How Much Water Does Stonecrop Need? (Sedum Water Needs)

There’s no doubt about it – stonecrop is one tough plant! It can tolerate heat and cold alike, but that still leaves the question of drought tolerance.

So, how much water does stonecrop need? Stonecrop needs very little water once established. It is a succulent, so it can store water in its fleshy leaves to survive long dry spells. Stonecrop can handle drought and tolerates very dry soil (well-draining soil is best for this plant). It needs less water in winter after it enters dormancy.

Stonecrop planted in full sun will dry out sooner, due to faster evaporation. Also, young stonecrop plants will need more water until they are established. Note that over watered stonecrop may fail to flower!

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at just how much water stonecrop needs to survive. We’ll also let you know how to avoid over watering this hardy perennial succulent.

Let’s get started.

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How Much Water Does Stonecrop Need?

Stonecrop does not need much water to survive. During hot and dry weather, this plant can go for a week or longer without watering.

stonecrop sedum
Stonecrop does not need a whole lot of water – it is succulent, so it can store water for dry periods.

In cooler weather, stonecrop can go for weeks without water. This is because stonecrop is a succulent (it has thick, fleshy leaves where it can store water to use as needed).

Just remember that you might need to water a little more for young stonecrop plants. Young plants don’t have as many roots to get water from the soil (and they don’t have as many leaves to store water).

Once a stonecrop plant is established, it won’t need water as often. If it is in partial shade, it also won’t lose as much water during the day (but the flowers might not look as good!)

Also, you can water stonecrop less in winter, after it goes dormant. This is due to the fact that the plant is not growing, so it doesn’t need so much water.

In winter, stonecrop enters dormancy and does not need as much water.

Stonecrop has no problem with extreme heat or cold. It also tolerates poor soil – as long as the soil has good drainage (so sandy soil is better for stonecrop than clay soil).

Many plants dry out too fast in containers, but stonecrop will be fine (since it tolerates drought so well).

Is Stonecrop Drought Tolerant?

Stonecrop is a drought tolerant succulent. It can go weeks without water, even in hot and dry conditions.

sedum mexicanium
Stonecrop is drought tolerant, able to go weeks without water thanks to its ability to store water in its leaves.

Sedum is what you would call a “water wise” plant, since it doesn’t need constant watering to stay alive. This makes stonecrop is a good choice for water-smart landscapes (such as rock gardens, desert gardens, or drought-resistant gardens).

Stonecrop doesn’t need much water to begin with – and it needs even less in winter. When it slows or stops growth for winter, slow down watering to avoid root rot.

Does Sedum Need Lots Of Water?

Sedum (another name for stonecrop) does not need a lot of water. Giving it a little more water might help a young plant to get established, or help an established plant to grow faster.

sedum stonecrop
Sedum does not need a lot of water, especially once it is established.

But don’t overdo it! It is definitely possible to over water sedum.

Can You Overwater Sedum?

It is possible to over water sedum, which will lead to root rot or disease. Remember: this is a plant that likes well-draining soil, and it tolerates dry soil and drought conditions.

Over watering is more likely in these situations:

  • Poorly draining soil – clay soil is heavy, with tiny particles that retain water for a long time. As a result, clay soil will stay wet and cause problems for sedum if you over water. Plant sedums in sandy soil (or transplant them there).
  • Mulched soil – mulch helps to retain moisture in soil. Normally, this is a good thing for plants that need a lot of water. Since sedum doesn’t need a lot of water, mulch can actually keep the soil too wet.
  • Automated sprinkler – if you are using an automated sprinkler system, your sedum might be getting too much water. It probably isn’t a good idea to plant sedum near water-hungry plants. Instead, keep the two types of plants separate (in “dry” and “damp” areas of your garden).
clay soil
Clay soil has small particles and holds water, so it drains poorly (and is not good for sedum).

In short: too much water is more likely to be a problem than too little, since sedum tolerates drought so well.

If you have already over watered sedum and you don’t think the plant can be saved, there might still be a chance. If the roots are rotten, you can still take cuttings and try to propagate the plant to get a new plant out of it.

stonecrop autumn joy
You can try to take cuttings to propagate sedum, as long as the variety is not patented.

Just make sure that you are not propagating a sedum variety that is protected by a patent (usually, a label that comes with the plant when you buy it will tell you this – it will often say “Propagation prohibited” or something like that).

How Often To Water Stonecrop

In most cases, you can get away with watering stonecrop just once per week. It might even be possible to go 2 weeks or more between waterings.

Sedum hispanicum
In many cases, stonecrop can go 2 weeks or more without water.

It all depends on the weather and season:

  • Hot, dry, windy conditions in summer with little rain: water more often (once every 1 to 2 weeks)
  • Cool, wet conditions in spring or fall: water less often (once every 2+ weeks)
  • Winter: water sparingly

If you still aren’t sure, a good way to tell when to water stonecrop is to feel the nearby soil with your hands and dig in a bit:

  • If the soil is dusty and dry on top and also dry a little further down, then you can water.
  • If the soil is dry on top but slightly damp further down, you can wait a little while to water.
  • If the topsoil is moist, you can probably wait quite a while to water.

Pay attention to the weather forecast, too. There is no point in wasting your time watering if there is a thunderstorm on the way!

stonecrop red flowers
Pay attention to the weather forecast before you water stonecrop!


Now you know just how much water stonecrop needs (very little once established!) and how to keep your plant watered when you are away.

Stonecrop tolerates heat, but also cold – you can learn more about stonecrop’s impressive cold tolerance here.

You can learn about 10 good choices for sedum here if you want a creeping ground cover stonecrop.

You can also learn about 10 good choices for upright stonecrop if you want a taller succulent.

If you can’t find an area with at least partial sun, it is probably best to skip stonecrop and find something more shade tolerant. (On that note, you can find 10 great flowering ground cover plants for shady areas in this article).

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

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Jon M

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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