you have been growing Sedum acre for about a year and it has spread to about a foot to two feet in diameter, then the “drench and dry” method works great.
You drench the soil whenever it goes bone dry during the growing season. In winters you cut down drastically.
As long as the soil dries out very rapidly even if you water every 3rd day it’s fine. Drainage is really the key here.
Very mature plants that have organically spread around rock gardens don’t need any watering at all!
Their living environment starts mimicking natural environments where they grow as they please drawing water from occasional rains and such.
The best thing about Gold Moss Sedum care is its temperature tolerance. I’ve rarely come across plants with such a wide temperature tolerance range.
There are hot weather garden plants and there are cold weather garden plants. Sedum acre is present across the whole range!
It can survive in extreme conditions like great heat and even frost. It can take up to -30°F (-34°C) i.e. it can survive under a blanket of snow! That’s why it makes such an amazing rock garden plant.
Some pro gardeners use these extreme temperatures to “stress” their Goldmoss into changing color. Goldmoss exposed to winter snow gets great hues when it sprouts back in spring.
You can grow Sedum acre quite successfully without any help from fertilizers. However, if you want some action in the growing months you can give it good succulent fertilizers. In early spring, I sprinkle crushed organic mature all over the soil where Sedum acre grows.
After that, I prefer giving it a flush of water-soluble all purpose fertilizer .
A once-a-month application during the growing season is more than enough i.e. 5 to 6 months in a year. Look at the instructions of the packaging and dilute the recommended concentration to a fourth.
I would recommend that you fertilize it only if the plant is at least a year old or even two. You want the plant to be stable in its spot before you give it a growth spurt.
In my experience it takes literally next to nothing to propagate them. Stem tip cuttings are the easiest hack for Sedum acre propagation.
While propagating, this plant needs more consistent moisture and bright shade compared to other times. A peat-perlite mix or a peat-sand mix is a good medium for starting a plant.
You can use a sprinkling can and water from the top until the tips take root. Once established, go back to low watering, high sun as detailed above. Transition gradually.
There’s a reason Sedum acre is called Goldmoss. It grows like moss, low and tangled up and covering the ground. The average height is about 4 inches (10 cms).
It spreads around pretty quickly too. Within the first year, with proper Sedum acre (which is borderline neglect) you can get a decent spread of over a foot in diameter.
The best of this plant can be exploited if you have a rock garden. If you don’t have one, don’t despair. It grows equally well in wide containers but you need to be conscious of a few points here.
Plastic pots don’t work for Sedum acre in my experience. For ideal Sedum acre care their roots need to dry out pretty fast and plastic traps moisture.
Use anything earthen or terracotta so that the moisture can escape. The pot needs to have plenty of drainage holes , but you’ll face problems with the sandy soil running out of the pot through these holes.
The workaround is to use pieces of broken terracotta pots to make a shield around the drain holes before putting potting soil into it.
Another great container hack for Sedum acre care is to grow them on tiled window overhangs. Because of their flowing growth habit, Sedum acre grown this way can look quite stunning.
Goldmoss stonecrop – cultivation and care
In order to thrive, the goldmoss stonecrop needs a full sunny and dry place. It is mainly cultivated in the garden, but it can also be put in bowls and placed on a balcony or terrace.
The planting site should have a sandy, lean and dry soil. Stonecrop likes it low in nutrients and humus.
Planting goldmoss stonecrop
The planting of goldmoss stonecrop is possible from spring to autumn. It is best to choose a day without precipitation, when the dry substrate can be easily optimized for the needs of the plant. The easiest way to do this is with soil for succulents.
It is important to provide the soil with a gravel drainage to ensure good water drainage. The substrate should also be enriched with a handful of gravel and sand. Likewise, the goldmoss stonecrop appreciates light lime additions. A basic fertilization with ripe compost or humus is not necessary and should be avoided with regard to the optimal substrate.
Sedum acre reaches growth widths of up to 20 cm (8 in). Hence, the planting distance in the bed is about 20 cm. (8 in) Usually it is sufficient to simply place the plants on the soil. This makes cultivation on dry walls, stony garden elements and on roofs particularly easy.
Watering should be done very sparingly, natural precipitation is perfectly sufficient. Sedum acre can survive dry periods in between even in very hot summer months without problems. Only very dry stone or wall plantations require a little spray time to time.
You must be extremely careful when fertilizing goldmoss stonecrop. Too many nutrients make the shoots of the plant soft and lazy in bloom. If at all, moderate fertilization during the growth phase is indicated. Here it is best to add some liquid fertilizer for succulents once a month to the watering water, but it is not necessary.
A cut is not necessary on succulents like goldmoss stonecrop. However, one can cut back wilted flowers, stems and occasionally also proliferating runners. If the latter is the case, please cut only at the edge of the plant carpet. The sensitive leaves of Sedum acre fall off very easily. Its shapely, grassy growth could therefore suffer from pruning.
The division of the rootstock is not absolutely necessary. However, it has been proven that larger specimens of goldmoss stonecrop, which are divided every three to four years in spring, retain their vitality longer and also grow more upright.
During its fruit ripening in autumn, goldmoss stonecrop forms small follicle fruits. They are usually a reliable means of self-seeding in the garden. For controlled sowing, you can simply collect the seeds.
The seeds are sown directly into the bed in spring. As soon as the seeds have reached a size of approx. 10 cm (4 in), they can be pricked out at a distance of 20 cm (8 in).
Cuttings are best taken between April and August. Cut off shoots about 5 cm (2 in) long and place them in a container with succulent soil. Alternatively, you can also mix a standard substrate with sand and peat. Keep the soil moderately moist until rooting.
The cuttings should then – after approx. 3 to 4 weeks – be rooted. Another 2 to 3 weeks later the roots are strong enough and the cuttings can be planted outdoors.
Goldmoss stonecrop can be propagated even faster than by sowing or cutting by dividing the rootstock. Often the plant does not need to be dug up at all for this. It is sufficient to carefully separate a part of the outer plant cushion. Carefully pull the root network apart for this. The parts can then be transplanted as usual
Diseases and pests
Sedum acre is normally very resistant to pests. Mostly it is care mistakes that weaken the plant to such an extent that it becomes susceptible to diseases or pests.
Those who water their goldmoss stonecrop too much not only risk waterlogging. Root rot can also easily occur in a soil that is permanently too moist. This is especially true if Sedum acre is also placed in too much shade. Affected plants are usually quickly destroyed by root rot. For this reason, only conscientious prevention by moderate watering can help.
Mealybugs and snails
Among the pests, mealybugs and snails in particular like to attack the mossy stonecrop. Here, too, the risk of infestation is greater if the plant has been weakened by care mistakes – such as excessive watering or over-fertilization.
An infestation with mealybugs can be recognized by woolly webs in the area of the leaves and leaf axils. They spread themselves in too warm house locations at the stonecrop during false overwintering and attract attention especially by honeydew on the leaves.
Beneficial insects such as ladybugs or their larvae are the best way to get rid of the aphids. In the case of aphid infestation, immediate resettlement to the field can also help. The insects do not tolerate winter frost very well and then die.
The tasty, spicy leaves and roots of the mossy stonecrop are also a favorite food for snails. Besides household remedies such as coffee grounds or begonia liquid manure, snail fences and sawdust can also help. The latter, however, have to be spread very widely around the plants to prevent the slugs from moving forward.
Frost protection is also unnecessary, as the plant is hardy down to -26 °C / -15 °F.
Goldmoss Stonecrop DROUGHT-WISE
Sedum acre is perfect STEPABLES Creeping Perennial for rock gardens, borders and parched paths where little to no water is available. Goldmoss Stoneecrop carpets the ground with deep, green foliage that becomes completely engulfed (and I mean completely!) with yellow flowers in summer. The deep green foliage turns a beautiful shade of red during cold months to give you winter interest on the ground. Use Sedum acre in and amongst stepping stones, a dry rock garden path, or along a fence line. Sharp drainage is a must. Over watering will impair growth.
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