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
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Casa Grande, Arizona

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 wes... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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