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Get To Know Sedums

We all love those cute little succulents that we plant in everything, but you need to get to know their cousins, the sedums, better.


These perennials are also known as stonecrops because they are found growing in rocky areas. They come in lots of different sizes, colors, and textures and are perfect mixed in containers or in beds or rock gardens.


They are not only drought-tolerant like succulents but are winter hardy and able to survive in cold weather and look great year-round. They are easy to grow and requires little maintenance.

There are 2 main types:

Ground cover sedum which is low growing and spreads as a ground cover or drapes over the side of your containers or hanging baskets, over rocks in a garden or over a retaining wall. The shapes and textures of these plants lend themselves to so many “cool” planting ideas. They have small blooms throughout the summer and into the fall, but their foliage alone is outstanding.

Upright Sedum have succulent type leaves and will grow into a small bush shape as it matures. It is evergreen (stays green throughout the winter) so you can enjoy them all year. They bloom in the late summer and early fall with flat clusters of tiny flowers that change color as the bloom matures over several weeks. The texture of these plants and interesting blooms works in a variety of plantings.


Tips on planting sedums in pots:

· Use a well-draining soil. They can develop root rot and turn mushy if they are grown in too wet of soil.
· Make sure your pot has drainage holes. Sedums roots are shallow so they don’t need a deep pot.
· Don’t overfeed them with fertilizer. Use a slow release fertilizer.
· They prefer full sun, but can take some shade.
· Allow sedums to dry out between waterings.
· Water potted sedums when the top 1 inch of soil dries out.

Here’s some of my favorites:

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Your Guide to Container Gardening

It’s time to create colorful plantings in your favorite pots or in new containers. Let’s up our game with Thriller, Filler, Spiller  2.0 by adding different textures or placing the plants in a non-traditional way in the container.

A quick review: Thriller is the focal point of the pot, the “wow” factor.  Filler is the plants that compliment the Thriller and fill in the rest of the space.  Spiller is a plant that drapes over the side of the container.

Switch it up and plant your Thriller in the back of the pot leaving room in front for layers of Filler plants ending with the Spiller cascading over the side of the container.  This creates more interest in the pot and accents different plants from different viewing angles.    

Using plants with different textures – flowing grasses, spiky leaves, small or large leaves – turns ho-hum into spectacular.  Use succulents and sedums in low bowls and place them on tables or ground level for an eclectic, clean look.

Keeping it Simple: A list of Thriller, Filler, Spiller plant suggestions for sun or shade containers is located in our Color House for your convenience.  

Below are 2 examples of large container plant-o-grams to get you started.

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5 Succulents That Are Hardy to East Texas

With winter coming up quickly, most succulents will need some sort of protection against the chilly air, or just brought inside where temperatures aren’t so low. However, these 5 succulents are ‘cool’ with the cool air and will be just fine when Jack Frost pays East Texas a visit!


A banana tree with green leaves

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Euphorbia

With colorful pink, green, or white modified leaves (that look like flowers!) and its blue-green foliage, this low-maintenance perennial is perfect for your beds, borders, or containers. Euphorbia is tough and offers outstanding heat and drought resistance. Instead of showy flower petals, euphorbia has modified leaves, called bracts. This plant is a vigorous grower, reaching 1-3 feet in height and 2 feet in width at maturity, so it can quickly fill a garden space.


Hens & Chicks

Sempervivum are succulent, rosette forming plants belonging to the Crassulaceae family. They are commonly known as Hens & Chicks, and are called this because of the high number of offspring they produce — thus, a Hen and all her Chicks! The main attraction of these plants is their colorful rosettes of leaves. The rosettes are most striking in the spring and summer but even in the winter when growth stops, many varieties remain attractively colored.


A close up of a flower garden

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‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum

Sedums have become one of the most popular hardy plants in our area. What’s not to like? They are easy to grow; their thick, succulent leaves make them drought tolerant and they grow in full sun to light shade. Tall, upright sedums form clumps of foliage with massive flower heads which develop in summer and bloom in the fall and then provide food for the birds during the winter.


A close up of a flower

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Delosperma (Also known as Ice Plant)

Best grown in FULL SUN, Delosperma is an easy-to-grow herbaceous perennial. It can tolerate dry soil, shallow-rocky soil, and even full-on droughts. Glossy red-purple flowers bloom continuously from early summer until fall, and stand out against its fleshy, emerald-green leaves. The bright flower color paired with the long-blooming season and evergreen foliage makes ‘Ice Plant’ an easy choice as a groundcover or for a rock garden. A vigorous grower, Delosperma can reach 3-6 inches in height and a spread of 24 inches (or more!) at maturity.


‘Ogon’ Stonecrop Sedum

A small mass of brilliant, evergreen, solid yellow-gold, succulent foliage flushed with pink provides a bold color accent in rock gardens, along rock walls, or in mixed succulent containers. Makes an excellent pathway filler or ground cover. Does BEST in partial sun, reaching a spread of 8-12 inches at maturity.


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Houseplant Care Series: Water & Humidity

While MOST indoor plants need water about once a week, it can vary depending on how old the plant’s root system is, what kind of container/pot it is in, where the plant is placed in your home (and how much sunlight/heat it gets), and also what variety of houseplant it is. Plants placed in a window will get dry faster than those exposed to less direct sunlight.

How do I know my plants need watering? 

Check to see if the soil looks dry, then stick your finger into the soil just about an inch (or to the first joint of your finger) to see if the soil feels moist. While plants should become a little dry between watering, don’t let the plant wilt, that’s way too dry!

Don’t want to get dirt under your fingernails? 

Use a moisture meter to check the moisture level of your plant.  This handy gadget immediately tells you if your soil is dry, moist or wet.  Click here to see how easy and simple it is to tell when your plants need watering.

How do I water my plants?

Use a long-spout watering can to reach all sides of your pot with ease (and to avoid spills). Saturate the soil around each plant with water and continue adding until it begins to run out the drainage hole on the bottom of the pot. Let the plant drain, then dump the excess water from the saucer.

Quick Tip: If the potting mix you use dries out too much, it won’t hold water properly, so the moisture immediately runs out the drainage hole and is not absorbed. If this happens, add the water slowly, giving the potting mix a chance to absorb the moisture.

Benefits of misting my plants?

Because so many houseplants originated from jungles and areas with moist air, they do best when the humidity level is between 30-40% humidity – enough to make your hair frizz! For plants that really need a little extra moisture, misting can be a great way to provide that extra water.

Using tepid (not hot, but not cold) water, mist your humidity-loving houseplants in the morning – so the leaves can dry out during the day. You’ll want to mist on the tops and undersides of the leaves, leaving a ‘dewy’ look to them when you’re done. Some plants can be misted daily, while others only need it once or twice a week. Make sure to research your new houseplant addition to find out what schedule applies to you!

Increasing Humidity for your plant. 

MOST plants thrive in high humidity environments; however, most homes are usually VERY dry in comparison to the outside air.

Here’s the best way to combat this: Place a tray or saucer under your houseplants and fill it with pebbles. Then, add water until the water line is just below the top of the pebbles (not more than this, you don’t want to keep the plant’s ‘feet’ wet) As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity level around the plant.

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Fall Container Ideas

Fall is an excellent time to show off your seasonal favorites like mums, pansies, violas, and flowering kale or cabbage. Play with colorful and dynamic combos of perennials, annuals and grasses to create stunning containers.

Photo Credit: Southern Living
Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use solid colored Pansies in orange and velvety black to make the perfect Hallow’s Eve arrangement. Place in a black or silver container for a super spooky addition to your front porch Jack O’Lanterns.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use a variety of colorful Pansies as a filler against an evergreen, like an Arborvitae or a Blue Point Juniper, with a classical ivy, like English Ivy for a formal arrangement.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Use different varieties of Dianthus to create a full container – pair with a neutral pot to really show off the bold colors.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Make a MUM-KIN! Cut out the top of a pumpkin and plant your favorite fall Mum. Use orange or yellow for a consistent color scheme or add pink or purple for a deep contrast against the orange of your pumpkin!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Strawberry Jar Planters can be used in more ways than one! Plant Violas in different shades for an incredible ‘spill’ effect.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Create a sunny disposition, even in fall! Plant yellow Pansies (with and without a ‘face’) to create a trio of gold on your porch. Add a fountain grass for a ‘thriller’ to really draw attention!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have stairs leading up to your home? Create a stair-step quattro of planters with Violas. Use different style pots with the same variety of Violas to create a stunning look on your stairs!

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Have fun with Succulents in fall too! Just like our Mum-kin (pictured above) plant succulents in pumpkins and spray paint the pumpkins in neutral tones to make these desert gems stand out.

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Build Your Own Succulent Garden

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https://www.theeasttexasweekend.com/build-your-own-succulent-garden/

One of the newest crazes taking over is building your own succulent garden. Our friends at The Home & Garden Center in Longview are here to showcase two types of plants that are super important when building your own succulent garden, and they’re unique and low maintenance.

The first are succulents and the second is tillandsia, which are also known as air plants.
Both of these can be considered house plants or even be outside most of the year just as long as they’re brought inside during the winter.
“One thing you need to consider when choosing their location is how much light they can handle,” says Michelle Westbrook. “Succulents can take quite a bit of direct sunlight, while air plants do best in indirect light. We’re going to walk you through a really need and different way of showcasing both of these.”

Here’s what you need to build your own Succulent Garden:
• A container– When picking a container to plant in, drainage is one of the most important things to consider. It’s recommended to drill at least two holes into the bottom of your preferred container. If it still doesn’t drain well you can drill extra holes into the bottom and add a small layer of pea gravel before adding your soil.
• Cactus/Succulent Soil– When working with succulents you definitely want to use a potting mix that’s designed for cactus and succulents. It drains a lot faster than normal, and succulents are very susceptible to root rot of the soil they’re planted in stays too wet.
• Pea Gravel– The pea gravel has two purposes. First, it can be used on the bottom of your container before adding soil to help with drainage. And it can also be used on the top of the garden to help cover the bare soil and add some texture to your final product.
• Succulents– These are the star of the show! There are hundreds of varieties, so choose a variety of textures and colors to really make your garden pop.
• Air Plants– Now probably because of their name there is a misconception out there that air plants live off of air. But that is not the cast. Out in the wild they grow off trees and live on rainwater so they do need to be either spritzed or soaked depending on the conditions they’re in, and what variety they are.
• Glue– Make sure it’s non-toxic. A hot-glue gun is also acceptable.

• A few decorative rocks
When building your garden it’s always a good rule of thumb to remember the Thriller, Filler and Spiller rules.
-A thriller is something tall that’s normally showcased. In the above demonstration it’s the piece of cedar that’s placed in the center of the garden. There are also a few taller succulents behind the cedar to add to the thriller affect.
-A filler is something shorter that helps fill the container. So this will be your succulents.
-A spiller is something that will spill over the edge. For this purpose, it was the Sedum.

Now let’s get started:
1. Drill two holes with the bottom of your container
If using a large thriller like cedar, place it in the container before the following two steps
2. Fill container with a thin layer of Pea Gravel.
3. Add a layer of soil on top of the gravel.
Now, your larger thriller should be secured in place
4. Start adding your succulents to the soil around your thriller
When working with succulents it doesn’t hurt to pull some of the soil away to help them fit the pot you’re putting them in, just as long as you don’t damage the roots.
5. Add your spiller, and other plants you want to include
6. To add your air plants, simply use non-toxic glue to make them stick to your favorite spot
7. Fill bare soil spots with more Pea Gravel
8. Admire your succulent garden!

When planting, you’re only limited by the scope of your imagination. And for those of you whose imagination isn’t there yet, that’s what The Home & Garden Center in Longview is here for.

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