Pleiospilos Bolusii (The African Living Rock)

Pleiospilos Bolusii Image

This dwarf succulent is a part of split–rock plants. It camouflages itself as a piece of granite. So close is the resemblance that it is usually impossible to distinguish it among pebbles if the plant isn’t flowering.

Scientific Name:Pleiospilos Bolusii.
Other Names:Mesembryathemum Bolusii, Mimicry plant, Living Rock, Living Stones.
Growth Season:They can grow throughout the year as long as there is water and sunlight. However, they become dormant when the weather is scorching.
Preferred Temperature:The plant is not cold-hardy and will likely die if it stays under 6oC (42.8oF) for a long. Its ideal temperature, however, is 18-38oC (64.4 -100.4oF).
Hardiness Zone:USDA Zone 9b-11b.
Average Mature Height & Width:It grows to 8 cm high and 15 cm wide.
Dormancy: It gets dormant when heat exceeds 38oC (100.4oF).
Toxicity:It is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Pleiospilos Bolusii Summary

Pleiospilos Bolusii Physical Characteristics

This plant is typically unbranched or slightly branched. It is a succulent, perennial, and stemless. The plant has two or four leaves that are usually opposite each other. The leaves are greyish-green or generally dull. They are thick, fleshy, and fused at the base in the opposite position.

In plants with more than two leaves, pairs of leaves are opposite but in alternate directions at different levels. For example, leaves close to the ground are opposite in an east-west orientation. Those on the second level will be opposite in a north-south orientation. 

These leaves are rock-like. Their texture and color make them appear like granite pebbles, almost indistinguishable from the rocks in the environment. As a result, they stay out of predators’ sight. The leaves have particular tissue in which the plants store water in the harsh conditions of their habitat. This plant has showy, yellow, daisy-like flowers. The flowers are pretty big relative to the plant’s height. It produces new leaves in winter, which consume the old ones. 

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Pleiospilos Bolusii Plant Care

It is adapted for desert-like conditions where it gets very little water. Therefore, it must be watered very sparingly during its growing season. This slow-growing plant slows further in intensely hot conditions to conserve water. The compost you plan on should be draining and deep in a deep pot. The pot should be at least 10cm deep. Depth accommodates this succulent’s tap-root. 

It does best when it grows under direct sunlight. You shouldn’t water it in winter when leaves are forming. It doesn’t need watering even in its growing season. 

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Pleiospilos Bolusii Growth

You can propagate the succulent either by seeds or division. Uproot the plant and divide the clumps in early spring, the typical beginning of the growing season. Don’t divide the plant too much because it flowers better when crowded. The succulent usually doesn’t require pruning except to remove remnants of old leaves. 

Repotting often becomes necessary if you notice the taproot outgrowing the current pot. Get a more bottomless pot. Red spider mites are the most common pest for this plant. You can control them using systemic or contact organic pesticides. 

Before you leave …

You can see all plants from the Pleiospilos genus on Succulent City on this page. Or the previous/next plant:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents