Phedimus aizoon, formerly known in cultivation as Sedum aizoon, is a herbaceous perennial species of succulents that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. This gorgeous succulent goes by various common names, such as Aizoon Stonecrop, Orpin Aizoon, or Fei Cai. It grows natively in several regions of China, Mongolia, Japan, and Russia.
Aizoon Stonecrops are super versatile, which makes them a nice option for a wide range of landscapes. And the great news is that they come with three more varieties, giving you some extra options to choose from. These cultivars are P. aizoon var. aizoon, P. aizoon var. angustifolium, and P. aizoon var. floribundus.
About Aizoon Stonecrop
- Phedimus aizoon grows mostly on dry grassy slopes, dry meadows, dry shrub thickets, sandy cliffs, or rock streams. In general, it thrives at elevations of 3281 to 9843 feet (1000-3000 m) above sea level.
- The curious specific epithet “aizoon” comes from the words “aei” and “zôion”, which mean “forever” and, respectively, “living thing”. This name refers to the tendency of most Aizoon Stonecrops to live for a very long time. Some say they live eternally.
- These succulents are a popular attraction for many wildlife species. Likewise, their adorable bright yellow flowers are highly attractive to pollinators like butterflies.
- Aizoon Stonecrops can make for excellent ornamental additions to different landscape decorations. The most suitable uses include rock gardens, dry gardens, butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, banks, slopes, beds, and borders. They also make great potted plants or lush ground covers.
- Aizoon Stonecrops will look absolutely wonderful near other interesting species of plants. Some of these are Blue Fescue, Bunching Onion, Dianthus, Gayfeather, Heliopsis ‘Asahi’, Japanese Anemone, Origanum ‘Rosenkuppel’, Persicaria ‘Firetail’, Plantain Lily, Purple Coneflower, Sage, Spear Grass, and Tall Verbena.
- Phedimus aizoon is a very common herb in China. In traditional medicine, some folks use this plant as a detoxifying product and also as a treatment against bleeding, pain, or trauma.
- The leaves and young stems of the Phedimus aizoon are edible. However, consuming them in large quantities may cause stomach upsets. These components have a distinctive bitterness in their flavour, so few people would want to eat them anyway.
- Since some parts of Aizoon Stonecrops can be somewhat toxic to humans or animals if ingested in high amounts, it would be wise to keep these succulents in a spot where your kids or furry companions cannot reach them.
Aizoon Stonecrop Features: An Overview
- This buddy belongs to the Phedimus genus of approximately 18 species of flowering succulents. It shares this genus with other nice-looking species including P. kamtschaticus, P. middendorffianus, P. obtusifolius, P. spurius, or P. takesimensis.
- Phedimus aizoon is a herbaceous, evergreen, and perennial succulent. The plant emerges from large, wood-like rhizomes and grows at a relatively fast pace. It can reach from 12 to 32 inches (31-81 cm) in height and up to 24 inches (61 cm) in width.
- The foliage consists of long, narrow, glossy, egg-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, and green leaves that appear alternately arranged on tall, thick, upright, unbranched, wood-like, and reddish-brown stems.
- The leaves of Aizoon Stonecrop can measure up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length and a maximum of 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. They usually feature serrated margins. On some specimens, the edges may come in shades of red.
- When the summer shows its presence, Phedimus aizoon also exhibits eye-catching blossoms. The plant will typically stay in bloom from July through August. The clusters of many star-shaped, bright yellow flowers show up right at the top of the leaves and stems.
Growing Aizoon Stonecrop
First things first, you should know that Phedimus aizoon is a big lover of sunlight. But! This easy-going plant can easily withstand some light shade to partial shade once in a while. Although these lighting conditions will not affect this succulent in a very bad way, it is best to grow yours in the brightest area you can find for optimal results. Make sure you expose your P. aizoon to at least six hours of full sunlight daily.
Temperature-wise, Aizoon Stonecrops are as tolerant as you would probably want them to be. These succulents are cold-hardy in the USDA zones 4a through 9b. They can handle winter temperatures that drop to -30 °F (-34 °C) without any damage along the way. However, if you are a bit anxious about the overall well-being of your plants, you can provide them with some kind of protection to help them go through the harsh winter months.
Since Phedimus aizoon is virtually carefree when it comes to diseases or pests, you will not encounter serious issues while growing and caring for them. Still, some intruders like aphids will not hesitate to visit your beloved succulent from time to time. If you notice any infected branches on your P. aizoon, you must first remove them, then apply neem oil or insecticidal spray on the plant to increase its resistance to the pests.
Planting Aizoon Stonecrop
Luckily, Phedimus aizoon is not fussy at all in terms of growing medium. As long as you plant it in soil that comes with excellent drainage, your succulent will be more than pleased. This particular type of soil will also help you avoid root rot or any other fungal diseases that usually occur when the plant grows in improper soil. For indoor-grown specimens, a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom would also be a wonderful choice.
If you want to be the happy owner of a thriving Aizoon Stonecrop, supplemental fertilizer is mandatory. But do not worry, gardener! This plant does not require very frequent fertilizing, as too much of it can actually harm it in the long run. Make sure you feed your Aizoon Stonecrop with a low-balanced fertilizer diluted at ½ strength once every year in spring.
Although this succulent does not grow at a very fast pace, potted Phedimus aizoon plants will benefit from regular repotting. This process will not only give you a hand against overcrowding your plant but will also give it a new start in a fresh growing medium. Keep in mind that you should repot your plant only in early spring or autumn.
We suggest you transplant your succulent in a slightly larger pot once it begins to outgrow its current one. In case your plant did not grow too much in the past years, it is still better to repot it once every two or three years, even in the same container.
Watering Aizoon Stonecrop
Watering this plant is the easiest thing ever! And why is that? Well, Phedimus aizoon is a succulent species, so it does not need frequent watering to grow healthy and happy. Yes, it loves moisture, but the plant can store large amounts of water and do just fine without much extra effort on your part.
However, you will still have to water your Aizoon Stonecrop once in a while. Be careful, though! Over-watering a succulent is the most common mistake among growers, especially for those at the beginning of the road. But if you will use the “soak and dry” method, you will not need to worry about this problem at all.
Basically, all you have to do is check the soil of your succulent in-between waterings. After you spoil your Phedimus aizoon with a drink, you must wait for the substrate to dry out completely. Once this happens, you can provide your plant with another touch of water. That’s all!
Propagating Aizoon Stonecrop
When this plant bewitches us with its eternal beauty, we cannot stop but think about just one thing – the more, the merrier! In general, Phedimus aizoon has the most glamorous look when more specimens grow together. But how can you make more of this stunning succulent? This is what propagation serves to and you can easily surround yourself with more succulents by dividing the roots of your plant or starting new ones from seed.
As a rule, propagating your Aizoon Stonecrop through division is an option only for mature, established plants. In spring, dig the rhizome of your succulent out of its growing medium with a spade. After this process, section the roots in two or three parts, then replant each one into its permanent location. From this moment, the caring routine will be the same as before.
If you want to start your own Aizoon Stonecrop from seed, you will first have to collect the seeds from the dry fruits. Once you have the seeds, sow them in fresh well-draining soil in spring. Make sure the seeds get enough sunlight, warm temperatures, and regular moisture. With proper care, the seedlings will emerge in a few months or so. We recommend you transplant the seedlings in their permanent spots only when each has at least one pair of leaves attached to it, usually in summer.
It is safe to say that Phedimus aizoon a.k.a. Aizoon Stonecrop is one of the easiest to grow and care for ornamental plants. This drought-tolerant succulent can thrive with minimal effort on your part in a wide variety of lighting conditions and temperatures. And if you also spoil it with a bit of love and attention, this succulent will keep you company for longer than you might expect!
Ready to give Aizoon Stonecrops a chance? Let us know how it goes!