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When most of the flowers have already blossomed, the fat hen in white, yellow, red or pink provides color accents in the garden. The undemanding perennial loves the late summer sun and flatters the bed more than the name would initially suggest. Stonecrop sounds a lot better. Either way, the hardy Sedum delights its gardener year after year. Provided he knows the right technique to cut the sedum. In a sunny location, the thick fleshy leaves, to which the plant owes its name, remain healthy for a long time with these cutting instructions.

Cut fat hen

An advantage of the fat hen is that it is still in full bloom late in the year. In autumn, hardly any gardener would think of cutting off the stems. But not only for visual reasons it is important not to attack Sedum in autumn. Bald seed heads and withered flowers protect the plant from frost. In spring, on the other hand, the stems have dried up. Now is the best time to trim and shape the fat hen. Since the perennial needs time after the winter to get used to the temperature change, the exact date depends on the type of overwintering or the general cultivation:

  • Indoor plants: in March
  • bedding plants overwintered in the house: in April shortly before the end of the winter quarters (around the end of February)
  • Bedding plants: before budding (late March to early May)

notice: When the Fette Henne drives out depends primarily on the climatic conditions. Therefore, no general date can be set. The correct date varies by region and even then may differ from year to year.

Prepare tool

While the gardener can easily remove individual withered leaves by hand, he should use tools to work on the thick fleshed stems. Important utensils are:

  • scissors or knife
  • kitchen towels
  • disinfectant
  • gloves

While the gloves naturally protect the gardener, measures are also needed to protect the sedum plant from disease. Parasites and fungi are mostly transmitted via tools that are already infected. It is therefore important to thoroughly disinfect knives and scissors with high-proof alcohol before cutting. Likewise, sharpening the knife not only serves to reduce the effort required by the gardener. Blunt cutting tools leave frayed stems that take time to heal.
Experience has shown that a lot of plant sap escapes from the thick-fleshed leaves. The gardener manages to stop this with a kitchen towel. Attention, the juice contains slightly toxic substances, hence the protective gloves.

Fat hen, sedum

notice: Of course, disinfecting the cutting tools is not only necessary when cutting the fat hen. Perhaps it is the perennial that is already suffering from an undetected fungus and is transferring its spores to other plants. The gardener should clean his utensils after pruning any plant.

Cut fat hen: instructions

  • Remove faded flowers and seeds
  • Shaping by shortening shoots that have grown too long
  • Set scissors just above a leaf or bud
  • cover strongly draining interfaces with a fleece

notice: If the gardener leaves the fat hen untouched for too long, long, thin shoots will form. The perennial falls apart and creates a dreary look. Especially indoor plants that have spent the winter on the windowsill suffer from this phenomenon. Regular thinning is therefore recommended. Lack of light can also lead to thin shoots. After a change of location, the sedum usually recovers.

Cut to what length?

Basically, the gardener shortens the fat hen to one to two thirds. He removes bare or woody shoots just above the ground. In this way, it stimulates regeneration and new growth.

tall fat hens

Depending on the variety, the sedum plant has different growth heights. Some species even grow up to half a meter high. Unfortunately, this has the disadvantage that they quickly become lignified or bare. There are therefore separate cutting instructions for large fat hens:

  • remove woody shoots
  • Set the scissors at the base
  • work from the bottom up
  • finally cut off thin shoots just above the ground

notice: The pruning of the fat hen is not absolutely necessary, but encourages new growth. So that the part of the perennial that is close to the ground also gets enough light, it is necessary to regularly thin out. To do this, it is already enough to remove withered leaves.

Sedum, stonecrop

root cutting

In view of the sprawling growth, the gardener can imagine that the fat hen develops an equally extensive root system. Houseplants in tubs therefore quickly feel cramped and require a larger pot. But bedding plants are also happy about fresh, nutrient-rich substrate. The stonecrop is very undemanding and requires no fertilizer. In the course of a substrate change, however, the gardener should completely replace the soil. Since this work requires exposing the root ball, it is advisable to carry out a root cut immediately. Just like shortening the above-ground shoots, this also stimulates new growth. In doing so, the gardener shortens the root shoots by a few centimeters while completely removing diseased or damaged root strands. He then places the sedum in fresh succulent soil, which he ideally enriches with lava granules beforehand. With soft irrigation water and a pH value of 6.5 to 7.3, the fat hen will recover well.

vase cut

Sedum also attracts everyone's attention as a cut flower in a vase. The right technique must also be observed here so that it does not stop growing due to the removal of important, energy-emitting stalks:

  • Time: shortly after the blossoms open in autumn
  • cut one to three fingers above the ground
  • leave at least one eye on the shoot (otherwise no new shoots)

tip: If you don't feel like cutting the stonecrop regularly, simply choose a creeping species. In this form, the undemanding perennial hardly does any work.

Sedum telephium Xenox, Tall Stonecrop

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