Have several large clumps of Autumn Joy sedum. It grows so tall and then flops over. What can I do beside using wire supports to avoid this?
plant it in benign sand.. NEVER water it.. and NEVER fertilize it ... it grows just perfectly when abused and ignored ...
if you do any of the above ... it grows too lushly.. and simply falls over.. not being able to support itself ...
go figure ... i will bet a shiny nickle that you are loving it up and to show its displeasure... its growing too good and flopping around..
also .. dig it up.. torture it.. cut it in half.. and replant both.. and it will cut it vigor for next year .... sorta like bonsai.. repeatedly root pruning to decrease vigor ...
In addition to Ken's suggestions, you can also pinch it back. I do this every year and it keeps the clumps shorter. There's still a little "flopping" at the sides. but for the most part the clumps stay upright.
Also, grow in *full* sun for best growth. Sedum will grow and flower in part-shade just fine, but tend to floppier/split in that condition.
I tried everything and Autumn Joy just flopped over every year. Mine was in full sun and I didn't feed it very often. The soil was lean too. My plant just was very tall every year. I have friends that live in the same area and their plant was not as tall, so didn't fall over.
I gave all of my Autumn Joy away and replaced it with Neon. Neon is perfect here - not too tall and beautiful pink flower heads. I would recommend it over Autumn Joy.
Lean soil with good drainage, no supplemental fertilizer, full sun, pinch back if need be in spring - generally this should result in an upright plant.
The only problem I see with this variety in some locations is that flower color transitions from pink to brown too rapidly. My few plants have been fine this year, though.
It seems as the plant grows each season and gets larger and larger, then it tends to fall over. Dividing mine seems to help.
Cut it back by half in May, divide every few years.
Eric, I've had the pink to brown problem with mine. Another cultivar would do better, do you think? I ended up clipping off the brown heads in August. There were plenty coming along behind it, so that helped its appearance a lot.
I have had no problem with autumn joy flopping over. I do have a problem with maestro. Way too floppy and open. I am going to try the pinching method next year. Here are a couple of sedums I purchased this year. Unfortunately I don't know the name on the 2nd picture. Besides these 2 I also have tricolor, evangaline, fulda, red carpet, autum fire and probably a few more unknowns.
Autumn Joy does not flop for me either. I use it in many places in my garden, since it is ridiculously easy to propagate it. I do have to be careful where I plant it because most of my garden is too wet for sedums of any sort. AJ is the easiest one for me to use because it will tolerate a bit more moisture than most sedums.
Maestro did flop for me just like it did for Jodikay - in conditions very similar to my plantings of Autumn Joy. The first two seasons Maestro stood tall with no problems, but this year it grew about 9 inches taller than in previous years and fell over once it developed flower heads, disappointing. Next year I may have to chop it early in the season.
No problem here in heavy clay - it does not like "good" dirt and is a perfect clay garden plant! Really nice this year - last year it never got really red but brown.
I agree with all of the above suggestion. Although not the answer to your question you really should try other tall sedums they are prettier than Autumn Joy.
Cut it down hard in May, and it won't flop in fall. Put the cuttings in water--it will root and make more you can spread in the yard or share with others.
Double the bang for the buck!
Thank you all for your solutions. I'll use all of them and hopefully next fall Autumn Joy will be upright and beautiful!