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Sedum multiceps, or Pygmy Joshua Tree, photographed at Tula Plants & Design. Sedum multiceps, or Pygmy Joshua Tree, photographed at Tula Plants & Design.

Sedum multiceps

Botanical Name — Sedum multiceps
Common Name — Pygmy Joshua Tree
Plant Family — Crassulaceae


Background

Pygmy Joshua Tree is a branching stonecrop that forms stunning trunk-like stalks and bushy leaf clusters. Native to Algeria, it makes its home on rocky limestone cliffs and outcroppings. A fall and winter grower, Sedum multiceps rarely grows taller than six inches, but it will spread rapidly if given optimal conditions.

 

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Growth Requirements

Sun

  • Sedum multiceps prefers direct sun with partial shade during the harshest afternoon hours. It will not tolerate full shade.
  • They thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure. A sheer curtain during peak hours could protect the plant from getting leaf burn.


Temperature/ Humidity

  • This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 40°F. Keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill during cooler months.


Water

  • This plant is super low-maintenance from a watering standpoint. Succulent leaves retain plenty of moisture so be sure to let the soil dry out completely in-between waterings. When you do water, water thoroughly, fully saturating the soil.
  • In the winter, ease up on watering even more.


Soil/Roots

  • Sedum multiceps prefer a sandy, well-draining soil that mimics its rocky habitat. A cactus or succulent potting mix works great. You can also use regular potting mix amended with sand or fine grit up to 50% to improve texture and drainage.


Flowering

  • Showy but small yellow flowers will blossom in late summer under the right conditions.


Fertilization

  • Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one, be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.
  • This is a fall and winter grower. Fertilize once during the fall, and dilute the fertilized to half again the recommended amount. Never fertilize in summer, its dormant period.


Propagation

  • These plants will propagate easily by stem cuttings or division.


Health

Diseases

  • This plant is not particularly prone to pests or diseases. Root rot can be a concern if it is overwatered.
  • Though this plant is low maintenance, it is always wise to keep an eye out for any bugs or spotting caused by disease. To help prevent any issues, prune away unhealthy leaves or stems.


Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)

  • These plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every three or four years.
  • Feel free to sculpt and prune this hardy plant into a bonsai look.


Toxicity

  • These plants are not known to be toxic if ingested by animals and humans. However, it should not be ingested.