I did not cut back my Autumn Joy plants after they bloomed in the fall. When is the right time to prune them, and, how far back should I cut? I also realized that the plants had wide gaps in the middle, and have read that that means I should divide the plant. I've NEVER done anything like that before. I would appreciate any advice you can give me on this plant, as it added so much color to my yard last fall and I want to make sure it continues to thrive.
I'm like kyjoy, I didn't do anything to them until the new growth in the spring and by then it was so brittle it had "cleaned" most of it's branches by itself and I only had to do a little pulling by hand.
They are so easy to divide, do not worry at all. My geese loved to rip apart the spring shoots and I just pushed them back in soil (without roots, like cut flowers) and they ALL started to grow so in a season my sedum plants tripled. I also found some Sedum in the bouquet that I was given and I pushed the cut flowers in bed outside (without any special teatment) and quess - it is growing too! Sedum is very great plant to survive everything, indeed!
I like to leave the dried flowers through winter adds some interest to the garden in the snowy months. Then I cut them way down close to the ground. You'll see the new starts coming up.
They are the easiest plant to move, cant believe how hardy. I left one outside in hot sun forgot to transplant it, it sat there for 2 days and didn't even wither. I do like how they change color, beautiful in the fall.
I leave mine up over winter too. I actually just cut mine back over the past weekend and noticed yesterday that they are starting to sprout again. I agree, very tough. Mine are in really packed clay that killed many other plants, not autumn joy.
I agree they can't be killed! I had some along the house and decided to thin them out. When I did, a lot of them broke off. I threw those out in a brush pile...and left them there for two weeks before I was told that you can plant any part of them and they will grow. I had noticed they had still looked pretty green on the old brush pile, so I went and got them and planted them...they lived and look great. You can pull a leaf off and plant it...I really wouldn't worry about killing this plant...I think its impossible.
I do the same as kyjoy in that I never cut mine back until Spring so I can have winter interest. The way I divide them is in the fall once they are done blooming. I jam the shovel with my foot into the middle of the plant and divide it. Then I cover the original plant back up with dirt and put the division into its new home. They are a tough plant. I don't know how it happened, but I noticed I had a small hydrangea start growing out of 1 of mine. I used the hand spade and eventually separated the two plants. I wasn't worried about the abuse to the Autumn Joy when I had to keep hammering the spade into the plants to divide them... it's the hydrangea that took the worst of it. I have to wait for the good weather to see if the hydrangea made it or not but those AJ's are tough little guys.
You all have me very curious - which Sedum is "Autumn Joy" - couldn't locate it by that name in the Plant files. Sounds like something I might be very interested in - but does it need the cold of winter like so many other plants do?
Sedum (this one at least) is much hardier than Kalanchoe, but since you're in zone 11 that probably doesn't count as a difference! I think the flowers look a lot different, having grown both of them I know I would never get one confused with the other. But they are in the same family so there are a lot of similarities, and other than the hardiness I think the care and cultivation is pretty similar.
If your Autumn Joy is still getting floppy after divided it can cut back by half in spring when plant is about 8 inches tall to decrease that problem.
As everyone has said, sedums are very hardy and dividing is easy. I like the winter interest too so cut back the old growth in spring.