Botanical name: Pachyphytum oviferum
Moonstones Plant also called Sugar Almond Plant is an excellent addition to any succulent collection. It bears succulent, egg-shaped leaves. The leaves are pale blue-green to bluish-purple, looking like a sugared almond confection and hence the name, Sugar Almond. The inflorescence is comprised of 1 ft stem bearing scarlet, bell-shaped flowers which appear in the cold season. It can grow to a height of about 6 in. and a spread of 1 ft. The white stems bear up to 15 leaves each. The name Pachyphytum oviferum means a thick plant bearing eggs in reference to the thick leaves. Moonstones Plant is native to the rocky cliffs of Mexico.
Moonstones Plant grows best in bright light to full sunlight; however, protect the plant from hot midday sun. Turn the pot a quarter turn every few days to ensure uniform growth of the plant. Elongated stems and faded foliage is a sign that the plant is not getting adequate light. Should you choose to take the plant outdoors, gradually acclimatize it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves.
Water Moonstones Plant thoroughly during the hot season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Water very infrequently in the cold season. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Avoid wetting the leaves as it can lead to rotting. Water from the bottom instead. Use room temperature water to avoid plant shock.
To test the watering situation, feel the firmness of the lower leaves. If the leaves are firm, no watering is required. If the leaves feel soft, the plant needs water.
Average warmth temperatures between 16-260C are ideal for Moonstones Plant. The sudden change in temperature between day and night is excellent for this plant.
Average room humidity is ideal for Moonstones Plant. The plant has no need for high humidity.
Feed Moonstones Plant every 3 months during the growing period with a water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal.
Repot Moonstones Plant only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Avoid touching the leaves as too much touching can leave marks on the leaves. Use a shallow rather than a deep pot as the plant has shallow roots. The pot should only be 1 size larger than the previous one. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole as waterlogging can lead to root-rot. Use sandy or rocky soil to mimick the soil in their natural habitat.
Prune Moonstones Plant by removing the dead or diseased leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Cut off the spent flower stem to maintain your plant neat and tidy.
Propagate Moonstones Plant from leaf cuttings; take a young leaf drom the center of the rosette. Allow the cuttings to dry (callous) for 1-3 days before planting. Place the leaf on slightly moist free-draining soil, Ensure the pot has drainage hole(s) to avoid waterlogging which can lead to rotting. Water sparingly, keep the soil barely moist. Once a new rosette has formed, pot up in a new pot. Pluck off the older leaf when it dries up.
Overwatering or underwatering are the causes of leaf drop in Moonstones Plant. Water thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Leggy Moonstones Plant is an indication that the lighting is inadequate; the plant is reaching for light. Move it to a more brighter spot.
The cause of brown soft spots in Moonstones Plant is Leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation. Ensure there is free air circulation at all times.
Rotting plant base followed by yellowing and shrivelled leaves in Moonstones Plant is an indication of basal stem-rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions. Avoid overwatering, ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining.
Moonstones Plant is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow in the home.