Split Rock Plant: The Unique and Easy-to-Care-For Succulent 🌵

We thought it might be fun to create a focus post every week on one specific balcony garden plant. As with all of our articles, remember to think about conditions on your balcony or patio as well as verify whether it’s a good choice if you have a family pet friend. So, on to our first feature plant, the loveable Split Rock.

The Split rock plant, also known as Pleiospilos nelii, is a unique succulent native to South Africa. This plant is characterized by its gray-green stone-like leaves separated by a cleft down the center, giving it the appearance of a split rock. Split rocks are relatively small, growing only a few inches in height, making them perfect for indoor gardening.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that is both visually striking and easy to care for, this plant is an excellent choice. These plants require minimal watering and can thrive in bright, indirect light. With proper care, split rock plants can produce beautiful yellow or white flowers that bloom in the summer months.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, the split rock is a fascinating addition to any collection. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about growing and caring for split rock plants, from their unique characteristics to their preferred growing conditions. So let’s dive in and discover the world of split rock plants together. If you have a chance, check out this video by “Sucs for You!” (source: youtube.com) for a brief overview.

Overview of the Split Rock Plant

The split rock plant is aptly named.

Here at Balcony Garden Paradise, we are very fond of this unique and fascinating plant. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of this plant, including its description, habitat and range, and uses.

Description of Split Rock Plant

The split rock plant, also known as Pleiospilos nelii, is a small succulent that is native to South Africa. It is a perennial plant that has two to four gray-green leaves that are separated by a cleft down the center. The leaves are thick and fleshy, and have a stone-like appearance, which gives the plant its common name.

Split Rocks produce spectacular flowers that have a coconutty smell. The flowers are yellow or white, and they bloom in the fall or spring. The plant is easy to care for and can be a great addition to any succulent collection.

Habitat and Range

The split rock plant is native to South Africa and thrives in arid and semi-arid environments. It prefers bright, unmodified light and can be cultivated outdoors in warmer climates, in USDA regions 9-11.


The split rock plant is primarily grown as an ornamental plant. It is a popular choice among succulent enthusiasts due to its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. The plant can be grown in pots or in rock gardens, and it can be used to create interesting and eye-catching displays.

In addition to its ornamental uses, this unique plant has some medicinal properties. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, headaches, and stomach problems. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these treatments.

The Split Rock is a fascinating succulent that can be a great addition to any collection. With its low maintenance requirements and interesting appearance, it is a great choice for both beginner and experienced succulent growers.

Cultivation of the Split Rock Plant


The split rock plant can be propagated through seeds or by division. To propagate through seeds, collect the seeds from the plant after the flowering season. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them in sandy soil. Keep the soil damp but not too wet until the seeds germinate.

To propagate through division, wait until the plant has produced offsets. Carefully remove the offsets and plant them in sandy soil. Water the offsets sparingly until they have established roots.

Growing Conditions

Split rock plants prefer bright, unmodified light and dry, arid, and semi-arid climates. They thrive in the spring and autumn seasons and detest cold weather. When cultivated outdoors, split rock plants perform best in warmer climates (in 9-11 USDA regions).

When dealing with a split rock plant, it is recommended to use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts coarse sand with small pebbles added to ensure good drainage. Very little water is needed during the growing season, and you do not fertilize the plants. Make sure NOT to water on the plant itself. Water directly in the soil.

Pests and Diseases

Split rock plants are generally pest and disease-free. However, they can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. To prevent infestations, inspect the plant regularly and remove any affected areas immediately.

Overwatering can cause root rot, which can be fatal for the plant. To prevent root rot, make sure the soil is well-draining and avoid watering the plant too frequently.

In conclusion, split rock plants are relatively easy to propagate and care for. By following the proper growing conditions and taking preventative measures against pests and diseases, you can enjoy the beauty of this unique succulent for years to come.

Care and Maintenance of a Split Rock

Taking care of a split rock is easy, and it only requires minimal maintenance. Here are some tips on how to keep your plant healthy and thriving.


Split rock are drought-tolerant succulents that can survive long periods without water. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid overwatering your plant, as this can lead to root rot. We recommend watering your split rock plant once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) and once every two months during the dormant season (fall and winter).

When watering your split rock plant, make sure to soak the soil thoroughly and let the excess water drain out of the pot’s bottom. Avoid getting water on the plant’s leaves or stem, as this can cause rot. We also recommend using a well-draining soil mix that allows excess water to drain away quickly.


Split rock do not require frequent fertilization, but you can give them a boost during the growing season (spring and summer) by applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. We recommend diluting the fertilizer to half-strength and applying it once a month.

Avoid fertilizing your split rock plant during the dormant season (fall and winter), as this can cause the plant to grow too quickly and become weak and leggy.


Split rock plants do not require pruning, but you can remove any dead or damaged leaves or stems to keep your plant looking neat and tidy. We recommend using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.

In conclusion, taking care of a split rock plant is easy and straightforward. By following these simple tips, you can keep your plant healthy and thriving for years to come.

Harvesting and Storage of Split Rock Plant

When to Harvest

You should harvest a Split rock when the flowers have dried up and the seed pods have turned brown. The timing of the harvest is crucial, as harvesting too early or too late can result in poor-quality seeds. You should aim to harvest the seed pods when they have turned brown and are starting to split open. You should also make sure to harvest the seed pods before they fall off the plant.

How to Harvest

To harvest Split Rock, carefully remove the seed pods from the plant using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Make sure to handle the seed pods gently to avoid damaging them. Once you have harvested the seed pods, place them in a dry, well-ventilated area to allow them to dry out completely. You should make sure to remove any debris or plant material from the seed pods before storing them.


To store Split rock seeds, you should place them in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or plastic bag. Make sure to label the container with the date of harvest and the variety of Split rock. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Split rock seeds can remain viable for several years if stored properly.

Harvesting and storing Split rock seeds is a simple process that requires careful timing and handling. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can ensure that you harvest high-quality seeds that will produce healthy, vigorous plants.


As you can see, the split rock is aptly named.
As you can see, the split rock plant is aptly named!

In this article, we have learned that the split rock, also known as Pleiospilos Nelii, is a fascinating succulent plant native to South Africa. This plant is known for its unique appearance, with two to four gray-green stone-looking leaves separated by a cleft down the center.

We have also learned that the plant is a relatively easy plant to care for, making it an excellent choice for novice growers. It can thrive in semi-arid and arid areas, making it perfect for rock gardens or windowsill gardens.

To care for a split rock, we recommend providing it with well-draining soil, plenty of sunlight, and infrequent watering. Overwatering can be detrimental to the plant’s health, so it’s essential to allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.

In addition, the split rock is a slow-growing plant that can take several years to reach its full size. However, once it reaches maturity, it can produce beautiful yellow or white flowers that are a sight to behold.

In summary, the split rock plant is an excellent addition to any succulent collection. Its unique appearance, easy care requirements, and beautiful flowers make it a plant that we highly recommend for both novice and experienced growers alike. To find out more about succulents and more sustainable plants, read our article “10 Best Water-Conserving Balcony Garden Plants“.

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