Tips on Successful Production of a New Sedum
‘Pillow Talk’ is a new, distinct Sedum variety that has large, green foliage, bi-color pink and magenta flowers that bloom in September, and a taller height. It was originally selected for its exceptional hybrid vigor and hefty flower head size of up to 6 inches wide. It also has excellent resistance to Rhizoctonia.
Besides these impressive attributes, plants emerge with gray-green foliage, eventually taking on some reddish-purple in the stem that can bleed into the leaf and sometimes the leaf edge. Plants end the season in fall colors with hints of yellow and orange in combination with the foliage and stem colors already in the plant.
Intrinsic Perennial Gardens has grown sedum ‘Pillow Talk’ since it was developed in 2013. The breeder propagates, grows, and sells both 70 plug liners for potting by other growers and 1-gallon finished material for its customers. Propagation is best from cuttings in April through June and cuttings root with ease.
“Plants can be potted throughout much of the season, but I recommend two main times,” says Brent Horvath, President of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens. “A mid-June to mid-July planting will give you a fast finish for fall sales, and a later August planting will give a nice, full 1-gallon pot coming out of dormancy in spring with minimal cleaning needed.”
No fungicides are needed for this sedum due to its resistance to Rhizoctonia, a fungal pathogen that is well known to affect and kill much of the dark green foliage on these plants. It is still important to keep irrigation levels on the low side, as this is a very drought-tolerant crop, and overwatering can affect the overall growth and health. Scout often for aphids, but when grown outdoors with good ventilation there should be no major issues from these pests.
Horvath’s Recommendations for Growing Sedum Pillow Talk Successfully
• Fertilizer: Amounts should be kept on the low side for best results; they are not heavy feeders.
• Propagation: Due to its hybrid vigor, it is easy in both cutting propagation and production with very little issues.
• Plant growth regulators: Not needed, with proper care but could be applied to fit production schedules.
• Lighting: Not required
• Pinching: If plants get too tall, you can pinch them in early June to keep them more compact.
• Growing media: Well draining to dry mix is needed.
• Irrigation: Average to low irrigation required on these succulent and very drought-tolerant plants.
• Planting/Scheduling: These are long day plants, so cutting is not recommended after mid-June, when they start to move into a budding phase.
Intrinsic Perennial Gardens is a wholesale perennial grower and breeder found in Northern Illinois. It sells finished perennials to garden centers, landscape companies, and public gardens from the East coast and throughout the Midwest. Growing mainly 1-gallon perennials, including ferns, grasses, shrubs, and vines, it propagates around 80% of its own material.