With summertime just around the corner, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to add another superb member to your beloved plant family. Well, this is your lucky day, gardener! We would like to introduce you to Hylotelephium, one of our favourite good-looking and easy-to-grow succulents.
Keep reading our guide to find out everything you need to know about Hylotelephium plants. By the end of this article, you will be charmed by these peculiar but superb succulents and you’ll want to gift them to your friends and family as well.
Hylotelephium (formerly Sedum) is a genus that contains about 33 species of flowering succulents. These lovely plants are native to numerous regions worldwide including Europe, Asia, and North America. They have a wide range of habitats, growing mostly in areas like old fields, woodland edges, waste places, and swamp margins.
Prized for their irresistible nature, Hylotelephium plants are among the most popular ornamental succulents out there. These succulents are very easy-going, rewarding gardeners that like to grow them and care for them with their attractive foliage. With minimal care and lots of love, your Hylotelephium succulents will bloom like crazy and will be your loyal buddies for a very long time.
- Although all Hylotelephium species deserve out attention, some of them have unique features. The most attractive Hylotelephium succulents are ‘Autumn Charm’, ‘Beach Party’, ‘Cherry Truffle’, ‘Chocolate Drop’, ‘Jose Aubergine’, or ‘Pool Party’.
- These stonecrop succulents are pretty versatile, making for great additions to rock gardens, beds, and borders but they also work wonderfully as potted plants. Many gardeners also enjoy them indoors as cut flowers.
- Stonecrop succulents stand out best if planted in groups or “en masse”. In outdoor settings, their blossoms will attract several species of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds.
- Hylotelephium plants have fleshy leaves that can retain lots of moisture. This is a nice common feature of succulents, making them tolerant of drought for long periods.
- The following Hylotelephium cultivars have gained the prestigious Award of Garden Merit: ‘Autumn Joy’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Class Act’, ‘Karfunkelstein’, ‘Matrona’, ‘Mr. Goodbud’, ‘Purple Emperor’, and ‘Red Cauli’.
- Hylotelephium plants can look absolutely fabulous near other species of flowering plants. The most common companions include Coneflower, False Sunflower, Frikart’s Aster, Giant Hyssop, Pearly Everlasting, and Yarrow.
- Most parts of these succulents are pretty toxic to humans and animals if touched or ingested. For safety purposes, it is wise to grow Hylotelephium in a location where your curious children or pets cannot get in contact with them.
Hylotelephium Features: An Overview
- They belong to the large Crassulaceae family, otherwise known as the orpine family or stonecrop family, that contains about 1400 species of flowering succulents.
- Hylotelephium plants are herbaceous perennials that can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) in height. They fall into three main categories: upright, creeping, and mat-forming.
- Their foliage consists of simple, thick, fleshy, waxy, and ovate leaves that grow in whorls or alternately arranged on green to grey/silver, somewhat erect stems. The leaves measure from 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm) in both length and width.
- Hylotelephium plants produce succulent leaves, storing high amounts of water with time. Sometimes, the leaves of these succulents can have serrated margins.
- Their leaves come in various colours, such as light to dark green, silver-grey, faded blue, golden yellow, dark burgundy-red, purple to lavender, or variegated.
- In general, Hylotelephium plants bloom from early summer through late fall. During this period, they exhibit dense clusters of tiny, star-shaped blossoms that have less than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
- Their showy flowers usually have 4 or 5 petals and show up with different shades of white, pink, purple, or red. The tints can become deeper and richer in cooler temperatures.
- After their flowering season, Hylotelephium succulents bear brown to copper fruits called capsules. Their seeds are excellent for propagation, so keep reading to find out how to obtain more plants.
Hylotelephium plants thrive in lots of sunlight, usually at least six hours of bright and direct light daily. Although some varieties can tolerate partially shaded areas, they will not be as vigorous nor bloom as profusely as they would in full sunlight. In indoor settings, place these succulents in the brightest location you can find, such as an east or south-facing window. In regions with very hot and dry conditions, these flowers will crave a bit of afternoon shade.
Typically, Hylotelephium succulents are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9 but this can vary depending on the species. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels. However, make sure you protect them from very high temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C) because these conditions can result in scorched leaves.
Hylotelephium plants are usually trouble-free, yet some problems like aphids or fungus gnats can occur from time to time. While aphids will feed on the foliage of your succulents, fungus gnats will infest their soil and feed on their roots. In case of aphid infestation, handpick the intruders, remove the unhealthy parts, and apply neem oil. For fungus gnats, you can also use neem oil or a simple mix of water and dish soap.
To grow at their best, Hylotelephium plants prefer a loose sandy, loamy, or gravelly substrate. These succulents are susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases, so you must plant them in soil that has excellent drainage. The best growing mediums for these plants are commercial potting mixes specifically designed for succulents and cacti.
We recommend you plant these succulents in spring after the last danger of frost has passed. If you want to grow Hylotelephium plants indoors, look for pots that have drainage holes at the bottom to prevent any soggy condition or waterlogging.
A substrate that is too rich in nutrients or organic matter can lead to weak, leggy overall growth. In general, Hylotelephium species can still do well in nutrient-poor soil and do not require extra fertilizing along the way. However, if you are growing your plants in very poor soil, you should add some compost to their medium once every year to give them a boost.
Some Hylotelephium species will benefit from some pruning here and there, usually after their blooming period. In late autumn or early winter, you can cut your plants back to maintain their shape and even encourage healthier and bushier growth. You can also remove all spent blooms during their flowering season for a fresh look, but this is not mandatory.
As with most succulents, you will have absolutely no reason to worry about Hylotelephium plants. These stunning buddies can withstand long periods of drought, making them ideal ornamental plants for beginners or forgetful growers. Still, they will require your attention in their first active growing season, usually right after planting.
Water your freshly planted Hylotelephium succulents once every week to prevent the soil from drying out entirely. Once these plants have settled in their new environment, they will not demand supplemental irrigation. In general, they can do just fine only with water from more or less frequent rainfalls.
If you live in a region with hot and dry climates, however, you must intervene in your Hylotelephium watering routine. Make sure you avoid under-watering or over-watering by checking the soil regularly. When the soil has dried out completely, this is the perfect time to spoil your succulents with a nice, deep soaking.
Once you have Hylotelephium plants as your companions, you will surely want to make more of these beauties. Luckily, these succulents are very easy to propagate through division or stem cuttings. Why bother with new specimens from nurseries or markets when you can make your own workshop at home?
Propagating Hylotelephium succulents using division shows faster results than the second method. All you have to do is dig out your mature succulents and separate their roots into sections. However, make sure each section has at least one stem attached to it to grow properly. After this process, transplant the divided parts wherever you want and care for them as usual.
If you want to propagate Hylotelephium plants by cuttings, you will have to look for suitable, healthy stems to use. Once you find the perfect candidates, cut off about 3 to 6 inches (7.6-15 cm) from the stems and remove all leaves from the lower half.
You can plant your cuttings in the garden or a container filled with a fresh succulent mix. For optimal growth, keep the tiny Hylotelephium in a well-lit, warm location and provide them with water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. If you pull the cuttings gently and feel some resistance, this is a sign that they have developed a healthy root system.
Coming in so many varieties and with so few growing demands, Hylotelephium plants are a must-have in your summer-blooming collection. Basically, all these succulents require to grow healthy and happy are a well-lit spot and a well-draining soil. Beyond these conditions, you can practically just let them be and take care of themselves alone.
Are you growing Hylotelephium succulents? Share your experience in the comments below!