How to care for and propagate Pleiospilos nelii Split RockPleiospilos nelii Split Rock care and propagation informationPin

Pleiospilos nelii

Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant

This egg-shaped succulent has two gray-green leaves and a cleft down the center. New leaves grow at right angles to the split. “Split Rock” grows well indoors, making it perfect for a windowsill garden. Water sparingly in the winter and summer. Watch for orange blooms that smell like coconut in the winter!

Quick Look:

  • Full sun to partial shade

  • Water sparingly (see below for more information). Do not water in the winter.

  • Plant grows up to 5″ (13 cm) tall
    Plant grows up to 4″ (10 cm) wide

  • Zone 10a (Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)

  • Not cold hardy

  • Propagation by division or seeds

  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals

  • Actively grows in Spring and Fall

Care and Propagation Information

General Care for Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”

Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”is a perfect example of mimicry in botany. Mimicry occurs when a plant evolves to resemble something around it. In the case of “Split Rock,” Pleiospilos nelii mimics stones, creating camouflage to blend in.

“Split Rock” also has small specks on its leaves. These are “windows” which allows sunlight to penetrate into the body of the plant, so it is able to photosynthesize.


“Split Rock” tends to need a bit less water than other succulents. It's best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Water sparingly during the winter. Over-watering can cause your “Split Rock” to burst or rot.

Where to Plant

Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock” is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C), it's best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.

Plant in sandy, well-draining soil. “Split Rock” does well indoors on windowsills.

How to Propagate Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”

“Split Rock” can be propagated by division or by seeds. If you are new to growing from seed, be aware that, like any succulent seed, it can take quite some time to grow a full-sized plant.


Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock” can be propagated by dividing the leaves. Clumps should be removed in the spring before it begins to grow new leaves.

Using a sharp, sterile knife, remove a leaf from the main plant. Allow it to callous over for a day or two, and then place in well-draining sandy soil.


“Split Rock” can be easily grown from seeds harvested from the flower pod or purchased online. Begin to sow your seeds in the summer, in a warm place.

For best results, soak your Pleiospilos nelii seeds in water for 24 hours before planting in a small layer of sandy soil. Keep soil damp, but not too wet, until seeds germinate.


Pleiospilos nelii likes soil without much organic material. Use a well-draining soil (preferably sandy) and do not fertilize unless it is during its growing time.

Often Confused With

Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock” is often confused with Lithops.

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