Split Stone Succulent: A Tiny Beauty That Packs a Punch

Succulent lovers, brace yourselves for a delightful surprise in the plant world!

split stone succulent

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, enter the Pleiospilos Nelii, or as we affectionately call it, the split stone succulent.

Straight out of sunny South Africa, this little buddy thrives in the dry, desert-like spots.

Types Of Split stone

The most well-known type of split stone is the liver plant, also called Pleiospilos simulans. But there are many more variations to explore!

Split Stone Vs Lithops

At first glance, split stone and lithops may seem similar, causing some confusion. However, the main difference between the two lies in their flowering patterns.

While both plants bloom in the fall, lithops produce only one flower at a time, whereas split stones can produce multiple blooms in a single cycle.

split stone succulent

Split Stone – A Marvel of Nature

Meet the friendly Pleiospilos Nelii, or as we fondly call it, the split stone succulent! Hailing from South Africa, this cool plant thrives in dry and arid spots.

Imagine this: no stem, just two to four leaves growing opposite each other, and it tops out at a cute 3.2 inches.

The leaves are like mini hemispheres, about 4 inches across, and they sport a cool green-grey color with a neat crack in the middle—hence the catchy names “cleft stone” and “split rock.”

Oh, and every year, it surprises you with a new pair of leaves.

Now, here’s the winter magic: watch out for these flashy flowers that pop up from the cleft, sometimes stealing the show by outgrowing the plant itself.

They come in various shades like orange, white, yellow, and magenta.

It’s like a succulent carnival every winter – a real treat for us succulent enthusiasts! 

split stone succulent

Pleiospilos Nelii Care – Cultivating a Thriving Split Stone Succulent

To ensure your split stone succulent thrives, pay attention to the following care tips:

1. Climatic Conditions

In warmer regions within USDA zones 9 to 11, split stones can be grown outdoors. But if your area falls outside this range, don’t worry!

You can still cultivate them in containers and bring them indoors as temperatures drop.

2. Soil Requirements

Like all succulents, split stones require well-draining soil. Mimicking their natural environment, opt for soil with minimal organic matter.

Adding sand and pebbles to the mixture will provide the perfect balance.

3. Ideal Light Exposure

split stone succulent

Split stone plants love basking in sunlight. If possible, place them in a spot with full sun exposure.

However, if growing indoors is your only option, partial shade will still suffice. Consider placing them near a south-facing window to provide maximum light.

4. Watering Frequency

Remember that split stones are accustomed to dry conditions.

Therefore, water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

During spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing, reduce watering to once every few weeks.

Be cautious not to overwater, as it may cause the leaves to split or even lead to rot.

5. Fertilization

During late fall, you can lightly fertilize your split stone succulent.

However, avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, as rapid growth can make the plant more susceptible to diseases.

6. Repotting

split stone succulent

As slow growers, split stones don’t require frequent repotting.

However, if your plant has outgrown its pot or the substrate has become less porous, it’s time for a new container.

When repotting, use a shallow pot, no deeper than four inches, and ensure good drainage. An unglazed terracotta pot works best.

7. Pruning

Although minimal, pruning weak branches enhances the plant’s natural beauty.

Remove these branches as soon as the flowers from the previous season fall off to maintain a vibrant appearance.

Propagation of Pleiospilos Nelii

To expand your split stone collection, there are a few propagation methods you can try:

1. Seeds

If you’re patient, you can grow a new split stone from seeds. Soak the seeds for 24 hours, then sow them in lightly moist sand.

Keep the sand damp throughout the germination period, which should take place during the summer.

split stone succulent

2. Division

A quicker and easier method of propagation is through division.

  • Simply cut off a leaf from the parent plant in spring, before new growth appears.
  • Allow the cut part to callous before placing it in a well-draining mix to root.

3. Offsets

Split stone plants produce offsets that can be used for propagation. These offsets develop from the roots of the mother plant.

You can let the offset grow alongside the parent plant or move it to a new pot for a separate plant.

Offset propagation is faster than leaf propagation since the baby plant is already well-formed.

Pest & Problems

The good news is that split stone succulents are resilient against pests and diseases. However, overwatering can lead to rot, so be mindful of your watering habits.

Pay attention to fertilization and adjust it according to the different seasons, avoiding excessive nitrogen feed in late fall.

split stone succulent

Final Words

The split stone succulent, with its unique appearance and showy blooms, is truly a remarkable plant to have.

We hope you found this guide helpful in caring for and propagating this tiny beauty.

Happy planting with your split stone succulent!