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Help with split rock and bear paws.

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Help with split rock and bear paws.

Postby LynnTinTin » Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:12 pm

I'm new to the forums and still very new to succulents(bought 3 last year that lived, and bought some more this year).

I've been nervous about buying a split rock, but I saw one about to bloom, and decided to buy it. I've heard these guys don't like a lot of water, and after reading some stuff on the internet I'm worried it's rotting. I haven't watered it at all since I bought it(about 2 weeks ago), because the soil was wet when I got it. The holes concern me.

1 side.
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The other side.
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The plant. It was blooming for a few days, and now it's sending up another.
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Is this normal? Is it rotting? Is it savable, or should I just enjoy it while it lasts?

-----

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Is this sunburn, or something I should be really worried about?

Thanks.
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Postby iann » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:34 pm

Pleiospilos nelii does rot very easily, usually because they are in terrible condition before you even get them. Flowering is a good sign that it isn't dying yet.

The messy leaves you are worried about are dying. This is normal and you should let them go. Every year a new pair of leaves will grow in the split and you must let the older leaves die or you'll end up with a tree instead of a split rock. Then after the new leaves mature they will produce a flower, sometimes up to three flowers from the same pair of leaves. The flowers are very showy, large and a peachy orange colour.

To grow them best you will need quite a lot of sun and quite a lot of heat. Most places this means full sun and even a greenhouse, but where you are maybe they might need a little afternoon shade in summer. So long as you can dry out the old leaves during the summer and get a slight bronze tinge on the leaves then you are doing OK. Yours looks quite green still so give it time to adapt before you try full sun.

Watering is tricky! The first job is to repot into some good soil. These are usually factory grown in peat with fungicides to stop them rotting. I'd be surprised if you can keep it alive for a year in that sort of soil even with your great climate. Get it into something much more gritty and free-draining. Use a pot just a little larger than the roots and then leave it dry for a week or two. You should be able to water these year round, whenever it isn't too hot or too cold. They may go dormant when it is very hot and will need very little water. Just give them sufficient water to keep the youngest leaf pair nice and fat.

The Cotyledon looks fine. The brown on the claws is normal colouring. The brown on the back of the leaf probably isn't sunburn but I'd protect this one from afternoon sun for at least a few weeks. Yellow leaves aren't the best colour. Ideally they can develop a nice blue grey colour with dense hairs. If they go grass green then that is a bit too much shade. These are summer growers here, but it wouldn't surprise me if they become dormant in very high temperatures and could be quite tricky to keep alive.
--ian
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Postby LynnTinTin » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:36 pm

So it looks normal? What a relief. I knew that they were supposed to die as the new ones grew in, but since I've never seen it before, I got worried.

I understand that the Bear paws are supposed to have little claws, it's the brown on the back of that one leaf that concerns me. From what I can see, it's not like that on any of the other leaves.

So should I give the Cotyledon shade? I've had it for a year, it's always just sat outside during summer. I think it's tripled in size since I got it, so I don't want it to stop growing.


Thank you.
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Location: SoCal

Postby iann » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:41 am

I'm not an expert on these. I wouldn't shade it here, but that's not really a good comparison because I hardly have to shade anything here. If it's growing that well I wouldn't change anything. I thought it might be a new plant. If you're worried about that one leaf you could remove it, but I don't think it's anything serious.
--ian
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Postby Buck Hemenway » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:04 pm

I agree on the cotlyledon. No real harm, just a little sun stressed, much more attractive that way. I'll bet the lower leaves that are in the shade of the upper ones are a nice green color.
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Postby LynnTinTin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:38 am

iann- Well, I went ahead and moved them into a spot that get's some shade, because I just received some cactus that I don't want burning. I also don't want the split rock to burn since it's not used to the same amount of sun the bear paws have been getting.

Southern California can be really harsh, so maybe some shade will actually get it to grow even better. It's worth a shot.

Buck Hemenway -I agree. I find it a lot more attractive than the green ones I see at the garden stores. It's "claws" stand out so much better. It's not a big plant yet, but it's a decent amount bigger than when I bought it, and I'm sure it would be even bigger if I had it in some better soil(it's in miracle grow cactus mix) with some fertilizer. All the leaves are a actually yellow green color. However, it was green back when I bought it, and it's leave were small. Now it has nice fat leaves.

Image


Thanks for the help, guys!
I really appreciate it.
LynnTinTin
 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:11 am
Location: SoCal


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