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Pleisopilos nelii "Split Rock"

In their native environment these little "mesembs" grow in nutritionally poor soil in arid, hot regions. The bodies of those with "windows" are totally buried in the soil to shield them from the searing sun with just the tips exposed to let in the light. In cultivation, we must treat them a bit differently.

Plant them with their bodies above soil. They might rot, if buried, due to higher moisture content in the air and soil. Since mimicry plants have adapted to harsh, poor conditions, little or no fertilizer is required.


Fenestraria 'Baby Toes'
Fenestraria 'Baby Toes'

Plants will announce their growing season when new growth emerges from the center of the plant. The old leaves must not be removed for the sake of neatness, as the new growing leaves absorb water and nutrition from them. The plants will not need additional water during the time that they are absorbing moisture and nutrients from the old leaves. After the old leaves are dry skins, then they can be carefully removed with safety.

Mimicry plants have shallow roots which can also absorb atmospheric night time moisture. Water need will be noticeable by slight softening and wrinkling of new leaves, and will depend on heat and humidity. Water during the morning so plants can dry off before evening. Water thoroughly when you do water, which causes greedy roots to immediately swell as they drink their fill. Let plants go dry between waterings; check soil with your finger at least a couple inches down inside container to make sure soil is totally dry. Mimicry plants hate cold and dampness. It's best not to water on cold, cloudy days. Best rule: When in doubt, don't water. Soil should be very porous and well draining.

Fauc tuberculosa 'Tiger Jaws'
Fauc tuberculosa
'Tiger Jaws'

Mimicry plants, for the most part, like filtered sun outdoors, and good bright light indoors. Be careful not to keep plants too close to window in summer, as sun coming through the window glass may burn tender bodies. These plants do equally well planted individually or in a decorator bowl with a few stones placed for effect.

Please note: Treat Faucaria ("Tiger Jaws") and Neohenricia sibbetti like regular succulents. They will want more water than the other mimicry plants.

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