The Magic of Jelly Bean Plants

Jelly Bean plants, scientifically known as Sedum Rubrotinctum, are succulents that possess the charm of chubby, red-tipped leaves reminiscent of jelly beans. These delightful plants not only make a wonderful addition to dish gardens but also thrive in hanging baskets, trailing gracefully over the pot’s edge as they grow. If you’re seeking an easy-to-care-for succulent that brings joy to any living space, look no further than the Sedum Jelly Bean.

Varieties to Adore

There are two main varieties of Jelly Bean plants. The Green Jelly Bean showcases vibrant green leaves, while the Aurora Jelly Bean boasts lighter, pinkish, variegated foliage. Both varieties feature cylindrical, jelly bean-shaped leaves that can grow up to 2 cm long and reach heights of 7 to 8 inches. During the early years of growth, delicate star-shaped yellow flowers abundantly bloom from winter to spring.

Important Note: Although Sedum Jelly Bean may resemble a tasty treat, it is actually toxic to both humans and pets. Exercise caution and keep this plant away from children and animals.

Embracing the Sunshine

Sedum Jelly Bean thrives best in bright sunlight, which enhances the vibrancy of its leaves. When exposed to adequate sunlight, the leaves take on a brilliant shade of red. However, if the plant lacks sufficient light, the leaves will turn green. To maintain the plant’s colorful beauty, place it in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Alternatively, partial shade with a few hours of sunshine can also provide a stunning pop of color.

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During heatwaves, it’s advisable to move your Jelly Bean to a shadier spot to prevent sun damage. Providing sun protection or shade during intense summer heat can also help safeguard the plants from scorching. When grown indoors, position your Jelly Bean near east, south, or west-facing windows to ensure it receives approximately 5 to 6 hours of light per day. In areas with limited indoor light or long dark winters, supplementing with a grow light can prevent the plant from stretching due to lack of sunlight.

Watering with Care

The frequency and method of watering Jelly Bean plants depend on your climate. During summer, deeply water your Jelly Beans once every 7-10 days, or even more frequently during heatwaves. As the temperature cools during spring and fall, reduce watering to once every 10-14 days.

To determine if it’s time to water your Jelly Bean, check the moisture level of the soil. Either use a moisture meter or feel the top inch of soil with your finger. Water only when the top inch is dry. If unsure, it’s better to underwater and adjust as needed.

Soil Selection

As with most succulents, Sedum Jelly Bean is susceptible to root rot if left in wet soil for extended periods. Therefore, it’s crucial to use well-draining soil. You can either purchase a pre-mixed cactus mix and perlite solution or create your own by blending cactus mix or potting soil with coarse sand (approximately a 2:1 ratio).

Adapting to Temperature

Originally hailing from Mexico, Jelly Beans can thrive outdoors in zones 9 to 10 without concern. However, extreme winter conditions and below-freezing temperatures for prolonged periods are not tolerable for this plant. If you live in an area where temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s advisable to keep your Jelly Beans in containers that can be easily moved indoors before winter arrives. Alternatively, if planted in-ground, consider using frost cloths and greenhouses for protection during harsh winter months.

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Propagation Made Easy

Sedum Jelly Beans are not only easy to care for but also effortless to propagate. The quickest method is through stem cuttings, as they root easily with minimal assistance. To propagate your Jelly Beans through stem cuttings, follow these steps:

Step 1: Using clean, sharp scissors, snip a stem that is either trailing or becoming too long.

Step 2: Allow the stem cutting to callous over for a day or two.

Step 3: Place the stem cutting in a well-draining potting mix, away from direct sunlight but in a bright area.

Step 4: Mist the stem cuttings every few days or when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Step 5: Once the cuttings have developed roots in a few weeks, reduce watering to once a week and gradually increase sunlight exposure as the plant matures.

Jelly Beans can also be propagated through leaves, albeit at a slower pace than stem cuttings. To propagate using leaves, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select a healthy, plump leaf that is intact from tip to end for optimal success.

Step 2: Allow the leaf to dry out before setting it on well-draining soil, away from direct sunlight.

Step 3: Mist the soil every few days or when it dries out.

Step 5: Even after a new baby plant emerges from the original leaf, continue misting every few days or when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Step 6: Gradually increase sunlight exposure and reduce watering to once a week as the new plant matures.

A Versatile Decorative Plant

Sedum Jelly Bean’s versatility and low maintenance nature make it an ideal decorative plant. Whether planted alone or alongside other succulents, it adds interesting shapes and colors to both outdoor gardens and indoor spaces.

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Ames Farm Center

Image Source: Ames Farm Center

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