Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop: How To Grow Dragon’s Blood Sedum Plants

Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop: How To Grow Dragon’s Blood Sedum Plants

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Image by Ilya Zatevakhin

Dragon’s Blood stonecrop (Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’) is an exciting and attractive ground cover, spreading quickly in the sunny landscape and growing happily in many areas of the U.S. Sedum Dragon’s Blood awakens from dormancy in spring with green leaves and red flowers to follow. Leaves become outlined in burgundy, and the colors fill in during the summer to become a deep burgundy by autumn.

Sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’ Info

A sedum well suited to USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8, Dragon’s Blood sedum plants die back during winter in colder spots but return with vigor to get going again in spring. New sprouts continue to spread, covering those sunny, poor soil areas as summer continues. Growing Dragon’s Blood sedum fills in between pathways, trails down walls and covers rock gardens, combined with other spreading sedums or alone. Dragon’s Blood stonecrop doesn’t like foot traffic but happily spreads around pavers.

Of the Caucasian stonecrop (S. spurium) family, sedum ‘Dragon’s Blood’ is a creeping or two-row sedum variety, meaning it is tolerant of urban conditions. Poor soil, heat, or strong sun aren’t a challenge for this creeping beauty. In fact, this plant needs sun to maintain its deep color. Areas with the hottest summer sun, however, might provide some afternoon shade during this time.

How to Grow Dragon’s Blood

Choose your sunny, well-draining spot and break it up. Amend compacted soil with compost and sand until you get quick drainage. Roots won’t need deep soil when planted as cuttings, but the roots of mature stonecrop may reach a foot (30 cm) or so in depth. Cuttings should be an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm.) in length. You may choose to root cuttings before planting, both in water or soil. If planting by division, dig as deep as the clump you’re planting.

When growing from the tiny seeds, scatter a few in the rock garden or soil and keep moist until you see sprouts. When roots develop, an occasional misting will suffice, and soon the ground cover is ready to take off on its own, climbing rocks and devouring weeds in its path. Dragon’s Blood stonecrop forms a mat as it spreads, keeping weeds shaded and choked out. If you want to grow taller specimens within the mat, keep the sedum detained with pruning and even pulling.

Should an unwanted spread begin, block the roots. Blocking only goes so far for keeping Dragon’s Blood contained, but it has not reportedly spread to the point of being invasive. If you’re concerned about the spread, keep Dragon’s Blood sedum plants in outdoor containers. They are an attractive addition to any sun/part sun spot in your outdoor garden and well-worth growing somewhere.

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