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Get the best from your Sedum Atlantis

The Sedum Atlantis

We love this plant and were delighted when the RHS judges showed that they loved it too by naming it Plant of the Year 2019 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Read on to find out more about this fascinating plant, its origins and how to get the best out of it in your garden.

History

The original Sedum Takesimense was found on a volcanic island off Korea, where it had adapted to the well-drained soils. It has been grown in nurseries for a number of years, where it is sold as a garden plant or used for green roofs.

Dave Mackenzie is a sedum specialist and has written books on green roofs and vertical gardens. Several years ago, whilst doing his daily check through his nursery on the banks of Lake Michigan, Dave spotted that one of his Sedum Takesimense plants had developed with striking variegated leaves. He was immediately excited about its potential and, over the following 6 years, tested its vigour and consistency until he was ready to release it to the public. Dave showed the plant to Peter Van Rijssen who travels the world looking for new and exciting plants, and he, in turn, showed it to Gavin Shaw, one of Suttons’ own ‘plant hunters’. Everyone at our offices loved the plant when we saw the pictures and loved it even more when we started growing them at our nursery down in Devon.

Flowers & Foliage

Most sedums sit quietly in the background and then surprise you with a burst of bee- and butterfly-friendly flowers. But when we were choosing plants to take to Chelsea for judging we genuinely struggled with whether to just show off the foliage or to take a plant in flower because the foliage is THAT striking.

Initially emerging as pure cream, the leaf rosettes develop into serrated green leaves with striking creamy margins, expanding to form a cushion up to 50cm across. The plant covers itself with a foam of yellow flowers from July to September and finally, the leaves take on a lovely autumn pink blush.

Drought-tolerance

Sedums are more drought-tolerant than many plants for 3 reasons:

  1. They store water in their fleshy leaves and stems, which they can call on when water is scarce
  2. They have a waxy covering on the leaves which reduces water evaporation.
  3. They have a unique mechanism (Crassulacean Acidic Metabolism), which enables them to open the pores on their leaves to transpire at night when it’s cooler, rather than in the heat of the day

Having said that, like all plants, they do still need some water. Ensure your plants don’t dry out completely during dry spells, particularly when your plant is first establishing.

Care & Planting

Whilst this sedum should thrive in the full sun of a British summer, its variegation makes it almost glow in the shade – by positioning your plants in half shade, you and your plants will get the best of both worlds.

When potted, Sedum Atlantis makes a striking outside table decoration and will work equally well in a hanging basket, border or rockery. Although fully hardy in the UK, it doesn’t like having wet feet, so please make sure that it has adequate drainage, particularly in the winter months.

Depending on conditions, your plant may lose its leaves over the winter, but don’t worry! Provided it has not become waterlogged, it should spring back into life to delight you again next spring.

Good luck – we hope you love your Sedum Atlantis as much as we do! Check out our purchase options here and get Sedum Atlantis for your garden, hanging basket or table decoration.

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