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Which purple sedum to choose?

NollieNollie Posts: 7,334
I am looking to edge a bed with purple sedum to set off a hot planting scheme in full sun, can’t decide which one to choose from the following three available from my supplier:

S. Jose Aubergine 
S. Purple Emperor
S. Fabarium

Does anyone grow any of the above? Do the stay upright and compact or are they leggy and floppy? Do they stay purple? Which have the darkest flowers?

I considered quite a few alternative plants before I settled on sedum, but the trouble is, I’m not keen on pink flowers against the reds and oranges - if they were  ‘ruby’ coloured as advertised that would maybe be ok. If they end up pink, could I cut them off, as its the foliage I’m interested in? Would they look terrible if I did that?!

Soil is clay but amended with lots of compost and grit, and I will add more grit on planting out.

Decisions, Decision - help!

Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,965
    I've had Purple Emperor for 2 years now and found it very floppy. I took cuttings the first year and have several dotted about now.
    Soil is much the same as yours and in full sun for most of the day.
    I'm planning on trying the Chelsea Chop on them next year to see if that makes them behave.
    I'm not overly impressed so far tbh, you may have more success in Spain

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,240
    Hello Nollie,
    Can you get Sedum 'Matrona' ?
    I'm hoping to buy this myself as it is supposed not to flop .... see this article from Hyde Hall.

     Bee x

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,357
    'Matrona' is nice, but the flowers are pink, and I wouldn't want to cut them off really..
    The stems are purple, leaves more green with purple tints.. fairly upright habit..

    East Anglia, England
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,334
    Ah, thats what I was concerned about, @Pete.8, I did like the look of Purple Emperor, but if the plants flop then they will not look great at the front of the border and fail to hide some leggy plants behind, as intended. Jose Aubergine is said to be compact and ‘resists flopping’ but ‘resists’ sounds a bit, well, flaccid...

    Thanks Bee and Marlorena, that is a really nice plant, but not quite purple enough for me, I’m afraid, I want something as dark as I can get to offset the hot colours. In an ideal world a deep purple heuchera like Obsidian would be my first choice but its far too hot for that!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,659
    I think Purple Emperor is too floppy, although a gorgeous purple. I don't know Jose Aubergine but I looked it up and read an article that said it has sturdy stems and is more upright than Purple Emperor. It's a newer variety, bred to be shorter and sturdier.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,334
    Thanks Lizzie, I think Jose it is. I just read an article saying you should pinch out the growng tips of plants to make them bushier and sturdier and that a chelsea-style chop helps too, @Pete.8

    Also, grow in poor soil, not let other plants overhang them so that they are not tempted to lean forward in search of sun, dont fertilize and be sparing with the water. Perhaps I need to seriously up the grit content and be really mean to them!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,965
    edited January 2019
    Thanks @Nollie I'll give it a try this year.
    I think my soil is generally a bit too rich for some plants

    Have to say I do like the look of Marlorena's Matrona - I've made a note.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    I have two varieties of purple sedum. One with large leaves and one with smaller. Both look nice but i must admit a preference for the smaller leaf. Cant remember which varieties they are sorry.

    As far as them being upright/compact or flopping, it spends on the situation you grow them in. They like a dry sharply drained soil and tend to flop if there is too much moisture (as i find on my clay based soil) but I give them support in the latter part if the season and it works well.

    They look great with the colour orange or blue. 
  • JemulaJemula Posts: 185
    I’ve had “Red Cauli” for a couple of years after seeing it growing at Wisley and can recommend it. I grow several varieties of Sedum as they suit my soil. I always give the tall growing ones the Chelsea Chop and they stand up much better, although flowering a bit later. If I don’t do this the flower stems flop all over the place and the whole plant looks awful.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,334
    Great thanks, good to know its possible to keep them upright with the right treatment. They are to go in front of oranges and reds mainly. I must say I think the purple of the Emperor looks the nicest, I might just have to try a few of those as well as the Jose A...
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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