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Will sedum be the new sod? Introducing succulent mats!

July 29, 2009 |  2:50 pm

Sedum mat 1

This is a sedum mat. It works basically like sod but instead of thirsty grass, it is made out of small succulent plants, so it uses less water and is more interesting to look at. A downside is that you can't walk on it, but who wants to step on something so attractive? These mats, which are not yet on the market, are being developed by the forward-thinking folks at Altman Plants, the largest succulent and cactus growers in the U.S. Possible uses include throwing them up on bare roadside hillsides where they will require no more than biweekly watering, developers using them for green roof tops without the wait, and big box stores selling them rolled up and ready for plopping in the frontyard. Instant low-water ground cover! More sedum mat photos after the jump.

Sedum mat on the ground

The human figure on the left can give you a sense of the size of these mats. The sedum mats are grown by just scattering sedum plants on the mat. Anyone could certainly do that on his or her own, but it can take a year or so for the plants to grow in.

Sedum mat picked up

Above, a person lifts a mat. Below, a peek underneath.

Sedum mat underneath

-- Deborah Netburn

Photos: Altman Plants