Best Roof Garden Plants: Sedum

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If you’re a first time roof gardener like me, I recommend trying some sedum. Sedum, also called stonecrop and sometimes mis-spelled as “sedom”, is a succulent — a chubby look plant that stores up water and can grow in hot spots with poor soil. You can see my sedum in the front left of this picture.

Sedums are great New York City plants because they don’t mind the intense heat. Most sedum should be able to manage a cold winter, stored right on the roof, and then come back strong in the spring.

White Flower Farm and Blue Stone Perennials sell a bunch of different sedums. I’m considering buying another one. Next year, I’d love to grow a mixed succulent container like this one.

We’re in the middle of a super rainy patch of weather here in Brooklyn. It is too much water for my sedums. Fine Gardening’s primer on creeping sedums explains: “While even the poorest soil can nourish sedums—and poor or little soil is actually their preferred medium—good drainage is the key to growing them. Too much moisture, especially standing water, will do what no drought can: It will quickly kill a sedum.”

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Its looking like at least three more rainy days this week, so we’re going to either bring the sedum inside or find a way to cover them. Plant umbrellas perhaps?

I’m considering re-potting our sedums in a different soil mix — with some sand and gravel — to create the dry well drained soil they enjoy.

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