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Belongs to the Crassulaceae family Sedum palmeri, succulent plant which is also commonly called Siempreviva de Palmer, or Pignola. It is a species native to the mountains of Mexico that usually sprouts in nature and is able to flower on rocky and limestone slopes north-east of the Sierra Madre above Monterrey at about 1000m altitude. Although the habitat that we can offer in Italy is very different, it must be said that it is able to adapt to a different climate and give us a lot of satisfaction.
Sedum Palmeri: characteristics
It is one of the simplest plants to keep on our balcony and is a pleasant presence because it produces flowers, because it fills with greenery and does not require too much care. It is a plant with a falling and classic trend reddish color which makes it special and recognizable, especially when planted in pots to make them form a sort of waterfall downwards from our balconies. It has a barrel very branched, composed of a series of rosettes of leaves of very different sizes from each other and due to its shape it can be easily exchanged with a small Echeveria. It does not have the classic appearance of the Sedum, in fact, and it is difficult to trace it back to its peers just by looking at it.
The classic rosettes of Sedum Palmeri are a little more flattened but still fleshy and succulent, and can have a diameter of up to 5 centimeters while the stems are much larger, they can measure up to 30 centimeters. Usually they have sessile leaves, without any small ones, with an oval shape and a color that tends to green-blue. The consistency is slightly waxed. These leaves are arranged in a spiral and do not exceed 3 centimeters in length.
When he has to face seasons with some "extreme" temperatures this plant takes on a reddish color especially on the edge of the leaves, this happens both during the harshest winters and also during summers that are too hot.
Sedum Palmeri: properties
Among the many properties of this plant, we choose two related to flowers, its most admired and appreciated part. The flowering of Sedum Palmeri is indeed truly wonderful because the color of its flowers becomes invasive and the plant turns into a patch of color. The color is warm yellow, a yellow that characterizes its many flowers that have a maximum size of 8 millimeters.
It is a starry flower and pentamer or formed by 5 sepals and 5 petals with numerous stamens sprouting from mid-February until the end of April. Speaking of flowers, it is important to remember that Sedum palmeri is a melliferous plant, therefore suitable for being pollinated by bees and for honey production.
Sedum Palmeri: how to grow it
When we grow a plant like this, albeit not too pretentious, we must remember that it comes from a totally different environment from the one in which we are inserting it, so we must be careful about the few precautions to which we are asked to respond.
It is also important to know that when we cultivate the Sedum Palmeri in an apartment, we must not expect it to develop as it does when it is in its natural, rocky, outdoor environment. It has in fact been noted that within the four walls it grows in an anomalous manner and not in line with its species, then its branches become thinner but at the same time stretch excessively, weakening a little and becoming easier to break.
To facilitate flowering, we can place the plant in direct sunlight or in any case in a very well-lit area, preferably in rock gardens with a soil that has a good draining power, with a rather sandy or pebbly composition. Better if we can plant it on the ground and not in a pot but if we have no other choice, let's remember to change the pot every year to give the plant room to grow, develop and bloom properly.
Being a succulent plant, Sedum doesn't have to be watered in winter while in summer we can only give it water when we feel with our fingers that the ground is dry in its upper part. On average I would say that it happens to have to water it with a frequency of once a month but being very careful not to create stagnation that can greatly damage the health of the plant itself. As for the fertilization, it is an important step, to be taken by choosing products that have a low dose of nitrogen and a good level of phosphorus and potassium. We proceed by mixing these products with the water from the watering, repeating the operation about once a month, every month except winter.
Sedum Palmeri: reproduction
We can also choose the method by which to reproduce the plant, if by sowing or cutting. The most recommended is the second because it is definitely more immediate. Since we are in the presence of a generous plant in its flowering, we can cut a sprig at the root and use it directly in the ground. We will only have to wait a few days for proof that it has taken root. With the sowing the issue is more delicate and the right time to try it is the months between January and March. The flowers, on the other hand, appear in spring and remain throughout the summer, always yellow and magnificent.
Sedum Palmeri and aphids: how to defend yourself
Afici together with cochineal are among the most strong enemies of this plant that for this reason in the spring season must be treated with broad-spectrum insecticides that keep away the classic parasites, not to be used however if flowering has already begun. Among the various products that you can also buy conveniently online there is thisbactericidal which acts against aphids.