Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Splitrock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant
Pleiospilos nelii

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pleiospilos (plee-oh-SPIL-os) (Info)
Species: nelii (NEL-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Pleiospilos pedunculata
Synonym:Pleiospilos tricolor

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 36 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive catt0es On Apr 27, 2012, catt0es from Fairfield, CA wrote:

Ultimately positive, that is... After many killings, I got this last one right. I'm in zone 9b. Cordelia, part of Fairfield, ca. Windy, windy, windy. My split rock gets accidental drops of water. That's it. It's potted with string of pearls, so, think bright shade. Maybe an hour of sun touches it at noon. Maybe not even that. And it is big and firm. Like the size of a haas avocado.the soil it's in is void of nutrients, crusty, dry, and holds almost no water, like a bad biscuit. That plant wants only a nano minute of humidity from what little water flashes by its root hairs. I leave it right where it's at year round. I've had this one for 3 years now. I understand they like to suck up the humidity in the night. They may well feed on dew drops? It's not humid here. Can't grow this in western Washington. Even if u don't water it, the air is way too damp, even sheltered.

Positive Spleen On Jun 14, 2009, Spleen from Denver, CO wrote:

I only recently got this at Lowe's after spending a very long time trying to only bring home one succulent. I stuck it in a pot and put it in a shaded area on my front porch. My roommate came home and said she had to stop and stare at it as it was so odd looking. I only wish it were hardy here. I'd have a nice collection of them in the yard.

Neutral pford1854 On Sep 7, 2008, pford1854 from Marion, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

Printed from Label from the store:
Known as "Split Rock". Native to Africa. Succulent pair of leaves form a clefted "egg-shape" known as a bi-lobe. Porus soil with excellent drainage. Protect from frost. Provide bright light/sun; hardy to 32F; to 2" tall. Water thoroughly when soil is dry.

Neutral gray_53 On Jul 29, 2008, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

A lover of succulents, I just picked one up from Lowe's. The staff had of course left it over watered and pot-bound. Stay tuned for updates.

Positive Mr_Cleaver On Jan 18, 2007, Mr_Cleaver from Reeders, PA (Zone 4a) wrote:

Just so everyone knows, these plants are supposed to have one pair of leaves. Each year the old pair is consumed by the new leaf pair. If you water during the regeneration, then the plant may keep the old pair. Warmth is also a factor for a complete cycle for the regeneration to occur at the proper time. The cycle is just like Lithops.

Positive IslandGurl On Dec 3, 2006, IslandGurl from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is my first year growing succulents, and after trial and error I found that this species seems to prefer a warm area out of direct sunlight, mostly shade even. Definitely protected from full sun.

Mine has not flowered yet, but it is splitting for the second time this year, and has produced a small baby that has been repotted on its own.

Make sure not to overwater! And all of the tips I've received on growing this plant told me not to water it when it is splitting, just leave it alone. I've done so, and had success.

Positive daisyavenue On Sep 7, 2004, daisyavenue from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is such a fun plant for children. They do best if they are left dry, are fun for show and tell and are just silly to look at for them. They can be squished quite easily so it is best if little fingers do not try to touch them.

Positive palmbob On Jul 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

called Split Rocks, Pleiospilos make great oddities in the garden, and in containers. This species forms a nearly spherical plant of pale mottled green. I have had one in a cactus garden 9 years and though it LOOKs like it should rot, it seems pretty hardy, even in cold, wet winters and light frosts. In southern California, this plant blooms off and on- sometimes in winter, sometimes in summer


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Brea, California
Brentwood, California
Carlsbad, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Fairfield, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Paradise, California
Perris, California
Pittsburg, California
Pleasant Hill, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
Thousand Oaks, California
Lake Mary, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Metairie, Louisiana
North Augusta, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Covington, Texas
Portland, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Round Rock, Texas

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