Pleiospilos Nelii

Pleiospilos Nelii - Split Rock Plant
Pleiospilos Nelii – Split Rock Plant

Pleiospilos Nelii looks a little like a Lithops, however it is a different species and a larger plant. It is a stemless succulent, very small and grows to look like rocks.

Sometimes called Split Rock or living granite, Pleiospilos flower in summer, while Lithops flower in winter.

Only 4 species, with P compactus having 5 sub species, so if you like 9 varieties. It is known by a few names including Kwaggavygies and comes from the Karoo area between the the eastern and western cape in South Africa, so summer rain and little winter rain.

Colour differs however all have the classic split down the centre.

This is a low maintenance plant, easy to grow indoors, and if you can get both light and watering correct you are up and running.

Pleiospilos Nelii -Flower
Pleiospilos Nelii -Flower

How to Grow Pleiospilos Nelii – Split Rock

  • Position
    A position where the plant gets plenty of bright indirect light is ideal. Morning sun is usually OK however not hot afternoon sun.
  • Temperature
    Aim for around 60F – 85F (approx 15 – 30C) Pleiospilos will take lower temperatures but not frosts and freezes. Any temperature below 41F (5C) for prolonged periods can cause problem.
  • Watering
    Most species like a dry winter, P. Nelii however likes a little in winter. One watering technique we use is to water the plant deeply and then do not water for another 3 weeks.
    You may also notice that plant begins to get a little soft, usually a sign. That it needs watering.
  • Fertiliser
    A little slow release fertiliser when repotting is all that is generally needed. Usually in early winter and just a little low nitrogen type fertiliser.
  • Soil/Potting Mix
    A very free draining potting mix is essential. Most specialist cactus and succulent mixes will do for a start, and then add 50% extra drainage material such as pumice if you think your mix is not open enough.
  • Repotting
    You will only need to repot every 4 – 6 years as the potting mix begins to break down or the plant outgrows the pot.

    Do not water your Split Rock plant for 10 -14 days after repotting. Repotting can cause root damage and this pause in watering allows the roots that may have been damaged to callus over.

How to Propagate Pleiospilos Nelii

Easy from seed sown in summer.

  • Soak the seeds in room temperature water for 12 – 24 hours.
  • Use a normal propagating mix with 50% washed sand.
  • Sow seeds on the surface
  • Cover with a very thin layer of sand
  • Keep the seeds moist using a mist spray so as not to move or disturb them.
  • As the seeds germinate reduce watering.
  • Grow on until seedlings are are around 1/2 inch (1.3cm) in height.
  • Pot up into individual pots.