Does anyone have any experience with the Pleiospilos nelii? I looked them up in Plant Files but only see 3 reviews, 1 negative and 2 positive. I am thinking about getting one of them and a set of the living stones (Lithops species) from Logee's for my Mom's birthday. She has a succulent planter already, so she is no stranger to them. I would just hate it if they died quickly, like one DG member said they had happen. Any input you can give me would be great. Thank you!!
Split Rock - Pleiospilos nelii
I find them difficult myself. They are not the easiest mesembs to keep alive. Be very careful about water, they need very little and must be kept on the drier side. There are a lot of sites that give care tips. Check some out and then decide. Mine have survived the longest as indoor plants under lights with infrequent light waterings. I tried some outside but they died in the TX heat and sun. Do some homework as there are other little mesembs that are easier to grow though not nearly as cute!
This little seedling has been in my care for over a year but hasn't grown much. I give it a couple sprays with a water bottle about every 2 weeks. Even with this small amount of water it still hasn't absorbed its old leaves.
Sorry its blurry and to be so pesimistic about the plants.
Thanks for your response. Yours is a cute little guy! That's what is drawing me to them. She already likes strange and unusual things. She has a collection of, get this, lizard statues on rocks. When she told me she was going to start collecting them, I laughed so hard. What a strange thing to collect! Turns out, there are so many statues of lizards on rocks out there, you just have to be on the look out. So, I thought that these rock-looking plants might be a great addition to her succulent planter in her garden window. (Or separately in the window, if you think that would be best.) I was going to find a small lizard to add to the pot, just to complete the gift.
I think climate makes a big difference. They happen to do okay here on my elevated backyard deck in a mineral soil with part decomposed granite (looks like light brown dirt) & pumice. They are okay with a fair amount of direct sun here, but seem to do better in dappled sun or some shelter. I do think they like lots of air circulation, which my deck provides. I don't water them particularly carefully. I grow P nelii, P simulans, P bolusii.
I agree with Amanzed that they seem to do okay here in the So. Calif. coastal climate. I had one for several years in a 4" ceramic pot and it did quite well, developing several sets of leaves and bloomed. It was in mottled light under a tree and got a light sprinkling of water every few weeks along with everything else on the table. But two winters ago I forgot to turn the saucer (which is really there for looks) upside down and we had some extra extended rains and it rotted, so they definitely don't like being soaked.
I'm wondering if your higher humidity in Missouri might make them trickier, and as Newton said just misting would work. That's what I'm doing with my Lithops which I find harder to grow than the Split Rock, and I haven't lost any of the new batch I bought six months ago. Also, I'll definitely keep my lithops pots out of the rain.
I have a few Pleiospilos plants (not nelii) growing with aloes in a community pot by a sunny window here, and they have been trouble-free. The scented flowers are a bonus. Now that I just went and looked, one of them sprouted new leaves today.
Best I can remember (it's been a few years now) they're growing in a moderately rocky mix but nothing extreme. I did lay a couple of inches of chunky gravel at the bottom of the container because it seemed too deep. I water well every 2-3 weeks year-round and the soil goes dry each time.
If there is any trick involved, it's probably to ignore them most of the time. It must be said that our climate helps. It's very mild and most days the relative humidity here hovers between 60% (midday) and 90% (night).
The lizard-on-a-rock story is very funny. The oddities that some of us collect.