ICE PLANT (Sedum Spectabile)

China, Korea


















Its succulent, pastel green stems & thick waxy leaves appear suited to a hot climate, even a desert; but Sedum Spectabile survives icy winters. This hardy perennial likes full sun & soil that is well-drained, light or sandy. It does poorly  in shade or wet ground. It grows to 35-40 cm, & its stems may need staking.


Bees’ Favourite.

Sedum Spectabile is an important plant for bees. Here in the UK, The Ice Plant is in bloom during September and October, a time when Buddleia & other honey-rich flowers have finished flowering.

Scented flowers of Sedum Spectabile have the aroma of honey. The flat flowerheads (corymbs) look like heads of PASTEL GREEN broccoli at first. One flower at a time turns to  a DUSTY PINK and CREAM; the Ice Plant is now at its most alluring to bees, who are all over it.

IP1 Ice Plant, still looking like broccoli, 17th August 2012Honeybee on Ice Plant




 Gradually the corymbs change to a rich MAUVE, pleasing to the human eye but of no further interest to the bees. Flowers then deepen to a dark REDDISH-PURPLE, then a RUSTY BROWN. By December, new pastel green rosettes the size of marbles nestle at the base of the old plant, waiting for spring.

Other names: Hylotelephium spectabile, Butterfly stonecrop

Ice plant purple

ice plant winter 2013 crop


According to the Dave’s Garden  forum, cuttings or bits broken off can be stuck into soil & will grow. Although contributors from drier parts of Australia & USA were answering a query from the UK, we might all have a go at this method .


Our Sedum Spectabile grows in a terracotta pot, which has been moved about over the years. We keep the dried flower stalks through winter. In spring we know how much space the plant will require in its new position, wherever that may be.

Ice Plant 2021