Sedum rupestre Lemon Ball (SEE-dum rue-PES-tree) is part of the Crassulaceae family of plants, also known as stonecrops or the orpine family. Sedum rupestre goes by many names, such as:
- Lemon ball Sedum
- Sedum mexicanum lemon ball
- Reflexed stonecrop
- Jenny’s stonecrop
- Stone orpine lemon ball
This hardy succulent sedum is an easy to grow perennial returning year after year with little maintenance.
Many stonecrops are native to mountainous regions of north, south, and central Europe.
Sedum mexicanum lemon ball, is a stonecrop native to Mexico and Central America.
This plant looks like other Sedums. It is why Sedum rupestre becomes confused with comparable varieties.
Caring For Sedum Lemon Ball
Sedum care is simple compared to many plants. These succulents are hardy and low-maintenance perennials.
Size & Growth
Sedum lemon ball plants will typically grow to between 4” and 6” tall and have a spread of roughly 10” to 18” per plant.
In ideal conditions, this stonecrop can spread well and look a bit like a tall ground cover.
The foliage of Lemon Ball stonecrop varies from a chartreuse hue to a blue-gray or blue-green color. Most varies display a vibrant, lemon-lime, greenish-yellow tone.
The stems sprout tiny succulent leaves that look somewhat like spruce branches.
Flowering and Fragrance
When lemon ball blooms in summer, the flowers are a lovely, tiny yellow star-shape. The blooms have little to no scent to the human nose. But, they attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
Light & Temperature
Lemon ball sedum prefers full sun and will thrive with several hours of sunlight a day.
It can survive in part sun (roughly four to six hours per day), but it will not get thick and robust without lots of sun.
Lemon ball grows hardy in USDA zones 4-9 but thrives in heat zones 6-9. The lemon ball stonecrop will not survive in temperatures below -10° to 0° degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering and Feeding
Overwatering is one of the main problems the sedum stonecrop can experience. It’s best to allow the soil to dry out between watering. Do not want to water these plants every single day.
Sedums are drought-tolerant, thriving in warm temperatures without water for days at a time.
Sedum lemon ball also requires little in the way of fertilizer.
One application of granular plant fertilizer once a year is enough in most cases. If you use dry fertilizer, water it into the soil for the stonecrop to absorb it.
Soil & Transplanting
Sedum lemon ball does best in soil with a pH of 6.5 and higher. As a side note this plant can handle poor soil and periods of brief drought.
Stonecrop can thrive in soil that gets a bit acidic and alkaline. Lemon ball stonecrop can handle mild environmentally salty soils.
The most crucial thing is to have well-drained soil and avoid excessive watering. Overwatering will destroy the root system fast.
Sedum will do better in somewhat dry soil than in overly-wet soil. Allowing your Sedum lemon ball to sit in water-logged soil can kill the plant.
If you plan to propagate Sedum lemon ball, take stem cuttings in early summer.
Grooming And Maintenance
Sedums do not need much maintenance aside from occasional watering during dry spells.
Plant lemon ball as a partial ground cover, border edging, in rock gardens, xeriscapes, planters or flower boxes with bright light.
A Sedum lemon ball plant does the job anywhere you want a low-maintenance plant in full sun.
It’s best to trim back dead foliage in spring for yearly cleanup before new growth begins.
Trim back overgrowth that spreads into unwanted parts of your landscape.
How To Propagate Stonecrop
Lemon ball sedum plants can live for years. If you have an old plant consider propagating it to keep the Sedum going.
To propagate, take clippings, leaving enough stem to sprout new roots.
Keep the new clippings out of direct sun to prevent them from burning up. Plant the cuttings in dry soil for a week in partial light to allow new roots to form.
Water lightly in the first couple of weeks without over-saturating the soil.
If the stonecrop starts to get crowded, transplant some of the Sedum to another area. Space clusters roughly ten inches apart or more.
Cut out a portion of the Sedum lemon ball with both roots and leaves, and replant in full or part sun.
Stonecrop Lemon Ball Pests and Diseases
Lemon ball sedum is highly resistant to most pests and diseases.
Even deer typically steers clear this plant. Insects such as moths and mealybugs tend to avoid this Sedum.
The most frequent disease your lemon ball is likely to encounter is root rot from overwatering.
Sedums are simple plants to grow. They do well in various climates and require minimal care.
With once-a-year grooming and infrequent watering, you can enjoy these bright chartreuse plants all summer long, without much worry over pests, deer, or drought.