Sedum dasyphyllum (syn. Sedum burnatii), commonly known as Corsican stonecrop, is a compact, mat-forming succulent. In its native Mediterranean and North African habitat, Corsican stonecrop typically grows on rocky terrain, cliffs, and crevices. It does well in rock gardens, as ground cover, or in containers.
The small leaves are round and pale blue-green to gray or lilac. The foliage grows in dense rosettes on creeping stems. In late spring and early summer, Sedum dasyphyllum blooms clusters of white to pale pink flowers.
|Scientific Name||Sedum dasyphyllum|
|Common Names||Corsican stonecrop, Thick-leaved stonecrop|
|Plant Type||Creeping succulent, perennial|
|Origin||Mediterranean and North Africa|
|Size||Up to 3-4” tall, 8-12” wide|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||7-10|
|Propagation Methods||Stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, seed|
|Soil Type||Well-draining, rocky, sandy|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
Corsican Stonecrop Care
Sedum dasyphyllum requires 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. The plant can handle direct sunlight in temperatures between 60 °F to 80 °F. In temperatures above 85 °F, provide shelter or bring container plants to a shaded location. If growing indoors, place next to a south-facing window and move outside for the summer. Symptoms of inadequate light include leggy growth and faded, less-vibrant coloring. Consider using a grow light during darker months.
Did you know? When exposed to direct sunlight and slight drought, the leaves of Corsican stonecrop develop shades of red or purple.
Corsican stonecrop prefers well-draining, sandy, or rocky soil. It can tolerate clay but will do better in a raised bed or container. Mix two parts succulent soil with one part perlite and one part coarse sand.
For container plants, water every 10 to 14 days during the growing season, or when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. Water well and allow excess to drain out the pot. Sedum dasyphyllum can withstand extended periods of drought but will wilt when severely underwatered. If cultivated in the ground, water only when several inches of the soil is dry. Avoid planting outdoors in wet climates.
Tip: Water Sedum dasyphyllum in the morning to prevent evening dew which can lead to fungal problems.
Corsican stonecrop is adapted to drier climates. Provide good ventilation and avoid wetting the foliage when watering.
Fertilize sparingly or not at all. Apply a diluted, balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season to maintain health. Freshly potted Sedum dasyphyllum will not require additional nutrients for at least one year.
Light pruning is sufficient for Corsican stonecrop. Prune in spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.
- Deadheading: Remove spent flower stalks after flowering.
- Leggy growth: Trim back leggy stems to encourage compact growth.
- Dead or damaged leaves: Remove to maintain appearance.
- Thinning: Remove leaf clusters from overcrowded plants. Propagate as cuttings.
Use a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scissors, and avoid watering for a few days after pruning.
Mature Sedum dasyphyllum will produce flowers for several weeks to a couple of months in late spring and early summer.
- Provide adequate sunlight.
- Avoid overwatering – slight water stress can trigger flowering.
- Maintain an optimum temperature range of 60 °F to 80 °F.
- Remove dead flower stalks to stimulate new flower production.
There are three distinctive Corsican stonecrop cultivars with differences in size and color.
- Sedum dasyphyllum ‘Himalayan Skies’: Blue to blue-green foliage.
- Sedum dasyphyllum ‘Major’: Larger, more substantial leaves.
- Sedum dasyphyllum ‘Minor’: Smaller, dainty leaves.
Corsican Stonecrop Propagation
Sedum dasyphyllum propagates easily by stem cuttings and division. It will also spread readily by self-propagating. Leaf or seed propagation are slower, less reliable methods. Propagate in the spring.
Softwood Stem Cuttings
Taking stem cuttings is a good option for overcrowded or leggy plants.
- Select a young, healthy stem that is not too woody and has several leaves.
- Use sharp, sterilized scissors or pruning shears to cut a 3 – 4 inch length of stem, just below a node.
- Remove the lower leaves.
- Allow the stem to dry for a day or two.
- Plant the cut end into a well-draining substrate. It is possible to plant multiple stem cuttings in one pot. Allow 2 inches between each cutting.
- Water lightly and place in bright indirect light.
- Cuttings should root within a few weeks to several months.
Propagating by division is a good option for old or overcrowded plants.
- Carefully dig up the plant using a garden fork, or remove from its container.
- Gently pry apart and separate the root ball into 2 or 3 sections. Ensure each division has its own set of roots and foliage. Use a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scissors if necessary.
- Discard old or less healthy roots and stems.
- Plant each division into its own pot with a well-draining substrate or directly into the ground.
- Water lightly.
- Avoid direct sunlight until plants show signs of growth.
Propagating Sedum dasyphyllum by leaf is straightforward but less reliable than stem cuttings.
- Gently remove a healthy leaf from the parent plant.
- Let the leaf dry for a few days.
- Lay onto a slightly moist, well-draining substrate.
- Plantlets may take several weeks or months to develop from leaves.
Harvest seed from the previous year’s flowers. Plants grown from seed are not clones of the parent plant so may exhibit different characteristics.
- Fill a seed tray with two parts seedling potting mix and two parts perlite. Lightly moisten.
- Sprinkle seeds evenly over the soil surface.
- Cover the tray with a clear plastic lid or film.
- Maintain moisture but avoid overwatering.
- Provide bright indirect light.
- Seeds may germinate in several weeks to a few months.
- Transplant into larger pots once seedlings are large enough to handle.
Repot every 1 to 2 years in the spring, or when the plant has outgrown its container. Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage.
Reduce watering as winter approaches to reduce the risk of root rot. During winter dormancy, water only once the soil has dried completely. Sedum dasyphyllum is tolerant of temperatures down to 0 °F but prefers some protection during prolonged cold weather. Bring containers to a warmer location or use burlap for heavy frosts.
- Yellow or browning leaves and wilting: Caused by overwatering. Stems may also become soft. Let the soil dry completely. In severe cases, replant in fresh substrate.
- Wilting and shriveled leaves: Caused by underwatering. Check that the soil is dry before watering thoroughly. Protect the plant from harsh sunlight.
- Leggy growth and faded foliage: Caused by lack of sunlight. Provide 4 to 6 hours of bright light each day. Consider taking stem cuttings to promote compact growth.
- Brown patches: Symptom of sunburn. Protect from direct sunlight in hot climates to prevent further damage.
When grown in the correct conditions, Corsican stonecrop is resistant to most pests. However, plants may be susceptible to mealy bugs and scale insects. Spray infected plants with insecticidal soap and control with neem oil.
Careless watering and excessive moisture can lead to fungal issues such as root rot. Plant in a well-draining substrate, allow the soil to dry in between watering and avoid wetting the foliage.