Autumn Gardening: Salvias and Sedums

Salvias and Sedums show their Beauty in the Autumn Garden.

In autumn most annuals are putting on their final show. The morning glories have recovered from the summer drought and are climbing fences and gates with all the resilience of nature. Chrysanthemums, the belles of the season, are brightening up the indoors and outside spaces to welcome Thanksgiving guests. Decorative gourds are brightly set out on doorsteps and in centerpieces alike. Two other fall beauties though, deserve a little more attention.

Salvias and Sedums

As the autumn pallet turns mostly toward yellow, orange and red, the dense blooms of salvias and sedums offer dusty pinks and deep purples against the fading green.


Deep blue and purple salvias have long spikes of flowers like lavender, but the plant is actually related to sage. Like sedums, salvias require little care and do best in well-drained soil. It also attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.


There is a huge variety of sedums that range from ground cover like the sedum humifusum to shrubs like the sedum spectabile. Their densely-packed clusters of blossoms are star-shaped and come in pinks, yellows, blues and purples. The leaves and stems are thick and fleshly as succulents. While the plants are prone to attracting slugs and snails in damp weather, they also attract beneficial pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.

Both perennial varieties of these plants will bloom through to the first frosts. In spring, they will demand just a little compost before starting their colourful parade once more.