Water-wise qualities motivated me to try several varieties of Stonecrop. The Sedum hybrid Stonecrop Rosy Glow has been the most reliable variety in my city garden. This dependable perennial transforms throughout each growing season.
Rosy Glow Stonecrop waits until fall to bloom. When it does, clusters of tiny, 5-petaled flowers create a rosy glow throughout the plant. As these blooms wither, a darker pink or maroon color remains. It’s this darker maroon red that initially attracted me to this particular variety.
Stonecrop Rosy Glow foliage is a grayish green described on the plant information card as blue-green. Leaves are oval with slight soft serrations and a rounded point. The leaves were twice as large and more serrated their first summer, perhaps due to fertilizers used at the nursery. As with other sedum, leaves are rubbery and thick to retain water. New growth is bluish. Stems are a rosy pinkish purple.
Early in spring, new stems rise from the ground with leaves attached. Leaves fold out as stems grow taller. Most stems remain standing throughout the spring.
Around the beginning of summer, stems fall from their own weight. They lie along the ground and cascade over the side of a container. The ends point up again toward the sun and develop clusters of buds.
The plant finally flowers in the fall. Longer stems and some bald spots along stems create a messier look. At the very end of fall, a few leaves change color. Another photo of this plant flowering is on my About page.
Stonecrop Rosy Glow starts out in a mounding shape and ends up trailing. The mounds get to be around 8 inches tall. During this time, the plant appears manicured and formal. By fall, the same stems may be 24 inches long, pointing up at their ends. The appearance is now messy and informal.
Unlike other Sedums, Stonecrop Rosy Glow does not scream desert garden. Instead, it provides a feeling of transformation over time. Although the leaf color stays the same, everything else about this plant transforms. The entire shape of the plant transforms from spring to summer. And the flower color transforms during the fall. It’s like having three different plants.
To contrast the grayish-green color and draw out the purple in the stems, pair Stonecrop Rosy Glow with Heuchera Obsidian. To keep color monochromatic while varying height, pair Stonecrop Rosy Glow with Red Cardinal Weigela and Silver Mound. Note that the color of Weigela leaves will vary greatly with lighting conditions. Pairing Stonecrop Rosy Glow with Pink and Red Cabbage will draw out the pink, purple, and blue shades in both plants, especially in the fall when both plants are at their peak. Avoid using Stonecrop Rosy Glow with yellowish green leaved plants.
I keep 5-6 plants in the same insulated planter. So far Stonecrop Rosy Glow has endured six summers and five winters in part-sun. It has lasted through droughts when we’ve been away and outbreaks of snails. I’ve seen the snails on its leaves, but only a couple of leaves show damage. As a Sedum with thick rubbery leaves, the plant retains water and requires less watering than most plants. Other than watering, this plant requires no maintenance.