The fat hen is a very undemanding plant. In order to be able to develop its full splendor, it still makes some demands on its location. What these are and what needs to be considered is described below.

Open ground and/or tubs

The fat hen is suitable for planting outdoors and for cultivating in containers. It should be noted that depending on the variety, it has an increasing water requirement, especially in the summer months. Whether it tolerates drought well or not, the soil should never dry out completely. Outdoors, the soil stores moisture better, while it evaporates quickly in the bucket. Accordingly, watering is often much more frequent here. Those who shy away from this task make the better choice of planting in the bed.

light and soil conditions

The sedum plant, as it is also called, loves the sun. Whether it should be full sun or a sunny location is better depends on the variety. The same applies to the soil conditions. Some like it dry, others need a basic moisture level. But one thing should be there for all fat hens, a loose, water-permeable soil.

The following is an overview of the most popular sedum varieties with preferred light conditions and soil conditions:

  • Gold-Fetthenne (Sedum floriferum)
    • Light: full sun
    • Soil: moderate nutrient content, moderate moisture
  • Felsen-Fetthenne (Sedum reflexum)
    • Light: ideally six hours of sunlight
    • Soil: preferably sandy with few nutrients
  • ‘Autumn Joy’ (Sedum Telephium hybrid)
    • Light: sunny to semi-shade
    • Soil: slightly moist, rich in nutrients
  • Kaukasische Fetthenne (Sedum spurium)
    • Light: ideally six hours of sun
    • Soil: medium nutrient content
  • Milde Socrates (Sedum sexangulare)
    • Light: good sunny
    • Soil: prefers dry soil with normal nutrient content
  • Fat Her “Moss” (Sedum lydium)
    • Light: ideally at least six hours of sun
    • Soil: moderate moisture, normal nutrient content
  • Ockergelbe Fetthenne (Sedum ochroleucum)
    • Light: optimal around six hours of sun
    • Soil: dry and poor in nutrients
  • Purpurfarbene Fette Henne (Sedum telephium)
    • Light: ideally six hours of sun
    • Soil: moderate soil moisture, high nutrient content
  • Magnificent stonecrop (Sedum spectabile)
    • Light: sunny, also likes midday sun
    • Soil: rich in nutrients and humus, moderate moisture
  • Sedum acre (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 tubs

The ideal substrate is cactus soil. However, you can make an equally suitable substrate yourself from conventional potting soil. That is how it goes:

  • Buy good quality commercial potting soil
  • sand or gravel
  • Add lava granules
  • Add coconut fibers to moisture-loving specimens (serve for better water retention)
Tip: Do not buy cheap soil. This compacts quickly and then likes to form mold. It is better to use high-quality potting soil, which is a bit more expensive, but lasts longer and is good for the plants.

plant neighbors

If it is to go into the garden bed, the question arises as to whether it will get along well with the plant neighbors or whether they will get along well with the fat hen. In principle, it gets along with all plants that have roughly the same demands on the soil and moisture. A direct plant neighbor that needs a lot of water, for example, is not suitable for a common location. Planting neighbors that also look great with the stonecrop are particularly recommended. These include, for example, the alpine edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale) and classic rock garden plants.

planting distance

Once the ideal location has been found, the only question that remains is whether it offers enough space for planting the fat hens. Exact details depend on how tall and wide the stonecrop grows. As a rule, there is nothing wrong with an average planting distance. A distinction is made between small and larger varieties:

  • Up to 15 centimeters tall: about 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


The fat hen tolerates a change of location relatively well. However, care must be taken to ensure that the new location has at least the same ideal properties that meet the requirements of the respective variety. Moving the fat hen to a new location can even be beneficial if the conditions are better there. It is important to give the plant time to recover after moving. Turning and moving should be avoided, especially with thick leaves in tubs, so that they quickly get used to it.

winter location

Most sedum varieties and species are hardy . They can easily spend the winter outdoors provided they are planted in the bed. If they are in pots, the cold will get through the thin pot walls and the bottom unchecked. This poses a danger to the roots, which can quickly freeze to death. Either they are transferred to a frost-free place, or properly prepared 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 the direct sun

Thermal insulation for wintering outdoors:

  • Place the pot on an insulating surface (styrofoam or wood are good, for example)
  • Cover the sides of the pot with thick foil
  • Cut off all the shoots/twigs and cover the entire surface of the soil with straw, leaves or brushwood
Note: The fat hen can also be kept indoors as a houseplant. Nevertheless, she has to take a winter break and has to go to a location as described under ‘frost-free winter quarters’.

frequently asked Questions

With a bit of luck she survives, but this causes stress in her because nature intended that the metabolism slows down at this time of the year. If it is too warm, a conflict ensues and, as a result, an adequate supply could be disrupted, it withers, no longer flowers in the following year and, in the worst case, it dies.

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

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