Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Singing the Praises of Midsummer Sedums
It's that time of the year in Vancouver when the midsummer sedums shine. If you have those low-growing drought tolerant ground covers in your garden they will be covered with an amazing variety of bees. You'll likely see more than one species of bumblebee sipping nectar from the small blossoms and using patches of these plants as a highway to travel from one foraging hotspot to another. We have patches of these sedum in the pollinator border and in the fruit tree orchard border where they function very well and look great.
When I took this photo of the ladybug, I didn't even notice there was also a tiny bee foraging in the blossoms too!
You'll almost always see small leafcutter bees with their furry bellies in these sedum. And where there's a leafcutter bee, there's often cuckoo leafcutter bees alongside them too.
Here's another view of one of the species of tiny bees in the sedum. It's a little sweat bee, with bright yellow "pollen pants".
This yellow-flowering sedum is also attracting leafcutter bees too. Our native Sedum spathulifolium is a lovely choice for a spring-flowering succulent. I also recommend interplanting different varieties of thyme that bloom at slightly different times and attract similar species of bees, creating a positive synergy of bee-supporting habitat. Bees also like to nest in the soil around these plants in the nooks and crannies of the low-growing patchwork. These plants also work well in container gardens.
The taller late-blooming sedums are also an important part of a pollinator garden, supporting late season butterflies and bees. Low maintenance, well-behaved and good food for bees--sedums are something to sing about.