• Alison Murray

Things to do in the garden during lockdown, day 3: remove hylotelephium seed heads

Plants like hylotelephiums (or sedums) hold their seed heads over winter and provide food for the birds. The new leaves are well up by now, so it is time to cut the flower stalks off and enjoy the plump foliage.

Sedum stalks are attached to the plant quite well, so cut back with secateurs rather than pull them out so you don't risk yanking out bits of the remaining plant. Save the seed heads, they go well in Christmas wreaths.

This plant produced a baby a couple of years ago and they really need separating (in the top RHS of the first photo, in among a cheeky borage plant). You may find surprise offspring too. Remove any weeds and replant into a well watered hole letting the water drain though before you pop the plant in. Sedums don't like soggy feet, and it is impossible to firm in if you're planting into a pool or sludge. Don't forget to water as well once the plant is in the ground. If you can, always plant in odd numbers, it gives a more visually appealing effect. Pot up any you don't want and save them for a friend of neighbour. Sedums had their names changed a few years back once their genome had been sequenced as they no longer sit in the plant family we thought they did. These are Hyotelephium herbstfreude.

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