Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora also known as the Pink Jelly Beans or Pork and Beans is brilliant succulent that is a variegated version of the super hardy Sedum Rubrotinctum or Red Jelly Beans . Although this succulent is also tough there are a few tips and tricks to keeping it happy. Below I’ll go through everything there is to know about Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora. All advice is based on growing tens of thousands of these plants at our nursery.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is a succulent plant with long, cylindrical leaves growing close together around a stalk. The leaves are shiny and pink, cream and green in colour.
One plant can display all of these colours in a course of a year. In the warmer months the plant is mostly cream and green, with a hint of pink, though when it cools down the pink colour dominates. When the Pink Jelly Beans are exposed to the sun, the colour is more vibrant as well, though because this is a variegated plant, it can be a bit sensitive to very strong summer sun and suffer burns.
Variegation is a mutation that can happen naturally in plants (you can read more about variegated plants here), but it can also put them at a disadvantage as variegated plants can lack chlorophyl and therefore have trouble processing sunlight. Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is a variegated cultivar of Sedum Rubrotinctum and the variegation is quite stable, however, the pink branches can sometimes revert back to the original plant and grow green and red.
The leaves, as the nickname suggests, resemble jelly beans and and are long, cylindrical in shape and very shiny. They almost look good enough to eat! The appearance of this plant will much depend on where it’s grown. Pink Jelly Beans grown in full sun will have shorter, more stubby leaves growing close together, while plants in more shade can have elongated leaves that are spread apart.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora can grow approximately 10cm in height but the branches tend to lean and, as the plant ages, fall to the ground and trail. Individual branches grow to approximately 4cm in diameter depending on the conditions.
The Pink Jelly Beans has a spreading habit and one plant will grow multiple branches. These branches will then trail and grow branches of their own. One plant can cover quite an area, but it all depends on how good the soil in the ground/ potting mix in pots is and how much root space they have.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora grows very pretty flowers once per year, usually in Sping-Summer. The end of the branch opens up in many small, yellow, star-shaped flowers. Each flowering branch can last for a number of weeks.
Position & Care
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is a hardy plant that can deal with all sorts of adverse weather and conditions. Established plants and jelly beans grown in the ground can usually look after themselves.
Direct sun exposure over 30C/86F can burn young plants but mature Pink Jelly Beans should be able to withstand sun even over 35C/95F. If you notice your jelly beans with dark burns on the tips move the pot to shade while the hot sun is out or put up a shade-cloth over garden plants. Morning sun/afternoon shade is the ideal position during a hot summer and full sun during the rest of the year to get that gorgeous pink out.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is not frost hardy and will need to be brought indoors once frosts are expected. It will, however, happily grow outdoors in low temperatures to about 1C/33F. It should also survive mild frosts but can suffer burn marks.
To get the best results, upgrade the pot once a year and plant in fresh succulent potting mix. This will ensure the Pink Jelly Beans will grow lovely and big and have lots of branches. If you live in a climate that often experiences hot summers avoid black pots as these will increase the heat around the root area.
Good quality succulent potting mix should result in a plant that is healthy and beautiful. Having said that, Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora will survive in any potting mix and will live in the same pot for many years. However, if the plant is left in poor potting mix or small pot it will not grow very big and can look a bit shabby. Loss of bottom leaves and branches dying is a sign the plant is not all that happy.
In the garden Pink Jelly beans can be planted in a sunny spot and will be much more hardy than plants grown in pots. This means they will take higher temperatures and will not need watering as often.
Watering can be left to the rain, though the plant will thank you if you water well during heatwaves and droughts. A good rule is to water once the potting mix has dried up.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is not suitable to be grown indoors as it requires direct sunlight for at least four hours per day followed by bright light. It may however do well inside with the help of professional plant growing lights.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora can be propagated by offsets, leaves or seeds. The easiest and fastest method of propagation is by taking cuttings of offsets. To successfully propagate offsets, it is best to wait until they are big enough and have a substantial stalk that can be cut through.
The cutting should be left to dry for 24hrs and then planted in succulent potting mix.
All propagating should be done during the growing season which is Spring and Summer. In moderate climates the Pink Jelly Beans will also propagate in Autumn and end of Winter as well but be careful if your area experiences frosts as this would kill young plants. My favourite time to propagate is Spring as it is not yet hot enough that the cuttings will burn and pretty much all succulents grow incredibly fast during this time. In summer, during hot and sunny days, cuttings can be a bit vulnerable and burn easily if exposed to strong sun.
Leaf propagation is very easy and if you’re looking for a plant to try propagating from leaves for the first time, Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is ideal. I often find leaves that I’ve accidentally knocked off that have sprouted on their own under the tables or between pots. As a bonus a single leaf can grow more than one rosette. If the leaves are taken off in the growing season new plants will start emerging after about 2-3 weeks. For a guide to leaf propagation see one of our articles here.
Seed propagation can be quite unreliable, extremely slow and a bit pointless given Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is so easy to propagate from offsets and leaves. Thus, I would not recommend going down this path.
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is susceptible to all the usual succulent pests such as mealy bugs, aphids and snails/slugs. Mealy bugs and aphids are quite a danger and can infest a plant fast. Regular checks should be made to keep them at bay.
For a full list of pests and how to deal with them see our article on animals that like to eat succulents.
There is no conclusive evidence we could find to confirm that Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is or isn’t toxic to humans, cats, dogs, other pets or livestock. We would advise to exercise caution if the plants is ingested and if any sickness symptoms appear, consult a medical professional.
Our anecdotal evidence at the nursery is that Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora should not be poisonous to chickens. Our small flock of chickens often nibbles (to my great annoyance) Pink Jelly Beans we have planted in the ground and so far I haven’t noticed them getting sick. But this is not scientific evidence, just our personal experience that may not apply to everyone.
Another minor point is that this plant is very widespread and if it was very toxic, it would have probably been noticed and made public by now. Still, always exercise caution and confirm with a doctor if worried.
Where Can I Get It?
Sedum Rubrotinctum Aurora is a popular and easy plant to find. It should be available in garden centres or succulent nurseries. If you look online, you will definitely find one.