How to grow Pleiospilos
Pleiospilos (Pleiospilos N.E.Br., 1925) are a genus of succulent plants belonging to the Aizoaceae family, originating in South Africa.
These plants are recognized for having two opposite fleshy leaves that grow in the center of two other leaves which then wither and dry; at the center of the two leaves their flowers are born.
Their shape is reminiscent of granite stones, so as to blend into the ground as a form of defense and camouflage. For this reason the Pleiospilos are also called “living stones”.
The following species belong to this genus:
– Pleiospilos bolusii (Hook. F.) N.E. Br .;
– Pleiospilos compactus Schwantes;
– Pleiospilos compactus subsp. canus H.E.K. Hartmann & Liede;
– Pleiospilos compactus subsp. fergusoniae H.E.K. Hartmann & Liede;
– Pleiospilos compactus subsp. minor H.E.K. Hartmann & Liede;
– Pleiospilos compactus subsp. sororius H.E.K. Hartmann & Liede;
– Pleiospilos nelii Schwantes;
– Pleiospilos simulans N.E. Br ..
In this card we will see how to grow Pleiospilos according to the pedological and climatic needs of this kind.
The first attention must be immediately made to the choice of the substrate in which to cultivate the Pleiospilos; these plants need very draining soils composed of fertilized earth and very coarse sand in order to avoid the accumulation of humidity and stagnation water.
Once the suitable substratum has been chosen, it is necessary to place these plants in full sun and ensuring the Pleiospilos with moderate watering; water supplies must be given when the two old leaves are dried and in the period from March to September. Once in September and throughout the autumn and winter the watering must be completely suspended and then resumed in March.
It must be remembered that these plants, if grown outdoors in winter, must not fall below 5 or 7 ° C; which is why, in cold climates these plants can only be grown in a protected and heated environment.
As far as multiplication is concerned, Pleiospilos can be reproduced by dividing the plant by using deep vessels for transplanting in order to accommodate their long roots.
However, Pleiospilos can also be reproduced by seed; in this case the sowing should be done from the month of March in very fine sand, taking care not to bury the seeds which are very small, keeping the sand constantly moist and keeping the containers in a shady position and at a temperature of around 21 ° C.