Pleiospilos nelii: How to Grow and Care for Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant

Pleiospilos nelii Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant

Scientific name: Pleiospilos nelii

Common name: Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant

There are two gray-green leaves on this egg-shapedSucculent. New leaves grow at right angles. TheSplit Rock is perfect for a windowsill garden. Water is limited in the winter and summer. There are orange blooms that smell like coconut in the winter.

Quick Look at Pleiospilos nelii

  • 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

General Care for Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”

“Split Rock” is a perfect example of mimicry. A plant can evolve to resemble something around it. In the case of “Split Rock,” Pleiospilos nelii mimics stones, making camouflage to blend in.

The leaves of “Split Rock” have small specks on them. These windows allow sunlight to penetrate into the body of the plant, so it is able to photosynthesize.


“Split Rock” needs a bit less water than other plants. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Water is limited during the winter. Over-watering can cause yourSplit Rock to rot.

Where to Plant

If you live in a zone that gets colder than 30 F, it’s best to plant this plant in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in both full and partial sun.

Plant in sandy soil. Split Rock does well on windowsills.

How to Propagate Pleiospilos nelii “Split Rock”

By division or seeds, “Split Rock” can be created. It can take quite some time to grow a full-sized plant from a seed, so be aware if you are new to growing from seed.


The leaves of the Split Rock can be divided. It’s a good idea to remove clumps in the spring to make room for new leaves.

Use a sterile knife to remove a leaf from the main plant. Allow it to be calloused for a day or two, and then place it in sandy soil.


You can easily grow “Split Rock” with seeds from the flower Pod or purchased online. You should sow your seeds in a warm place in the summer.

If you want to get the best results, soak your seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. Don’t let the soil get too wet until seeds grow.


The soil is without much organic material. If you use a sandy soil, don’t fertilize it unless it’s during its growing time.

Often Confused With

The term “Split Rock” is often confused with “Limons”.


  1. Pleiospilos nelii (Split Rock, Cleft Stone, Mimicry Plant) – Wikipedia

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