Pleiospilos compactus Schwantes
Mimicry Plant, Split Rock, Stone Plant
Pleiospilos compactus subsp. compactus, Pleiospilos longibracteatus, Pleiospilos optatus, Punctillaria optata
Pleiospilos compactus is a small succulent that grows with 1 to 3 leaf pairs and may form small mats. The leaves are variable in shape, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. They are grayish-green and covered with dark green dots.
The flowers are usually solitary and stalkless, yellow, pale yellow, or pink, and appear from summer to fall.
The specific epithet "compactus (kom-PAK-tus)" means "compact" and refers to the compact growth habit of this species.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affects the way they need to be treated in cultivation.
The basics of care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
This species is native to Cape Province, South Africa.
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