Sedum mocinianum is one of the most beautiful of all tender sedums with dense rosettes covered in stiff, short, white hairs. Little white flowers with dark red anthers appear around January or February and are always a welcome sight in the dark days of winter. This Mexican beauty is found on igneous rock walls in the Sierra Madre and the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and often seen mislabelled in collections as Sedum hintonii, another hairy Sedum which is rare in cultivation.

 Fig. 1 Top view

This species will tolerate cool conditions but is a martyr to botrytis so watering overhead can be fatal at any time of year. I grow mine in a gritty soil-based compost and a terracotta pot so I can water generously during the summer months and I then keep it dry from September until April when its inflorescences are starting to shrivel. It can become leggy and lose its white hairy appeal if grown in the shade so I grow mine on a top shelf in the greenhouse but it can also produce a tight and pleasing plant if grown on a sunny windowsill.

 Fig. 2 Side view

After the inflorescences have shrivelled and dried, I cut them back and remove them to allow new leaf rosettes to grow through. The dried inflorescences can be planted as cuttings and readily root in a standard gritty compost. I always find it wise to have some rooted cuttings as backups in case the dreaded botrytis takes hold of my larger specimen, and they make nice presents for all who admire this plant in my greenhouse.

 Fig. 3 Close up of flowers

Photos and text by Gillian Evison

 

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