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Top Care Tips for Sedum Rubrotinctum

Top Care Tips for Sedum Rubrotinctum

Once a sedum lover, forever a sedum lover. If you’ve been growing sedums, then you’ll find Sedum rubrotinctum care to be quite the straightforward succulent routine. However, if this is your first time growing a sedum, then you’ve come to the right place because we have a detailed care guide assembled for you.

Sedum rubrotinctum is a succulent from the plant family of Crassulaceae and native of Mexico. In nurseries, it goes by the name jelly bean sedum because that’s precisely what they look like. Rows and rows of neatly arranged red-hued jelly beans strung along a fine stem.

The red hue is the plant’s adaptation to the harsh sun in the summer months. They have tiny yellow flowers in between the leaves too.

You can grow Sedum rubrotinctum like any other hardy succulent that tolerates almost any environment and any type of soil as long as it drains a moment it’s watered. It needs a full blast of the sun to get that red tint and drought conditions. They have zero frost tolerance. 

Sedum rubrotinctum care requirements are very manageable. It can survive a bit of neglect but may react poorly to over-care! Great piece for your mantle and great for travelling folks. Let’s dive right into a detailed Sedum rubrotinctum care guide.

 

 

Sedum rubrotinctum CARE GUIDE

 

SOIL

For Sedum rubrotinctum care let me start with the things you should not be used in your soil mix. Clayey garden soil is a big no-no. 

How do you know if your soil is clayey? Take some moist garden soil in your fist and compress it hard. It will form a tight clump. Now, with your thumb, poke the clump. If it disintegrates into crumbs easily you have loose, non-clayey soil. If it behaves like a dough ball, stretchy but not crumbly, I am sorry, that’s clayey.

The ideal soil mix to grow Sedum rubrotinctum in is one that’s well-draining and low in organic content. Here are the proportions that have consistently worked for me:

2/3rds gritty inorganic porous soil additives + 1/3rd organic additives

Pumice, perlite, vermiculite, and river sand (non-saline) are all great inorganic draining components. Assemble enough of any of these to make two-thirds of your pot.

The remaining third can be peat, animal dung, mulch, garden compost, and any store purchased organic manure pellets to enhance the nutrients in the soil.

The easiest Sedum rubrotinctum care hack for the laziest amongst us is, of course, buying a ready succulent mix or a cactus mix. Just some perlite to loosen it up a bit more if it’s too peaty.

 

LIGHT

Sunshine is the staple diet of sedums. If you grow Sedum rubrotinctum for the blush on its jelly beans you want to give it a full blast of sun and nothing less. That is why it is critical where you place this plant. 

Indoors isn’t ideally suited for this plant even if you give your brightest southside spot. It won’t die, but the plumps leaves won’t pop their lovely hue and will stay a dull green.

My favorite spot for Sedum rubrotinctum care is right on the roof under the unobstructed canopy of the sky. That’s where it arrives in spring and stays there until mid-autumn before heading back to the east window by the kitchen for winters. 

Pro-tip: Don’t place it in direct sun as soon as you bring it from the nursery. This is a typical mistake that beginners make with sedums after reading all about them being sun-loving. They need to be adapted to the full sun over 4 to 6 weeks.

 

WATERING

I learned everything I know today about watering succulents by making mistakes, losing several plants, and learning from my mistakes. Watering is simply the most critical part of Sedum rubrotinctum care. 

So, if you pay attention to this section you can grow Sedum rubrotinctum like a pro. You need to remember that your succulent garden will have the most prolonged watering cycle of all plants in your house. 

“Drench and dry” method is the most reliable watering cue. You should completely drench the soil. And then you should wait for the mix to go bone dry. In the peak of summer, that’s about 3 days where I live. In winters it’s no less than 3 weeks. 

Sedums are slow-growing. When your tiny new plant arrives home you want it to grow big asap just like in the images you see online. So you water it zealously. Big mistake. 

Important Sedum rubrotinctum care tip that you mustn’t ignore: don’t water the plant infrequent sips. Remember. Drench and dry only. Don’t water the plant with a spray can or a misting device.

What’s ok to do when you grow Sedum rubrotinctum: forget watering the plant for days. That’s just fine as long as you drench when you remember.

 

TEMPERATURE

When you grow Sedum rubrotinctum you’ll soon learn that they’re actually quite low maintenance and grow in the most inhospitable conditions. 

They can take very high temperatures. In the native environment, they actually grow in rocky terrains that heat up quite significantly. Some gardeners right call this plant stonecrop because they need as much care as you’d give stones!

BUT… they are not frost tolerant. They will reduce to slush at the first sign of frost. Make sure you bring them indoors before the night temperature goes below 50°F (10°C). Once inside, they’ll survive the winters in ambient temperatures between 65 – 75°F (18 – 24°C). 

 

HUMIDITY

While Sedum rubrotinctum care is perfect for home gardeners who don’t like high maintenance plants, there’s one thing that this plant hates – humidity.

Give it a desert-dry room and it’ll happily call it home. It’s the one thing that northern zone dwellers can do right for this plant during the dry winter months. No humidity managed greenhouse business for this fella. He’s happy on the mantle in your heated room. 

Average room humidity of around 30-40% or drier is great to grow Sedum rubrotinctum through winters.

 

FERTILIZER

You can grow Sedum rubrotinctum quite successfully without any help from fertilizers. However if you want some action in the growing months you can give it good succulent fertilizers.

I prefer water-soluble fertilizers. Usually a once a month application during the growing season i.e. 5 to 6 months in a year is all. Look at the instructions of the packaging and dilute the recommended concentration to a fourth. 

I would recommend that you fertilize it only if the plant is at least a year old or even two. You want the plant to be stable in its pot before you give it a growth spurt. 

 

PROPAGATION

Sedum rubrotinctum plants are surprisingly simple to propagate. Little plants grow from the beans that drop off the stem by accident and fall to the soil surface. What I’ve noticed is that baby plants do better when they’re in the shade of the mother plant. 

So if you’re trying to propagate Sedum rubrotinctum from the beans do it in shade. You can shift the sapling to the sun very gradually after they’re about 2 inches tall.

If you want to propagate it, you should go the stem cutting way because that way you have a decent size plant to start with. The leaf saplings take a while to get some size and that too if everything goes well.

 

GROWTH

You should grow Sedum rubrotinctum in a small planter because it’s a slow-growing and a low growing succulent with the stems dangling out of the pot. The stems rarely stay erect after a height of about 6 inches (15 cms). 

The leaves are typically about 1 cm long and if you provide ideal Sedum rubrotinctum care conditions then they get to about 2 cm long. But not much bigger. 

Small yellow blooms appear at the tip of long and erect stalks that stick out of the plants. For blooms to happen you need to give it full sun. These are summer dormant plants and winter bloomers.

If you grow Sedum rubrotinctum under stressed conditions i.e. leaving it in direct sun without watering for a prolonged period of time, it will lose the leaves or beans and get leggy.

But it won’t die very soon. However, the compact and bushy appearance of the plant will be damaged and is quite hard to recover.

 

POTTING

The best Sedum rubrotinctum care hack is to give it a compact terracotta or clay pot with loose soil as described above and you’ll pretty much not lose the plant ever.

The pot needs to have plenty of drainage holes, but you’ll face problems with the sandy soil running out of the pot through these holes. The workaround is to use pieces of broken terracotta pots to make a shield over the drain holes before putting potting soil into it.

Plastic planters simply won’t work for sedums as the soil moisture stays trapped for way too long.

Repotting is a real challenge when you grow Sedum rubrotinctum because the beans fall off the stems quite easily during the transfer damaging the look of the plant.

So I rarely repot them unless my pot breaks or something like that. I simply propagate my plants profusely, which given how easy it is, is actually the more sensible thing to do. If you find it necessary to repot your plant just save the fallen leaves for propagation.

For a bushy looking plant, I propagate 3 to 5 short stems in a 5 to 6-inch terracotta pot and let them grow together.

 

SEDUM RUBROTINCTUM PROPAGATION STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Sedum rubrotinctum is prolific with respect to propagation. You can easily grow new plants from fallen leaves or stem cuttings. 

Sedum rubrotinctum propagation from leaves:

  • Use the fallen beans or break off a few big bottom beans from the stem
  • Make sure when you pluck the beans, that the tip where they stick to the stem is visible. If the bean breaks without the tip it’s useless
  • The leaves you choose should be fresh and plump. Dried and shrivelled leaves won’t propagate
  • Let the beans callous by leaving them out for a day
  • On day 2, take a pot with moistened potting mix and sprinkle all the beans on the surface roughly about an inch apart.
  • Keep this pot away from direct sun and water whenever the surface feels slightly dry to touch
  • Within 2 weeks you’ll see pink roots sprouting out of the tip
  • Continue watering using the top soil test for about 2 to 3 months until the plant is about 2-3 inches tall
  • After this start giving the plants filtered sunlight and gradually increase the sunlight week after week until they’re able to tolerate full sun

Sedum rubrotinctum propagation from stem cuttings:

  • Choose a stem that is long to cut. Sometimes the stems have aerial roots. These are ideal. Cut a 2 to 3 inch piece along with the aerial roots if possible
  • Allow the stem cuttings to callous for a day. Since Sedum rubrotinctum has thin stems it callouses pretty quickly
  • Stick the stems in the regular sedum potting mix that has been moistened
  • Once roots are established in a few weeks, you can decrease watering and increase the sunlight gradually
  • After about a three months you can shift the plant to it’s permanent place

 

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH SEDUM RUBROTINCTUM

Shrivelled leaves: This could happen if you grow Sedum rubrotinctum with too little water. This is an easy problem to fix as far as Sedum rubrotinctum care is concerned. Just water the plant. However, if the plant is very badly shrivelled up, it’s a good idea to water in sips for a few days and then go to their recommended routine of “drench and dry”. This way you can avoid an overwatering shock.

 

Dropped leaves: Sedum rubrotinctum care needs gaps between watering. If it is watered too frequently and the potting mix isn’t well draining enough, its leaves fall off. Keep the soil sandy or gritty, use a terracotta pot with drain holes and wait for the soil to be dry before watering.

Stems dislodged from the base: This is a typical sign of root rot. The soil mix is clearly too water retentive. Salvage the healthy stems for propagation and change the soil mix completely.

 

Pest problems

Mealybugs: This hardy tropical is quite delightfully pest resistant. The only ever occasional problem I’ve seen is mealybugs. They appear in fuzzy white spots under leaf nodes and quickly multiply until the plant is covered in them particularly at the tips where new leaves sprout. It’s an ungainly sight.  It’s important that you don’t neglect the plant completely and keep an eye out for these sucking pests. Eliminate them at first sight. Insecticidal and neem oil sprays should be applied once every 15 days. But early detection is the best solution.

 

TIPS TO GROW SEDUM RUBROTINCTUM PROBLEM-FREE

  • The first point of Sedum rubrotinctum care is the soil. It needs to be extremely well-draining and gritty or sandy with nearly no water retentiveness.
  • 2/3rd of the soil mix must be inorganic
  • Drought tolerant. Water only when the mix almost entirely dry
  • Give the plant full sunlight for the red tint to appear
  • Avoid misting and keep it far from sprinklers
  • Low humidity is good for Sedum rubrotinctum care 
  • They can take extreme heat but not frost
  • Propagate profusely and avoid repotting until absolutely necessary
  • Very dilute application of succulent fertilization
  • Precaution and early detection is the best pest control method 
  • The beans fall off easily on brushing or overhandling, so keep it away from high traffic zones

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SEDUM RUBROTINCTUM

 

Is Sedum rubrotinctum poisonous?

Sedum rubrotinctum is said to be toxic to humans and pets. It can irritate the skin. You should keep them away from pets or children. 

 

How long can Sedum rubrotinctum tolerate drought? 

For quite a long period but not forever. But long periods of drought kill the root systems and distress the plant a great deal. Even if you manage to revive it, it’s hard to make the plant look the same after the stems get leggy.

 

Can I keep Sedum rubrotinctum in the same pot that I purchased it in?

Nurseries often grow young plants in a peat mix or a moisture-retentive mix that’s not ideally suited for long term growing. Repot it asap with a soil mix as described above.

 

CONCLUSION

Sedum rubrotinctum succulents are not just cute and unique-looking, but they are also really easy to care for. I learnt all about Sedum rubrotinctum care from a friend in Paris who used to travel a lot on work. She would leave the plant by her kitchen window without a care in the world and return after days, sometimes over a week only to find it doing perfectly well by itself.

Sedums are addictive. You never stop with one, particularly if you’re a fan of hanging succulents. As per the NCSU, there are over 300 species in the genus sedum. So, collecting and growing them can indeed become a sustainable hobby. 

If you found this Sedum rubrotinctum care guide useful, I would recommend you go through Donkey’s Tail sedum as well. If it is cacti that float your boat then we have some great cacti recommendations for your home.

Happy growing!

 

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