The fat hen belongs to the succulent family. Both the low species known as stonecrop and the tall varieties are so easy to care for that even beginners can’t go wrong. For a beautiful growth and magnificent flowers, the plant needs a pruning every year. In seven steps, we will show you how to do this and what you should pay attention to.

reasons for the cut

  1. Shaping
  2.  Stimulating flowering
  3.  Removing dead parts
  4.  Propagation
  5. Use as a food plant

What species are pruned

The tall perennials of the fat hen ( Sedum spectabile and Sedum telephium), which form inflorescences up to 60 centimeters high, require annual pruning. Low-growing, cushion-forming types of stonecrop, the so-called cushion sedum, do not need pruning. With the upholstered sedum, only a shaping cut is required.

Point of time

The fat hen is pruned every year at the beginning of spring. A frost-free day at the end of March or beginning of April is suitable for outdoor plants. Potted plants are pruned when brought outside from winter quarters.

Don’t worry about leaving the flowers over the winter. The dry inflorescences provide additional protection for the plant and provide insects with winter quarters. They provide food for small animals and when a little snow has fallen, the flowers look very decorative.

The cutting tool

You need a sharp knife or sharp pruning shears to cut the plants. We recommend disinfecting the tool with spirit, high-percentage alcohol or a commercially available disinfectant spray before use. It is important to only use sharp tools for the cut. Blunt scissors crush the plant parts and lead to frayed wounds. These heal much worse than smooth, clean wounds and offer targets for rot, pests or diseases. Treat your sedum to a pruning with high-quality, clean and sharp tools. She will reward you with a beautiful growth and magnificent flowers.

Cutting for plant care, strengthening and shaping

The fat hen, which is one of the succulents, is also called fat hen or fat leaf. It grows and thrives in almost every place. Hardly any other garden perennial is as undemanding. Proceed as follows when pruning in the spring:


  1. Put on disposable gloves
    The sedum plant secretes quite a lot of plant sap when cutting. This can lead to skin irritation. We recommend the use of disposable gloves, especially for people with sensitive skin or injuries to their hands.
  2. Disinfecting the cutting tool
    To disinfect the scissors or the knife, put alcohol on a clean, soft cloth. Rub the cut surfaces thoroughly with it.
  3. remove stunted, lignified and bare plant parts
    Cut off the plant parts just above the ground.
  4. Shorten flower stalks by one to two thirds in spring.
    This cut stimulates growth and flowering without damaging the plant.
  5. Eliminate bare twigs
    Over time, individual twigs in the lower area become bare. For vigorous growth, we recommend cutting off the bare twigs directly on the ground.
  6. Drying cuts
    Dabbing cuts with a dry, clean cloth will help the wound close and heal quickly. The plant can overcome the intervention so quickly.
  7. Protecting the plant
    As it is quite cold in spring, we recommend protecting the freshly cut plant from low temperatures with fleece for a few more nights.

In late summer you can use the flowers for the vase. Cut off the stems above a leaf and the fat hen will sprout again.

Tip: The flowers of the fat hen are excellent for drying. Place the stable inflorescences in a container without water. Anyone who uses the flowers of the fat hen to make autumnal arrangements and wreaths will have a lot of fun with it. They dry up and retain their color for a long time.

First perennial cut – what to do?

That is also no problem. Remove weak and diseased parts of the plant and begin annual pruning next spring.

cutting for propagation

Like most succulents, the fat hen can be excellently propagated from cuttings. To do this, use shoots that do not bear flowers. A single leaf is enough to grow a new plant.

Time: in spring, between April and May


  • Cut off leaves or shoots
  • let dry lying on a kitchen towel for three days
  • put the stalk in the potting soil
  • fill up to the base of the leaf
  • Plant out when new leaves have formed.
Note: The fat hen can easily be propagated by division. A new plant can form from each individual side shoot. Simply place it in potting soil and plant it outdoors in the desired location when roots are visible. He will surely grow.

cutting for consumption

Individual varieties of the Bacopa plants are edible and extremely tasty. Eating the leaves of the rock stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) is a real insider tip.

  • Cut young shoot tips, wash and chop
  • Enjoy raw in a salad or herb quark
  • can be used briefly in soups

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