Succulents

Guide to Sedum Rubrotinctum: How to Grow & Care for “Jelly Bean Plants”

Read our complete guide to Sedum Rubrotinctum for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for growing and caring for “Jelly Bean” Succulents
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Sedum Rubrotinctum is a cute-looking succulent native to Mexico that belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It is a versatile and easy-to-care-for ornamental plant that thrives in outdoor gardens and indoor containers.

Also known as Jelly Bean Plants, Pork and Beans, and Christmas Cheer, or Banana Cactus, Sedum Rubrotinctum is a hybrid plant that resulted from cross-pollinating Sedum Stahili and Sedum Pachyphyllum.

Most succulent lovers have at least one Sedum Rubrotinctum in their collection because it is a plant that tolerates almost any environment and any type of soil as long as it gets good drainage and it’s very easy to propagate.

Like most succulents, Jelly Bean plants thrive in summer as they love full sun and drought. They are not frost-tolerant and need protection during the cold winter months.

Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents are mildly toxic for cats and dogs, so make sure you keep it within a safe distance from your furry babies.

Where to Buy Succulents?

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About Sedum Rubrotinctum

  • The Sedum Rubrotinctum is an evergreen, low-growing perennial succulent that can tolerate drought and loves sunlight, but is sensitive to frost.
  • It is a beautiful succulent that thrives in any location – indoors or outdoors, in a terrarium, or as a single crop and it can add life and cheer to any background. Whether you are looking for a low-maintenance succulent to keep on your desk, or a ground cover for your walkway, the Jelly Bean Plant is a great choice.
  • If grown in a container, the Sedum Rubrotinctum thrives near South or West-facing windows and other places with plenty of natural light.
  • Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day and they survive outdoors as long as the temperatures don’t drop below 20° F (-6.7° C).
  • It is among the easiest succulents to propagate as any leaves that fall from the plant can grow roots. If you don’t have any fallen leaves, you can gently twist a leaf from the stem.
  • The watering needs of Sedum Rubrotinctum plants are quite similar to other succulents’ in that they prefer the ‘soak and dry’ method.

Sedum Rubrotinctum Unrooted Cuttings, From Amazon

Sedum Rubrotinctum Features: An Overview

  • The Sedum Rubrotinctum has bright green leaves shaped like beans or jelly beans that turn red if the plant gets a lot of direct sunlight or when it is ‘happily stressed’. (Stressing your succulents means giving them a bit more sun, heat, cold or less water and more nutritious soil than they normally need. This will stimulate them to change their colors and turn brilliant shades of yellow, red, and orange. Succulent stressing should be done in moderation without harming the plants.)
  • Jelly Bean Plants grow to 7-8 inches (20 cm) in height and tend to lean to one side. They have cylindrical jelly-bean shaped leaves that grow up to 0.7 inches (2 cm) long.
  • The leaves of the Sedum Rubrotinctum grow in spirals around the sprawling succulent stems.
  • Their flowers are star-shaped and delicate. They come out in spring or autumn and are yellow tinged with red.
  • As the plant matures and grows, the stems spread out and sprawl, so Jelly Bean Plants can be used as ground covers. You can plant this succulent underneath tall plants with tiny footprints, such as pruned jade plants.
  • Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents are commonly mistaken for Sedum Rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’ or Pink Jelly Bean Sedum, which have lighter, more pinkish leaves that can be variegated.
Sedum Rubrotinctum is know as the Jelly Bean plant
Sedum Rubrotinctum is known as the Jelly Bean plant

Growing Sedum Rubrotinctum

Jelly Bean plants are quite easy to grow and they don’t need a lot to survive. If you have other succulents, you can apply the same growing techniques that you use for your other succulents. If not, Sedum Rubrotinctum is a great plant for gardening beginners. It can survive with very little water and lots of light. When in doubt, it’s always better to underwater your Sedums instead of overwatering them.

Sedum succulents are also known as Stonecrops and a lot of gardeners say that these plants need as little care and attention as stones do. While that’s not entirely true, Sedums can thrive in inhospitable environments as long as they don’t get too much moisture and the temperatures are higher than 20° F (-6-7° C).

Jelly Bean plants love to grow under direct sunlight so, if your home doesn’t get a lot of natural light, your succulent might not do so well indoors. If you want to grow it indoors, you might have to provide extra lighting to ensure that your plant follows its natural growth process.

With this succulent, you don’t have to worry about extreme heat and too much sunlight as it has a natural defense mechanism. Under the hot summer sun, the leaves of the Sedum Rubrotinctum will darken to protect it from getting sunburnt.

Sedum Rubrotinctum succulent
Sedum Rubrotinctum succulent

Planting Sedum Rubrotinctum is a relatively easy process. For small varieties, all you have to do is to place the plant on the ground and wait for it to send out roots. The plant will grow roots from the stems that touch the ground and, to accelerate the process, you can add a very thin layer of soil over the plants. If the stem is taller, push it into the ground gently.

Jelly Bean Succulents don’t need a special type of soil. They are perfectly happy with a succulent soil mix that doesn’t retain water, has good drainage, ventilation, and a little organic matter. Like most succulents, Sedums hate excess moisture, so you need to ensure that the water flows freely and that the pots have drainage holes.

Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, Is Perfect

You can fertilize the Sedum Rubrotinctum with a cactus and succulent fertilizer once a month during the growth season (in spring and summer).

Watering Sedum Rubrotinctum

In warm areas, Sedums can be kept in outdoor gardens all year round and they will do fine with very little water. If the temperatures rise and it doesn’t rain for extended periods, you can water them more often. But, make sure you wait for the soil to dry completely in-between watering sessions.

Gardening experts suggest watering Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents every ten days during the warm seasons. As mentioned above, the plants might need more water during heatwaves, but don’t worry if you are on holiday or if you forget to water them once in a while.

In more humid areas, the plants will need to be watered less and even protected from too much rainwater.

How to Water Succulents
How to Water Succulents: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Check your plants regularly and inspect their leaves. If the leaves have a wrinkly or shriveled aspect, the plants might be dehydrated, so it would be a good idea to water more.

The safest way to check whether your Jelly Beans need more water is by feeling the soil with your finger. If you notice that the top inch of soil is completely dry, you can safely water the plants, if it’s damp, wait until it dries out completely before you add more water.

You can also check whether the soil is dry or not by using a moisture meter or a wooden skewer stick. If the Jelly Beans cover the surface and you can’t feel the soil with your finger, stick a wooden skewer stick in the soil a few inches down. If the skewer comes up completely dry, you can water your Jelly Bean plants, if not, refrain from watering.

Propagating Sedum Rubrotinctum

Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents are quite prolific when it comes to propagating. You can easily grow new plants from fallen leaves. It is not uncommon for Jelly Bean plants to shed leaves once in a while. But, if you want to propagate them and don’t have any fallen leaves lying around, you can cut some manually.

The best way to pluck Jelly Bean leaves is by twisting them gently and pulling them away from the main plant. Being gentle is very important as you don’t want to cause any unnecessary stress on your Sedums or the newly cut leaves.

How to Propagate Succulents
How to Propagate Succulents: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Once you have a few jelly bean cuttings, let them rest on a piece of tissue paper and put them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight and wait for them to callous. This process will usually take a few days after which you can place the cuttings in succulent soil mix and wait for the new roots to emerge.

Jelly Bean plants can also be propagated through stem cuttings. To make a clean cut without damaging the plant, use a sharp sterile knife or a pair of sharp gardening scissors.

Another effective way to propagate Sedums is by dividing the plants in half at the beginning of the growth season (in spring). If you chose this method, you should, again, make a clean cut with a sharp sterile knife from the top of the succulent down to its roots. Cut the roots without damaging them and place them in a moderately damp succulent soil mix.

Propagating Sedum rubrotinctum
Propagating Sedum rubrotinctum

Final Thought

Sedum Rubrotinctum succulents are not just cute and unique-looking, but they are also really easy to care for. They thrive in warm sunny areas and only need a little water now and then.

You can propagate them easily and use them as ground covers or plant them in individual containers. But make sure you keep them away from your pets, as they are mildly toxic.

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Miruna Secuianu

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

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