The Ideal Location To Grow Fat Hen

The Ideal Location To Grow Fat Hen

Fat hen is a very frugal plant. Nevertheless, in order to develop its full splendor, it makes some demands on its location. What these are and what to consider, is described below.

Fat hen is suitable for planting in the open ground and for cultivation in the tub. It should be noted that, depending on the variety, it has an increasing need for water, especially in the summer months. Whether it copes well with drought or not, the soil should never dry out completely. Outdoors, the soil retains moisture better, while in the container it evaporates quickly. Accordingly, watering is often much more frequent here. Those who shy away from this task, make the better choice with planting in the bed.

Light and soil condition


Stonecrop, as it is also called, loves the sun. Whether it should be full sun or off-sun locations are better, depends on the variety. The same concerns the condition of the soil. Some like it dry, others require basic moisture. But one thing should be present for all fat hens, a loose, water-permeable soil.

Following is an overview of the most popular fat hen varieties with preferred light conditions and soil conditions:

  • Golden Stonecrop (Sedum floriferum)
  • Light: full sun
  • Soil: moderate nutrients, moderate moisture
  • Rock stonecrop (Sedum reflexum)
  • Light: ideally six hours of sunlight
  • Soil: likes sandy with few nutrients
  • “Autumn Joy” (Sedum telephium hybrid)
  • Light: sunny to partial shade
  • Soil: slightly moist, rich in nutrients
  • Caucasian stonecrop (Sedum spurium)
  • Light: ideally six hours of sun
  • Soil: medium nutrient content
  • Mild variety (Sedum sexangulare)
  • Light: good sun
  • Soil: prefers dry soil with normal nutrient content
  • Fat Hen “Moss” (Sedum lydium)
  • Light: ideally at least six hours of sun
  • Soil: medium moisture, normal nutrient content
  • Ochre yellow stonecrop (Sedum ochroleucum)
  • Light: ideally around six hours of sun
  • Soil: dry and low in nutrients
  • Purple fat hen (Sedum telephium)
  • Light: ideally six hours of sun
  • Soil: moderate soil moisture, high nutrient content
  • Magnificent stonecrop (Sedum spectabile)
  • Light: sunny, with pleasure also midday sun
  • Soil: rich in nutrients and humus, moderate humidity
  • Pungent stonecrop (Sedum acre)
  • Light: sunny to off-sun
  • Soil: moderate moisture, also likes dry soil
  • White fat hen (Sedum album)
  • Light: at least six hours of sun, preferably full sun
  • Soil: sandy with moderate nutrient content

Substrate for containers
The ideal substrate is cactus soil. However, from ordinary potting soil is equally suitable substrate to make yourself. Here’s how:

  • Buy high-quality, commercially available potting soil.
  • Sand or gravel
  • Add lava granules
  • For moisture-loving plants, add coconut fibers (for better water retention).

Plant neighbors
If it is to go into the garden bed, the question arises whether it gets along well with the plant neighbors respectively these with the Fat Hen. Basically, it gets along with all plants that have about the same demands on the soil and moisture. A direct plant neighbor that requires a lot of water, for example, is not suitable for a common location. Recommended are especially such plant neighbors, which also fit visually excellent to the wall pepper. These include, for example, alpine edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale) and classic rock garden plants.

Planting distance
Once the ideal location is found, the only question that remains is whether it will provide enough space for planting fat hens. Exact details depend on how tall and wide the wall pepper grows. As a rule, you can’t go wrong with an average planting distance. A distinction is made between small and larger varieties:

Up to 15 centimeters growing height: approximately 20 centimeters planting distance and 16 to 20 plants per square meter.
Between 30 centimeters and 60 centimeters growth height: about 50 centimeters planting distance and up to a maximum of five plants per square meter.


Change of location


The fat hen tolerates a change of location relatively well. However, care should be taken to ensure that the new location has at least the same ideal characteristics that meet the requirements of the variety in question. Moving the Fat Hen to a new location may even be advantageous if better conditions prevail there. After relocation, it is important to give the plant time to recover. Especially in the case of fat hen in containers is should be avoided turning and moving, so that it quickly becomes accustomed.

Winter location


Most varieties and species of buttercups are hardy. They can easily spend the winter outdoors, provided that they are planted in the bed. If they are in containers, the cold passes unchecked through the thin walls of the pot and the soil. This poses a danger to the roots, which can quickly freeze to death. Either move them to a frost-free location or prepare them properly for the winter cold:

Frost-free winter quarters:

  • Move before the first frost
  • Ambient temperature: between five and twelve degrees Celsius
  • Light conditions: bright, but not in direct sunlight


Thermal insulation for wintering outdoors:

  • Place pot on insulating substrate (Styrofoam or wood work well, for example).
  • Cover pot walls with thick foil
  • Cut down all shoots/branches and cover with straw, leaves or brushwood.

Frequently asked questions


What happens if the Fat Hen hibernates warmer than indicated?


With a little luck she survives it, however, this triggers stress in her because nature has provided for the metabolism to shut down at that time of year. If it stands too warm, there will be a conflict and as a result, sufficient supply could be disturbed, it will wither, will not form flowers the following year and in the worst case it will die.

Can stonecrop remain indoors as a houseplant during the summer?


Yes, a location in the living room is also possible for the fat hen. Just make sure that it gets enough sun, as described in the article.

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