Sedum Nussbaumerianum is an attractive succulent, popular for its coppery-orange foliage. This distinctive coloring has given the plant its alternative name of Coppertone Stonecrop.
A resilient succulent Sedum Nussbaumerianum practically thrives on neglect. If you want to learn more about these hardy, colorful plants this guide to growing Sedum Nussbaumerianum has all the information that you need.
Coppertone is popular because of the distinctive coloring of its vibrant foliage.
What is Sedum Nussbaumerianum?
While the plants can flower, the main attraction of Sedum Nussbaumerianum is its foliage. The long, plump leaves attain their attractive, coppery or orange hues when exposed to the sun. In lower light conditions the leaves are an attractive light yellow-green hue.
During the spring and summer months, Coppertone Stonecrop plants produce attractive rosettes and white floral clusters which can emit a light fragrance. However, it is the foliage of the Sedum Nussbaumerianum that is the main attraction.
Part of the Crassulaceae plant family, Sedum Nussbaumerianum is native to Mexico, the Canary Islands and New Zealand. However, the plants were first naturalized in Italy.
While the rosettes typically achieve a height of 3 to 8 inches, Coppertone Stonecrop plants can grow 24 to 36 inches tall. If planted as ground cover the plants can spread up to 3 ft wide. When grown in a container the Coppertone Stonecrop is far more compact.
Coppertone Stonecrop plants are often confused with the similar looking Sedum Adolphii, also known as the Golden Sedum.
Sedum Nussbaumerianum is not considered toxic to animals or humans.
In warmer areas Coppertone can be used in a rockery or as part of a succulent garden. Source: 190609 137 Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano – Sacred Garden by Cultivar413 / CC 2.0
Where to Grow Coppertone Stonecrop
Sedum Nussbaumerianum is commonly cultivated as an indoor plant. Growers in certain climates can also grow the plants outside. Here it is best cultivated in a full sun position and well draining or rocky soil.
Often the plants appear to do better outside because regular exposure to light helps the foliage to attain its sought-after copper-orange hue. Indoors, the foliage attains a yellow-green hue with red tips. When placed in the sun for the summer months the foliage can achieve a healthy yellow glow.
Native to Mexico, these are not cold hardy plants. While mature succulents can survive occasional exposure to light frosts, you should avoid planting in the ground unless you live in USDA Zones 10 and warmer.
In cooler areas the plants are best grown in a pot undercover. Here the plants can sit outside during the warmer spring and summer months.
In the fall or winter, bring the plants inside and place them in a south-facing window. Make sure the plants are inside and sheltered before the temperatures dip below 30 ℉.
If you are growing inside, place Sedum Nussbaumerianum in, or close to, a window that receives 4 to 6 hours of light every day. While the leaves may not attain a rich, golden hue they should still achieve a yellow or orange hue. If the plant’s leaves remain lime green it is a sign that your Sedum Nussbaumerianum plant is not receiving enough light.
How to Plant Sedum Nussbaumerianum
If you don’t live in the correct growing zone, Sedum Nussbaumerianum is best grown in a pot. You can either cultivate the plant entirely as a houseplant or place it outside during the summer months, returning it to a more sheltered indoor spot as summer ends and temperatures start to fall.
Coppertone is best planted in a succulent appropriate pot.
Selecting the Right Pot
Plant your Coppertone Stonecrop in a succulent appropriate container. These are made from porous materials such as clay. Unlike plastic containers, an unglazed porous pot enables excess moisture to evaporate.
The pot should be 4 inches or 10 cm wide. The pot should also have a large drainage hole in its bottom. Again this helps excess moisture to drain away. This, in turn, helps to prevent root rot.
Our guide to the best succulent pot has lots of useful information as well as highlighting some of the most suitable plant pots currently available.
Well Draining Soil
Like other succulents, Sedum Nussbaumerianum is best planted in soil that enjoys excellent drainage. In warmer areas this makes it an ideal addition to a rock or succulent garden.
If you are planting in a pot, use a well-draining succulent or cactus soil mix. You can make your own succulent potting soil mix by combining potting soil with a gritty medium such as perlite or pumice. A combination of:
- Two parts potting soil,
- One part perlite or pumice and
- One part sharp or coarse sand,
Plant succulents in well draining, light potting soil.
How to Plant in a Pot
Remove your Sedum Nussbaumerianum from its container. This is a good opportunity to check the root system to ensure that it is healthy. Any unhealthy or diseased roots should be cut away.
If you are planting in a pot, add some potting medium to the bottom of the pot and position the plant so that the top of the root system sits just below the lip of the pot. You may need to add or remove soil before you get the levels right.
When you are happy, place the plant in the middle of the pot and add more soil, filling in any gaps around the edges. Water the plant in. After the soil settles you may need to add some more potting medium.
If you are planting in the soil, simply dig a hole in the soil and plant. Again, the top of the root system should sit just below soil level. Backfill the hole and water in.
When to Repot
Repot your Sedum Nussbaumerianum as soon after purchase as possible. This gives you a chance to check that the roots are healthy. It also gives you an opportunity to look for signs of disease. Finally, repotting soon after purchase allows the plant to settle into its new home in fresh, potting soil.
Once settled in its new pot, you only need to repot the plant when it shows signs of outgrowing its home. These can include:
- The plant looking too big for its pot,
- Roots protruding from the drainage holes,
- Growth slowing or ceasing,
- The soil drying out more quickly than usual.
Repotting every few years, whether you notice visible signs of the plant outgrowing its pot or not, gives you a chance to refresh the potting medium boosting healthy leaf growth and productivity.
Repotting plants can be a messy process. If you don’t have a potting bench, place some sheets of old newspaper down before you begin.
Caring for Sedum Nussbaumerianum
Sedums are often called Stonecrops. This name refers to an old joke that the only thing requiring less care and water than a sedum is a stone. While not the funniest joke, it does illustrate just how low maintenance these plants are.
When to Water
Sedum Nussbaumerianum has the same watering requirements as other succulents. Water your Sedum Nussbaumerianum only when the soil around the plant is dry to the touch.
A soil moisture sensor may provide a more reliable way to gauge when to water, but you can also try sticking your finger into the soil, watering only the top one inch layer of soil feels dry. If you aren’t sure, wait a few more days before watering. A healthy Sedum Nussbaumerianum can tolerate some drought.
Over watering the plants can cause far more serious issues such as root rot. Leaf drop can also occur. Additionally, overwatered plants are more prone to infestations.
Remember, during the winter months the soil stays wet for longer. This means that you won’t have to water your plants as frequently.
Stonecrops do not require lots of water.
If you are growing indoors, water once every 2 to 4 weeks. Just how frequently depends on environmental factors like the warmth of the room that the plant is sitting in.
One of the easiest ways to work out when to water your houseplants is to pick up the pots. As you get used to handling your houseplant pots you begin to notice that after watering, when the soil contains lots of moisture the pots are heavier than when the soil is dry.
One of the easiest ways to gauge when to water your container plants is to pick up the pot. If it feels light, it is probably time to water the plant.
A good method to adopt when watering your succulents is the soak and dry method. To do this, hold your plant over the sink and pour water into the pot. Continue to water until excess moisture starts to pour from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
You can also dunk and soak the plants by placing the pots in a bucket filled with a few inches of water. Do not overly fill the bucket. When you place the pot in the bucket, the water that is displaced shouldn’t rise up over the sides of the pot.
Allow the plant to sit in the water and absorb as much moisture as it needs. As this happens the soil darkens and becomes moist. When the plant has taken on enough moisture, this can be anything from 10 minutes to an hour, remove it from the water.
Allow any excess water to drain from the pot before returning the plant to its usual position.
Do I Need to Fertilize?
If repotted in good soil soon after purchase, it is unlikely that your Sedum Nussbaumerianum will need fertilizing. There should be plenty of nutrients in the soil to sustain growth.
In the second year apply an occasional dose of an organic, liquid cactus fertilizer such as Schultz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food. Dilute to half its strength before applying. This can be applied a few times during the growing season.
Do not fertilize during the fall and winter months when the plants are dormant.
If your Sedum Nussbaumerianum becomes leggy or overgrown you can tidy up the plant by giving it a light prune.
Lightly prune if the plants become leggy.
Use a sharp sterile knife or garden scissors to cut away the top inches of the plant, below the rosette. This effectively beheads the top of the plant, creating a more compact specimen.
Separated stems of leaves can then be propagated to form new plants.
How to Propagate Sedum Nussbaumerianum
In addition to being easy to care for, Sedum Nussbaumerianum is also easy to propagate.
If you have never propagated a plant before, starting on a Stonecrop is a great choice. Not only is this a straightforward process, but it is also largely successful. This makes it the ideal plant to practice your propagation skills on before moving on to more difficult or fussy plants such as hydrangeas.
The best time to propagate the plants is mid to late spring.
There are 4 ways that you can propagate Sedum Nussbaumerianum:
- Leaf propagation,
- Taking cuttings,
- Growing from seed,
- Harvesting offsets.
Leaf propagation is one of the easiest ways to propagate a succulent.
Begin by inspecting your plant, you are looking for a firm, healthy leaf. Some people like to take a few leaves to guard against failure.
Cleanly pull the selected leaves from the plant. Cleanly removing a leaf means that no part of the leaf is left on the stem. A clean removal increases the chances of propagation being successful.
Twisting the leaf as you pull it helps you to remove it cleanly. You can also cut away the leaf with a sharp, sterile knife or scissors.
Place the leaf in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for a couple of days. During this time the exposed section of the leaf hardens over, forming a callus. This protective callus prevents bacteria and disease from entering the plant. The leaf also hardens during this period.
Once this callus has formed, place the leaf on a pot filled with well draining, moist potting soil. You can also shallowly plant the callused section of the leaf, but there is no real need, roots form whether the callused area is covered or not.
Be careful not to overwater the plants until they are established. While you dont want delicate cuttings to sit in wet potting soil, the medium should also not be allowed to dry out.
To check that roots are forming, gently tug on the leaf. If you feel resistance, it is a sign that roots are present, anchoring the leaf in place. Once the cutting is established, place the pot in a sunny spot and care for it as you would a larger stonecrop plant.
Transplant into a larger pot when the plant starts to outgrow its pot.
Taking and Rooting Cuttings
Again use a sterilized knife or garden scissors to cut a healthy stem section from the plant.
Place the cut stem in a dry, sheltered place and allow it to harden. Wait until the area of the stem exposed when you separated it from the parent plant has callused over before planting in a pot filled with succulent appropriate potting soil.
Water the soil before planting.
Place the cutting in a light, sheltered position. Regularly check the cutting to ensure that the potting medium isn’t drying out. Mist lightly with a Plant Mister Spray Bottle should this occur.
New growth starting to emerge is a sign that the cutting has settled and developed its own root system. At this point you can care for the cutting as you would a larger Sedum Nussbaumerianum, repotting when necessary. Be careful not to overwater and drown the cutting.
Growing From Seed
The least common of the propagation methods outlined here, seeds form after flowers are pollinated. Allow the seeds to ripen on the plant before harvesting. You can also purchase Sedum Nussbaumerianum seeds from seed catalogs.
Growing from seed is rarely practiced because, when compared to other propagation methods, it takes far longer for a mature plant to develop.
Start the seeds by sowing in pots or MIXC Seed Starter Trays filled with well draining, succulent appropriate potting soil. Moisten the soil before sowing the seeds.
After sowing, cover with a light layer of potting soil or vermiculite.
Place the trays on a sheltered shelf, away from direct light.
Don’t place it in too dark a position. If the seeds don’t receive enough light they struggle to germinate. Placing under a grow light can help to boost natural light levels.
Regularly check the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, moisten with a plant spray mister.
When the seeds are large enough to handle, thin out or transplant into individual pots.
Allow the seedlings to develop into small plants before hardening off and transplanting into the garden.
Harvesting and Planting Offsets
Many succulents such as Echeveria Elegans and Hens and Chicks produce offsets. Sedum Nussbaumerianum plants may also produce offsets or pups as they grow. These are miniature versions of the parent plant that form at the base of the mature specimen. While they are part of the parent plant. offsets are also new, individual plants that have their own leaves and root system.
These can be lifted from the soil, separating them from the parent plant and potted on in small pots.
Care for the offsets as you would a larger Sedum Nussbaumerianum.
Common Coppertone Stonecrop Problems
Sedum Nussbaumerianum is a resilient, low maintenance plant. In favorable growing conditions and with just a little care the plant is unlikely to suffer from any major problems.
Resilient plants, stonecrops rarely succumb to pests or disease.
Be careful not to overwater or over fertilize your Sedum Nussbaumerianum.
Too much moisture can cause serious issues such as root rot. Yellowing or browning foliage can be a sign that the plants are overwatered. Cut away any parts of the plant that become discolored. Sterilize your tools before and after using to prevent cross-contamination.
Lift the plant carefully from the pot and gently brush away any soil that remains around the root system. This enables you to check the health of the root system. Cut away any roots that look rotten or diseases.
Allow the plant to dry out before replanting in well-draining fresh soil. A succulent appropriate potting soil, such as Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Potting Soil, provides a light, well draining potting medium that is unlikely to become waterlogged.
Browning leaves can also be a sign that the plant is in too light a position. The intense heat from the afternoon sun can scorch even the hardiest of leaves. Try moving the plant to a shadier position or providing a little afternoon shade in the form of a Sun Mesh Shade. Brown leaves can be trimmed away. New growth soon replaces it.
Dead spots on the leaves or flowers dying soon after forming can be signs of leaf blotch. This is caused by Botrytis Mold. Cut away and discard affected foliage.
Do not place diseased plants or cuttings on the compost heap. If Botrytis Mold spreads to the entire plant, lift it up and discard the plant. You can try to propagate any remaining healthy sections.
Aphids can cause leaves to develop yellow spots. Regularly check the leaves of your plants for signs of infestation. If you can catch the problem early, you can simply wash away the pests with a blast from a garden hose.
Larger infestations are better treated with an insecticidal soap. Neem oil can also be wiped onto the affected leaves. If you’ve never used neem oil in your garden before, our guide to neem oil for plants explains how to safely and effectively apply the product.
Holes in the foliage are usually caused by slugs or snails. There are a number of ways that you can combat slugs in the garden.
An attractive, low maintenance succulent Sedum Nussbaumerianum is a great addition to a succulent garden. In warmer areas the attractive specimens can also be grown outdoors as part of a rock garden or used for ground cover.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.