Cliff stonecrop – planting, care and tips

Cliff stonecrop (Sedum cauticola)
Cliff stonecrop (Sedum cauticola) © By I, KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The robust nature of the cliff stonecrop from Japan makes it the ideal choice when planting dry, stony spots in the garden.

Profile of cliff stonecrop:

Scientific name: Sedum cauticola

Plant family: stonecrop family (Crassulaceae)

Other names: –

Sowing time:

Planting time: spring to autumn

Flowering period: August to October

Location: sunny to partially shade

Soil quality: stony to sandy, nutrient-poor

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: roof greening, planters, dry stone walls, roof garden, rock garden, potted garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20°C / -5 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of cliff stonecrop

Plant order, origin and occurrence of cliff stonecrop

The cliff stonecrop(Sedum cauticola) is native to Japan, where it grows preferentially on cliffs. In this respect, the sometimes used name cliff stonecrop is somewhat confusing. The plant lies in the height between the low and high fat hens. The perennial has been assigned to the genus Hylotelephium since 1977, but this name has so far not been successful established in horticultural practice. As a member of the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae), Sedum cauticola also has succulent properties.

Characteristics of cliff stonecrop


The lower shoots grow individually from the earth and are connected to each other via a stoloniferous root system. They die above ground with the onset of frost and will sprout again in the coming spring. In height, the cliff stonecrop reaches about 10, maximum 20 centimeters (4 to 8 in), in width it forms dense cluster with a width of 20 to 30 centimeters (8 to 12 in).


The egg to spatula-shaped, fleshy thickened leaves of Sedum cauticola show their ability to succulent. They are blue-gray pruinateed and often turn reddish with decreasing temperatures.


From August to October, the cliff stonecrop adorns itself with small, star-shaped flowers that stand together in dense pseudo-umbels. At first they are pinkish-purple in color, later they become strongly crimson. They are considered a popular insect and bee pasture.


The fruits are small capsules, but have no appreciable decorative value.

Cliff stonecrop – cultivation and care


The cliff stonecrop appreciates a warm, sunny place, but it is also satisfied with partial shade.


As at the natural site, Sedum cauticola prefers a nutrient-poor, dry, permeable and often stony ground. The pH value should be in the neutral to slightly alkaline range.


Potted plants can be planted all year round in the frost-free period. It is recommended to keep 20 centimeters (8 in) planting distance, with taller varieties also up to 30 centimeters (12 in).

Care / Watering / Fertilization

The cliff stonecropis easy to care for and has a low water and nutrient requirement and thrives without any special effort.


Sedum cauticola is easiest to propagate by division. To do this, prick a piece of the cluster in spring and plant it in the desired location.

A regular division of Sedum cauticola is not necessary, but very simple if the growth becomes too extensive or if you want to cultivate new plants.

Diseases and pests

The cliff stonecrop is quite insensitive to pests and plant diseases.


Cliff stonecrop is hardy down to -20 °C / -5 °F.

Use in the garden

The cliff stonecropis a frugal perennial for the rock garden or steppe garden as well as roof greening. Even wall crowns and tiny planters can be planted with the survivalist.


Sedum cauticola ‘Bertram Anderson’ is 20 centimeters (8 in) high and blooms pink-red on dark shoots with purple leaves. By cultivation with the live-forever, ‘Robustum’ was created, which is in all parts larger than the species and forms crimson bloom clouds.

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