Help with Autumn Joy in Zone 5a

Sharpsville, IN

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.

Valley Village, CA

lAll, the way down to the soil after the flowers have dried. About Oct ? They will come back with a vegence. The love the cold weather. The grow more or less like Chrysanthemum Norma

Frankfort, KY

I don't cut my Autumn Joy (Sedum) back until the new growth begins to show in the spring. The spent flowers turn a bronze color and add color and interest to the winter garden.

This message was edited Mar 11, 2007 8:05 PM

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

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.

Sharpsville, IN

Thank you! Anyone with advice on how to divide them?

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

atcmadchen,

You just pull 'em apart and stick them in the ground. They root VERY easily. Trust me, you can't kill 'em. :)

Tukums, Latvia(Zone 4b)

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!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

agree, you can't kill them. Sounds like they will be big tough clumps, so just dig the whole thing up, and hack it apart with tools if you have to, and plant the best looking pieces from the edges.

Ogden, UT

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.

Kearney, NE(Zone 5a)

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.

Champaign, IL(Zone 5b)

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.

Brimfield, MA(Zone 5a)

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.

Sharpsville, IN

I will definitely divide some of them this fall after they bloom. I did cut them back in late March, and you all were right, they came back very quickly.

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

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?

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Thanks ecrane3! These look quite similar to my kalanchoe....do any of you grow both? If so, can you give a quick synopsis of the differences? Thanks in Advance!

Shari

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Okay...cool, if they are the same family that sure explains why I see so many similarities in the pictures. Thanks for the info!

Central, WI(Zone 4b)

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.

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