How to Care for Your Pleiospilos nelii Royal Flush Plant

The Pleiospilos nelii 'Royal Flush' plant, also known as the split rock plant, is a succulent native to South Africa. Here are some care tips to help your plant thrive
A split rock exposed to sunlight and flowering.

Are you a true succulent gardener? If so, you should consider adding the Split Rock variety to your outdoor garden or indoor succulent collection. The Split Rock is a versatile succulent that can serve as a decorative centerpiece for your home or ground cover. Split Rock only grows a few inches high and has two to four stone-like leaves divided by a cleft in the middle.

But how do you care for Pleiospilos Nelii Royal Flush Plant? In its natural environment, Split Rock usually grows in dry, desert climates. You must try to mimic these conditions if growing it at home. Use a good soil mix and always keep the soil almost dry. The succulent should be watered sparingly. Split Rock also loves the sun, so ensure to place it in a south-facing window, and during Summer, bring them outdoors to enjoy filtered light. The succulent feeds on its older leaves, so fertilization is unnecessary.

Read this guide for everything you need about growing and caring for Pleiospilos nelii.

Pleiospilos nelii Royal Flush Plant: Quick Overview

Before discussing how to care for your Pleiospilos nelii Royal Flush Plant, it is essential to know what this succulent is.

Pleiospilos Nelii’ Royal Flush’ is a distinctive blooming succulent native to South Africa. It is a mesemb (leaf succulent that thrives in hot, dry climates) and a member of the Aizoaceae family.

Split Rock typically grows up to a few inches high. It has two to four purple or gray-green leaves, which assume a curved shape.

The leaves look like stones and are divided by a crack or cleft, hence why this succulent goes by the name Cleft Stone, Living Rock Plant, or Mimicry Plant.

Split Rock is generally nontoxic to humans or animals, which makes it great for your indoor or outdoor garden if you are a pet lover.

A split rock on the ground.
It is a mesemb and a member of the Aizoaceae family.

However, experts classify mesembs as the most difficult succulents to maintain, meaning caring for your Split Rock could be tricky. This ad will end in 11

How to Care for Pleiospilos nelii Royal Flush Plant

Caring for Split Rock is more complex than other succulents. You must closely monitor its adaptability and follow its growth habits in your environment. Here’s what to do to help your Split Rock thrive:

1. Watering

Split Rock is drought tolerant. The succulent can go for a long time without water, which makes it the perfect plant for anyone with a full-time job.

Watering should be done during the growing season, usually between Spring and early Fall. You wait until the soil is completely dry and deep soak it.

Your watering schedule should be drastically decreased to once every few weeks in the winter when temperatures drop.

Remember that too much watering might lead to Split Rock cracking and finally rotting. So, before you water again, be careful to inspect the soil and the sturdiness of the leaves.

If the leaves are still green, but the ground feels nearly dry, your succulent doesn’t need watering.

Also, remember that a healthy Split Rock will only have two pairs of leaves at any particular time. When your succulent begins to grow more than four leaves or even shows a tiny crack on its skin, you are overwatering it.

Avoid watering your succulent for a week or so when you notice these signs.

2. Light requirements

Split Rock requires partial shade to full sun to thrive. That means you should expose it to maximum light if growing it indoors, particularly in Winter when the cold may compromise the succulent’s health.

Split rock exposed to sunlight.
Split Rock requires partial shade to full sun to thrive.

Placing it in a south-facing window will help meet this requirement. If your house doesn’t have a south-facing window or another location where the succulent can get adequate light, consider buying and installing artificial grow lights to complement natural light.

You could also plant Split Rock in your outdoor garden to get maximum light but protect it from the harsh afternoon sun and rain.

3. Humidity and temperature

The Split Rock thrives in indoor environments that are less humid. It is susceptible to extreme changes in humidity levels, so ensure you provide proper aeration or misting that is easy to regulate if you live in a high-humidity region.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that this succulent is not cold-tolerant. You might be forced to take some measures to promote survival outdoors, but eventually, you must move it indoors to ensure it survives the winter.

The ideal temperature for this succulent is 18-25 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can survive in slightly cooler temperatures if cared for well.

But if temperatures drop below one degree Fahrenheit, you have to move it indoors, and that’s the reason it is advisable to grow your Split Rock in a pot.

4. Soil and pot size

Consider mixing regular soil with some pumice to promote healthy growth for your Split Rock. Doing this improves the drainage and aeration of the soil mix.

It also provides the mineral, rocky mix that Split Rock prefers. Better drainage also makes the soil dry out faster, which helps prevent root rot.

A split rock exposed to sunlight.
Split Rock has an elongated tap root, so you may want to ensure the pot is at least 4″ deep.

The best soil for your Split Rock succulent is a combination of cactus mix and pumice. If mixing the soil yourself, aim for a 25/75 ratio of cactus mix to pumice.

Split Rock has an elongated tap root, so you may want to ensure the pot is at least 4″ deep. Proper drainage is key, so ensure the pot has a hole at the base.

Don’t add a layer of rocks at the base of the pot. This won’t help with drainage and will only raise the water table, which may cause root rot.

5. Propagating

Split Rock may be propagated from seeds or by division. Since these succulents rarely produce offsets, gardeners usually propagate from seeds.

Collect Split Rock seeds from flower pods during Summer to propagate this succulent through seeds.

Soak the freshly collected seeds in water for a day, then plant them in moist sandy soil for better results.

The soil should be kept slightly moist during the germination stage. You must be patient when propagating Split Rock from seeds because they take longer to sprout.

To propagate through division, get a sharp, sterilized knife to cut out a cluster of the succulents during the Spring season before new leaves shoot. 

Allow the newly cut succulent to callus for some days, then transplant it in well-draining soil.

6. Repotting

Split Rock is a slow grower, so you should only repot it every three to five years. To repot, choose a new pot that is about 4 inches deep with holes in the bottom.

That should allow proper drainage for your succulent and give its roots enough room to spread out. You can also grow your Split Rock directly on the ground in your garden.

But you must ensure the soil and drainage conditions are ideal to prevent root rot caused by poor drainage and freezing.

Additionally, adding rocks at the top of your succulent soil would make Split Rock feel more homely. Ensure the soil covers at least one-third of the stem, exposing two-thirds.

Lithops in a pot.
Adding rocks at the top of your succulent soil would make Split Rock feel more homely.

After successfully transplanting your Split Rock, avoid watering it for up to a week to help its roots grow and acclimate to the new soil.

You can water after a week if necessary. Avoid disturbing or repotting your Split Rock during its dormant phase.

Only repot when the succulent starts its flowering cycle, which typically begins in the early Spring.

7. Fertilization

Most succulents thrive even without being fertilized regularly. Fertilizing is especially unnecessary for Split Rock since it absorbs nutrients from its old leaves, and new ones start growing to replace them.

You must be careful with the type of fertilizer you choose if you choose to fertilize your Split Rock. Go for a fertilizer with low nitrogen and high phosphorus and potassium levels.

That’s because nitrogen-rich fertilizers lower the absorption rate of potassium, which activates about 60 enzymes responsible for root growth.

Nitrogen also exposes the succulent to dreadful diseases. The ideal fertilizer should have a balanced calcium, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, and iron ratio.

Alternatively, you can use organic fertilizers since they don’t leave chemical residue in the soil. Orchid bark would be a great organic matter.

The bark decomposes slowly, giving excellent organic material without making the soil cakey. 

8. Grooming and maintenance

Split rock will mostly take care of itself. So, you don’t have to worry too much about grooming and pruning. However, you can remove the old leaves if you notice that your succulent has not fully absorbed them. You should only do this if they can come off with ease.

Lithops in windowsill.
You can remove the old leaves if you notice that your succulent has not fully absorbed them.

Don’t pull the leaves if they are firmly attached to the succulent. Allow them to shed on their own to avoid damaging or harming the succulent.

Bottom Line

Caring for Split Rock is easier than it sounds if you are patient and careful. These succulents only require close monitoring of temperature and water requirements to thrive. If you follow the above tips, you will be on your way to having a quality ornamental plant in your garden.

Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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