Split Rock (Pleiospilos Nelii) Plants:

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How to Grow & Maintain “Split Rock”

One of Split Rock’s (Pleiospilos Nelii’s) most distinctive features is its green or brownish coloration, which reminds one of the scattered stones. The stone-like leaves of this succulent have a gap amongst them, that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as a Living Rock Cactus.

It’s said that growing and maintaining a Split Rock is easy peasy! Expose it to lots of sunlight. Get suitable potting soil and watering requirements just right, then learn about repotting, fertilization, and dealing with diseases. After that, you must understand how to propagate. Then you should have these exquisite little plants around you whenever you like!

Growing & Maintaining a Split Rock (Pleiospilos Nelii) Plant

Growing and maintaining a Split Rock (Pleiospilos Nelii) is simple. Especially if it is exposed to lots of sunlight, proper ventilation, natural light, and well-drained soil. To speed up the process, the succulent will need to be watered frequently during the growing season.

1. Climate Requirements

The succulent plant Split Rock has no stem. It’s a perennial that prefers bright, unmodified light in dry, arid, and semi-arid climates. Thriving in the spring and autumn seasons, it detests cold weather.

When cultivated outdoors, Split Rock performs best in warmer climates (in 9-11 USDA regions). Keep in mind that it cannot endure extreme cold. To make mobility easier, Split Rock succulents should be cultivated in containers rather than in outdoor flower beds.

If you live in a chilly climate, you can purchase a potted succulent that you can bring indoors during the winter. In addition, if you take them outside during the summer, make sure they don’t get wet.

2. Sunlight Requirements

Split Rock requires partial shade to full sunlight exposure to grow happy and healthy. If you are growing it inside, you should give it as much light as possible for it to thrive.

Especially in the winter when chilly temperatures can have an impact on the plant’s overall health.

These criteria should be met by a location near a south-facing window. Because having a no south-facing window or alternative setting. Where you can provide adequate sunlight to your Split Rock might force you to get some grow lights.

Split Rock can also be grown outside in your garden to benefit from the bright light.

However, keep it shaded from the intense heat and rain in the afternoon. It is also worth noting that this plant is not cold hardy.

If you live in an area where the weather drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend growing it in a container or pot so that it may be moved inside as soon as the temperature drops.

3. Soil & Potting Requirements 

As with most succulents, Split Rock requires a well-drained soil that is somewhat weak in organic matter and low in nutrients, as well as a little amount of water.

When choosing the correct soil type for a Split Rock succulent, keep in mind that they don’t need a lot of organic matter. The optimal soil type is as close to their natural habitat as feasible. We propose sandy, less water-retentive soil.

To get the most succulent soil, combine cactus mix with pumice. To make your succulent soil mix, combine a 25 percent cactus mix and a 75 percent pumice mixture.

Alternatively, a mineral mix can be used, although sphagnum peat moss should never be combined with it. For the Split Rock, it is far too nourishing.

Although the roots of these succulents are quite lengthy, you should plant them in containers that are at least 3.5 to 4 inches (8-10 cm) deep to avoid damaging them.

You should never put rocks to the bottom of a succulent pot since this encourages water retention.

4. Watering Requirements

Keep in mind that Split Rock has specific water requirements; thus finding the ideal conditions for them might be difficult.

They require an extremely small amount of water because they grow in desert-like climates and arid regions with little to no rainfall.

Only water a Split Rock succulent during its growing season, which is spring and early fall.

The soil must always be completely dry before watering succulent plants, as any succulent plant enthusiast knows for sure.

A transplanted Split Rock, on the other hand, is a different story. There is no way to avoid watering a newly transplanted Split Rock. In this way, the roots are encouraged to expand.

If the soil in the new container is excessively dry, the plant will not be able to adapt to it. Let the soil dry after the initial watering before watering it again.

After that, you return to your normal watering schedule for that season.

To accelerate development, some sellers and succulent plant producers overwater the succulent plants.

It is not natural for the plant to be treated in this way, and it may lead it to rot as a result.

5. Repotting

Split Rock is a slow-growing plant. As a result, you will not have to repot your Split Rock succulents for a long time.

If you add some rocks to the topsoil, your plant will thrive. The greatest option is something like this beautiful rock.

They will feel more at ease if they are surrounded by rocks (or other porous materials). Cover about 1/3 of the stem in soil, leaving the other 2/3 outside, as if it were a rock on the ground.

If you need to repot your Split Rock succulents, do not repot them or disturb them during their dormant time.

Repotting should be done before the flowering cycle begins. Early spring is when the flowering cycle takes place.

When choosing a new pot, make sure it is at least 4-inches long and has a drainage hole. These pots are ideal for succulents like Split Rock.

6. Fertilization

Even during the growing season, Split Rock succulents self-fertilize. Thus, they do not require external fertilizers. The old plant leaves are used as fertilizer by a Split Rock plant.

If it does not shed the old set of leaves at the end of the season, you probably overwatered the plant during the summer.

Some individuals are tempted to manually remove the old leaves. However, this is not a good idea because the young leaves will consume nutrients from the old ones until they dry out.

Split Rock succulents should only have two opposing leaf sets in good health. With each passing year, your succulent Split Rock produces a new set of opposing leaves to replace the old set.

Remember that succulents like Split Rock do not like wet soil, and overwatering harms them.

7. Prevention and Cure of Pest and Disease Problems

The good news is that this small darling is pest and disease-resistant. As a result, the plant is a dream to care for.

However, rot, as with any other succulent plant, is still a major problem. And it is because of overwatering. So, if you want to cultivate a growing plant, pay attention as to how you do it.

Also, keep an eye on your fertilization and the seasons of the year. As a high-nitrogen feed in late fall will certainly stimulate quick growth, it will do so at the expense of the immune function and, finally, the entire plant.   

Propagating Split Rock (Pleiospilos Nelii) can be grown by division or seeds, just like most succulents. Since it is uncommon for these succulents to produce offsets, most growers will choose the second alternative.

1. Propagating by Seeds

After flowering in the summer, you will need to collect the flower pods if you would like to propagate Split Rock. After the Split Rock flowers have been pollinated, they will develop seed pods.

Preserve newly sown seeds in water one day before planting them in moist sand soil to get the best possible results.

During the germination period, keep the soil moist but not soggy. It takes a long time for these little succulents to emerge from the seed, so patience is required.

2. Propagating by Division

Use a sharp sterile knife to remove a clump in the spring before the succulent has a chance to establish a new set of leaves to propagate your succulents through division.

Allow a few days for the freshly cut plant to callus before replanting it in high-quality sandy soil with good drainage.

Split Rock succulents have rather lengthy roots, therefore they should be planted in containers that are at least 3.5 to 4 inches (8-10 cm) deep.

Succulent pots should always have drainage holes, and rocks at the bottom should never be used because they might cause water retention.

Benefits of Split Rock Succulents

If you have a succulent collection, why not include a Pleiospilos Nelii (Split Rock)?

Split Rock is just as effective as the best hanging succulents in the world:

1. It Produces Attractive Blooms

Pleiospilos Nelii (split rock) generates magnificent and stunning blossoms and flowers that come in a variety of colors. Even if such blossoms are only visible in the winter, you will appreciate seeing them every time they appear.

They will come in white, orange, magenta, and yellow, bringing even more radiance to your space. Especially if you have excellent pink succulents and other attractive plants and flowers.

2. It is Easy to Grow

Similar to how easy it is to grow succulents under a grow light, you will find that cultivating split rock is simple as well. It is easy to grow from seeds collected from a bloom pod.

Alternatively, you can buy the seeds separately. During the summer, start sowing the seeds. Also, do so in a warm location. Pleiospilos Nelii (split rock) is easy to cultivate, which makes it feasible to save a dying succulent.

3. Frequent Repotting is Unnecessary

For many succulent species, repotting them as soon as you get them home from the store is essential. Unfortunately, several of them demand excessive repotting, which you will not be able to do if you have split rock.

The reason for this is that split rocks are slow growers, so they only need to be repotted every three to five years. This makes the task of caring for this succulent a lot easier.

This plant has received the Award of Garden Merit from the British Royal Horticultural Society.

As a special feature, the leaves are separated from each other by an exact straight split in the middle of the plant.

There are only one or two pairs of leaves on a Split Rock at a time. As each year passes, the old leaves are devoured by the new ones.

If the plant receives sufficient water during the regenerative time of the new leaves, it may be able to keep the old pair of leaves as well as the growing set. The dots and speckles attract sunlight, allowing the photosynthetic process to take place.

Split Rocks will reach a full height of 2-5 inches (5-13 cm) and a width of 3-4 inches when fully grown.

Split Rock succulents, like certain other succulents, bloom in the spring. Succulent blooms are unusual to see in the autumn.

They have wonderful blossoms that are huge, daisy-like, brilliant, and smell like coconut.

Flowers on split rock succulents are generally yellow or orange. They can, however, seem pink or white.

Only in the afternoon’s will, their lovely blooms open their petals, and by dusk, they will be closed. For several days, the procedure is repeated until the petal dries out and falls.

What is Pleiospilos Nelii (Split Rock); Its Name and Its Origin

Pleiospilos Nelii is the scientific name for the Split Rock succulent, which is native to South Africa and belongs to the Aizoaceae family.

Pleiospilos Nelli is known in South Africa as kwaggavy (Quagga mesemb) and klipplant (stone plant).

This succulent is also known as a Mimicry Plant since it mimics its surroundings to live. Split Rock succulents blend well with the soil they are planted in, giving them a rocky appearance.

Arid and semi-arid environments are their native home, and this is where they thrive.

As a result, the Pleiospilos Nelii is accustomed to the most erratic rainfall patterns including smaller amounts of water. They obtain most of their water throughout the year, primarily from mist and condensation.

Final Thoughts

This is so obviously an accent plant that looks rare and usual and a must-have for anyone’s collection. However, if you can only have one succulent, have this one because it’s so so easy to grow and maintain and looks stunning.

It does remain us a little of one of those Chinese fortune cookies- just in another color – one would never believe it’s a plant!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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