Sedum Adolphii 'Golden Sedum' - Grow and Care Guide

Sedum Adolphii or Sedum Nussbaumerianum in a garden

The succulent Sedum Adolphii, also known as Sedum Nussbaumerianum, Golden Sedum or Coppertone Stonecrop, is a species native to Mexico, found in the vicinity of volcanic areas in the state of Veracruz.

It stands out for its shrubby growth that covers the entire pot and for the peculiar color of its leaves. Additionally, it is widely used in the decoration of xerophilous gardens and rockeries, although it is also widely cultivated in pots.

In this guide you will learn all the information you need to know about the characteristics, care and propagation of the Sedum Nussbaumerianum.

Table

Main characteristics

  • Light: semi-shade to full sun
  • Height: grows up to 20 cm tall and 50-60 cm wide
  • Soil: fast draining
  • Watering: normal
  • Minimum temperature: from -2°C
  • Propagation: by seeds, shoots, and leaf or stem cuttings
  • Origin: Mexico (Veracruz)
  • Common names: Sedum Nussbaumerianum, Golden Sedum, and Coppertone Stonecrop
  • Price: $4-10 USD

Sedum Adolphii is part of the Crassulaceae family. It grows in a rosette shape with elongated and robust leaves that have copper-colored tips when exposed to considerable sunlight. When mostly grown in semi-shade, its leaves acquire a more greenish tone with very few or no copper tones on their tips.

It is a succulent with a moderate growth rate - neither too fast nor too slow - and can grow up to 20 cm tall and 50-60 cm wide.

Sedum Adolphii in a white pot
Photo by @lulusuccs

During spring and summer, it produces star-shaped white flowers. Its flowering is abundant compared to most succulents.

Fun fact: Although many people still know it by the name or designation of Sedum Nussbaumerianum, it is important to clarify that, according to the official page of the International Crassulaceae Network for succulent registration, this designation is no longer valid and leaves Sedum Adolphii as the only official one currently.

Sedum Adoplhii or Golden Sedum Care

Light

Sedum Adolphii is a succulent that can be kept in a place with direct sunlight for 4 to 6 hours a day or in a place with mostly indirect light but that receives at least a couple of hours of direct light. Therefore, it can be kept in indoor or outdoor spaces with good lighting, but never in complete shade.

Always remember that if the nursery where you bought it had it protected from the sun under a shade cloth or something similar, it is important not to expose it to this amount of sun immediately but to allow it to gradually acclimate, little by little until it gets used to it.

Once it is adapted to being in direct sun for several hours, you can expose it to the normal number of hours. It even has no problem with direct midday sun in cold climates or temperate climates with a greater tendency to cold.

However, as each space and lighting and temperature conditions are different, it is important to pay attention to these two points with even greater priority than what I mentioned above:

  • When its leaves have a more greenish tone, it means they need more sun exposure, since their normal color, although they do have green in the middle, the tips should be copper-colored.
  • Additionally, if you notice that between each row of leaves, they begin to separate a lot and the rosette begins to elongate, it will also be a sign that they need more sun.

Watering

As for watering, as the Sedum Adolphii has considerably thick leaves, it is a succulent that retains a lot of water both in its stems and leaves, storing a considerable amount of it.

Therefore, it is a plant that has good drought resistance but not much tolerance to excess moisture. Therefore, great caution must be taken with the watering of this succulent to avoid drowning it and ending up rotting.

You should always wait until the substrate is completely dry before watering it again. Never water it when the substrate is still damp because it could start to rot or suffer irreversible damage.

Sedum Nussbaumerianum in a clay pot
Photo by @suculentaspys

As a standard for places without extreme climates, a normal watering routine for the Sedum Adolphii would be every 12-15 days during spring and summer, and every 3-4 weeks during winter.

However, it is always important to check the moisture in the substrate with even greater priority than any routine. If the substrate were to be completely dry before then, it would be time to water it.

If you want to intensify the copper color of its edges, you can slightly reduce its water intake without allowing it to become dehydrated. For example, if you normally water it every 15 days, you can wait a couple of days between each watering, and this will intensify its color. This technique is called "stressing" the plant.

Soil

Sedum Adolphii, like most succulents, adapts relatively well to any soil as long as it has good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

In addition to potting soil, your soil mixture should include something looser or porous such as gravel, volcanic rock, or tree bark. This will prevent the plant from retaining too much water and help its roots grow easily.

In general, the ideal average soil mix should have the following approximate proportions:

  • 40% of universal soil with worm humus
  • 30% of gravel, volcanic rock, tree bark, or a mixture of all
  • 20% of peat or perlite
  • 10% of river sand
  • Optional: A little ground eggshell and activated aquarium charcoal to prevent fungal growth

Of course, the proportions of each material can vary depending on the temperature and humidity of the place where you live.

But if you cannot find all the materials, don't worry. The important thing is always to maintain a higher percentage of inorganic materials to have a well-ventilated, light, rapidly draining soil that is not too high in nutrients.

  • Organics: peat, coconut fiber, worm humus, compost, etc.
  • Inorganics: gravel, volcanic rock, perlite, vermiculite, sand, etc.

Additionally, having a pot with several holes will greatly help with even more drainage.

Temperatura

The ideal temperature for good growth and flowering of the Graptosedum Bronze is between 15°C and 25°C. However, it can tolerate higher and lower temperatures.

Golden Sedum or Coppertone Stonecrop receiving direct sunlight
Photo by @regala_vidaverde

In terms of its cold hardiness, it can withstand some days at temperatures close to 5°C without major problems. It even tolerates temperatures as low as -1°C but not for an extended period (not more than 1 or 2 days).

If exposed to these temperatures for a longer period of time, it will most likely suffer irreversible damage and even die.

How to propagate Sedum Adolphii or Nussbaumerianum

Sedum Adolphii can be propagated by leaves, seeds, offsets, and stem cuttings. The most common and effective options are propagation through stem cuttings and offsets, although the latter occurs naturally and cannot be controlled beyond taking good care of your plant to encourage more offspring.

It is also common to do so with its leaves, since this succulent propagates well through this method, only that growth is slower than with the cuttings and shoots method.

There are even people that choose to use seed propagation, but this method is not commonly used as it is it is more complicated and time consuming than the previous ones.

Below, I explain how to reproduce this Sedum Nussbaumerianum by each method:

Leaf propagation

Although it is a slower option than using stem cuttings or offsets, Sedum Adolphii can be successfully propagated through its leaves when the process is done correctly.

Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to propagate Sedum Adolphii from leaves:

  1. Detach the leaf: You must carefully remove the leaf, making sure to completely remove it from its base and leaving no fragments on the stem. It is best to use a lower leaf. Try to do it as if you were turning it - from left to right and vice versa - the margin of error is much lower than when you simply pull it with force and in one direction.
  2. Place it in a pot or container: Place the leaf in a pot or container that has been previously disinfected with alcohol. The substrate should be at least 4 centimeters deep. When you put the leaf, place it upside down to allow the roots to grow, they can penetrate under the substrate and avoid direct sunlight. Another option is to slightly bury the leaf in the substrate. If you do it this way, you would avoid covering the roots in step 4.
  3. Put the pot in a place with indirect light: Although in its normal state this succulent does not have problems with direct sunlight, when you are propagating it from leaves, it is not recommended to expose it, especially in the early stages of its growth.
  4. Cover the roots and water the substrate: When the roots begin to grow, they must be covered with substrate and given normal care: good lighting and watering every time the substrate is dry.
  5. If you propagated several, transplant to individual pots: Over time, the plant will grow more until it has a stem and the mother leaf will wither and drop away naturally. Once it has shed, if you propagated it with other leaves, it will be time to transplant it to a small individual pot for it to continue its growth with more space. If you propagated it alone, simply remove the mother leaf to avoid pests and continue giving it normal care recommended for this succulent.

Note: In case you made the wrong cut, and a portion of the leaf remains on the stem, the reproduction will not work. Therefore, you will have to cut another leaf to propagate and dispose of the one you cut wrongly.

Leaf propagation of Sedum Adolphii
Photo by @nanacactos_

Offshoots or pups propagation

When given the proper care and conditions, Sedum Nussbaumerianum occasionally produces shoots. These are small fully formed plants that grow at the base of the main plant or mother plant.

To propagate the Golden Sedum by offshoots, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the shoots: Try to choose the most mature shoots, even if they already have some roots on the stem. These shoots are easier to detach and will grow faster.
  2. Remove the shoots: Carefully remove them from the mother plant using disinfected scissors or cutters. Some shoots may come off just by gently twisting them. In any case, always be careful not to damage the roots.
  3. Plant the shoots: Plant them in a small pot with common succulent soil, one pot for each sprout. For your soil mix, remember to follow the recommendations mentioned above.
  4. Water the substrate: You should water the substrate generously and wait until it is completely dry to water again. Some people recommend watering with a spray bottle during the first 2 or 3 weeks, especially for the shoots that do not have roots.

The ideal time to transplant offshoots is during spring, as it is the season when they grow and reproduce the fastest. However, transplanting can also be done in other seasons, but growth may be slower.

Offshoots propagation of Sedum Adolphii
Photo by @hortosoldamanha

This method, being small fully formed shoots, is very effective and enables the plant to quickly adapt to its new environment.

Stem cuttings propagation

This method is the most effective for propagating Sedum Adolphii, excluding shoots propagation, which is a natural process, and we cannot do much to control it.

Stem cuttings, being pairs of leaves along with their stem, usually grow roots in a short period of time.

Follow these steps to propagate this Golden Sedum by stem cuttings:

  1. Choose the cutting: When selecting a cutting to propagate, it is advisable to choose one that is not too small, it is best to select a well-formed and mature cutting, this will promote easier and faster root development.
  2. Separate the cutting: Once chosen, separate the cutting very carefully using a knife, scissors or cutter previously sterilized with alcohol. It is important to ensure that the cut made on the cutting is as straight as possible, this facilitates the wound healing process and helps the cutting to generate roots faster once planted in the soil.
  3. Remove leaves from the stem’s base: Alternatively, once you cut the cutting, remove the lower leaves to leave the base of the stem free to facilitate root generation, with 1 or 2 cm will be enough.
  1. Let the wound dry: As the wound remains moist, it is advisable to let the cutting dry for 1 or 2 days until its callus forms. To promote healing, you can leave it in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and in a vertical position, such as hanging or propped up.
  2. Place the cutting into a pot: Once the cutting has healed, place it into a pot filled with soil. Wait 5-7 days before watering to allow the cutting to develop stronger and healthier roots while continuing to heal.

After the first watering, continue to care for the plant as previously mentioned.

Seed propagation

You can get Sedum Adolphii seeds by buying them at a specialized store or through natural pollination of the plant's flowers.

The steps to follow to propagate this Golden Sedum by seeds are:

  1. Prepare the soil: You must prepare a draining soil and sterilize it by watering it with boiling water. This is to kill any fungi or bacteria that might be there.
  2. Place it in a container with a lid: Once the soil has cooled, place it inside a container, preferably transparent and with a lid. This is to simulate the greenhouse effect.
  3. Mix it with a less dense material: As a recommendation, mix the soil with small portions of a less dense material such as sawdust, coconut fiber or rice husk. This will make the soil a little looser and lighter, allowing the roots to penetrate and grow more easily, with less stress on the plant.
  4. Place the seeds and water the soil regularly: Once the soil is ready, drop (not bury) the seeds in it. To make them germinate, you should always keep them well hydrated and with abundant filtered light, such as near a window. It is important to avoid placing the seeds in direct sunlight during this process.

Note: The container must have holes to avoid waterlogging and watering should be done preferably with a spray bottle. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the soil is at least 3-4 cm deep, this will provide enough room for the roots to grow and develop properly.

The seeds usually germinate after 1 to 2 weeks and are ready for transplanting after about 2 to 3 months.

What are your thoughts on the Sedum Nussbaumerianum?

Sedum Adolphii is a very attractive succulent that should not be missing in your collection, whether you have it in an individual pot or in a terrarium with other succulents, especially next to others with metallic colors like Graptosedum Bronze.

If you liked this article, please consider sharing it with other succulent enthusiasts on your social networks. We will be thrilled if it reaches a wider audience and provides more people with valuable insights on the cultivation and propagation of the Sedum Adolphii, the famous Golden Sedum.

All the best taking care of your plants!

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Luis Camacho

I'm passionate about traveling, trekking and gardening. In this blog i want to share everything I learn throughout my journey and help you get the best of your plants.

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