Moonstones succulent, also known as the pachyphytum oviferum, is a large, low-growing variety and rare kind of succulents that will thrive in the right conditions.
Below you will find information about moonstone succulents as well as tips on how to grow them properly!
Origin and description
The succulent has a pale green, white and blue coloring with the core of the plant being yellow. The moonstone is known to glow slightly in dark locations although it does not emit any light or create shadows.
The succulent can grow up to 15 cm tall and over 30 cm in diameter. The plant emits a small glow at night, but it is not enough to light an entire room or provide any form of illumination for the user.
The succulent is normally found growing in clusters of three or more plants and does best with direct sunlight during the daytime hours. It can survive without water for long periods of time but it will be less susceptible to pests if provided adequate amounts of water every few days.
Moonstone succulent propagation
Moonstone succulents are generally propagated by stem cuttings, but in some cases, they can also be grown from leaf when the plant is not producing offsets. To propagate moonstones by stem cutting:
Find a healthy-looking section of stems that has one or more joints and cut it away with clean pruning shears.
Make sure to leave at least one or two leaf pairs intact on the stem. This will ensure that it has enough energy to produce roots and new growths. There is a chance of success with just a single pair of leaves, but usually, they must have more than this in order for it to work well.
When you take your cutting, cut it just below the joint and make sure that you include a few leaves at least.
Remove any excess leaf material from your stem cutting so all you have is bare stems with leaves. Also, remove any flowers or buds as these will not be useful in propagating this plant and may even lead to rot when they are left on too long.
The next step is to dip your cutting in rooting hormone and plant it directly into a pot filled with soil, or you can simply lay the cuttings on top of the soil if they are going to be used as filler plants around larger succulents that will not need much care. The key here is that you want them held off the ground so that water is not pooling around them and rotting out the base of your stem cutting.
Give it a good drink of freshwater after you have planted it, but don’t drown it either. Let the soil dry out in between watering until new roots are established, then they can be watered more regularly.
Pachyphytum oviferum care
The moonstone succulent is a low-maintenance plant that can grow in many types of lighting. You need to ensure it gets at least four hours of sunlight per day, but it will be fine with less light as well.
You should not place the succulent in direct sunlight, as it will scorch its leaves.
The moonstone succulent can be planted outdoors during the summer months to get more light and fresh air. However, make sure you bring your plant back inside before temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (or about ten degrees Celsius).
The moonstone succulent does not require a special soil or potting mix. It can grow in almost any type of regular, well-draining cactus and succulent soil.
It is okay to use sandier soils if you want, but it may be better to stick with the recommended soil/potting mix if possible.
You can also plant the succulents in a mixture of sand and pebbles. This will help prevent over-watering as well as allow for better air circulation at the base of your plant stems.
The soil should be completely dry before it is watered again, so make sure you check on your plant frequently.
You should also make sure that your potting container has drainage holes at the bottom. If it does not, you can “drill” some yourself or set up a layer of pebbles to help with proper drainage (this is especially important if you are using sand/pebble soil).
If there aren’t any drainage holes, your plant may drown.
Once you have the potting container ready and filled with soil/potting mix, place a layer of rocks or pebbles at the bottom to help improve drainage even more.
The moonstone succulent does not require any special fertilizers. You can use a cactus fertilizer or general-purpose water-soluble plant food to provide the nutrients it needs.
It is also okay to mix up your own fertilizer by using regular houseplant food and mixing in some other supplements such as bone meal, which will help with root development.
You should only fertilize your moonstone succulent every other month, or whenever you see new growth beginning to appear (if using a general-purpose fertilizer). If you are using cactus food exclusively, it is best not to fertilize more than once per year.
If you use slow-release pellets as the only source of fertilizer, you can fertilize once every six months.
The pellets are best placed in the soil around the base of your moonstone succulent’s stem so that it slowly releases nutrients over time as needed by the plant.
If there are clear signs of nutrient deficiency, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth (especially if there is no new growth), it may be time to fertilize.
The moonstone succulent is a very easy-to-care-for plant that requires minimal watering. You should only water it when the top inch (or so) of soil has dried out completely.
You can tell if your cactus needs to be watered by pressing down slightly on the surface of the soil with one finger; if you feel moisture, do not water the plant.
If you are using a soil/potting mix that does not retain much water, it may be necessary to re-water every other day or so if your plant is in direct sunlight during the summer months. However, make sure there is ample drainage at all times, if not, this could cause root rot, which will kill your plant.
If you are using sand/pebble soil and the moonstone succulent is planted outdoors during summer months (or if it has been placed in a very sunny location), make sure that there is good drainage at all times so your plant does not drown from over-watering.
The moonstone succulent is a very hardy plant that can survive in temperatures ranging from 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it does need to be brought back indoors before nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (or about ten degrees Celsius).
If you are growing your cactus outside during the summer months and plan on moving it back indoors in the fall, consider leaving it out for a few weeks so that it can acclimate to the cooler temperatures gradually.
If you live in an area where nighttime temperatures are consistently below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (or ten degrees Celsius), make sure your plant is brought back inside before there is any risk of frost damage.
During cold winter months, the moonstone succulent should be kept in partial sunlight (or indirect light) and brought back indoors before temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you notice that your cactus is beginning to shrivel up or its bottom leaves are turning brown, it may be too cold for it. Try moving it closer to a window so that it gets more sunlight and is kept at an appropriate temperature.
The moonstone succulent does not require any special humidity. It can be grown in both humid and dry conditions as long as the plant is brought back indoors before temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are growing your cactus outside during the summer months, make sure it gets plenty of water so that it does not dry out. You can also place a humidifier in the room where it is located to increase humidity levels if you wish, but this isn’t necessary.
The ideal humidity range is between 40-50%.
The moonstone succulent has long, thin leaves that can grow quite far along the ground. If you wish to maintain its short height (or keep it from growing out of control), be sure to trim any excess growth back as necessary.
You should only prune away damaged or dead matter; otherwise, your cactus will not rot/grow back.
Depending on how much space you want to leave between the leaves and where they are growing, it may be necessary to use small tweezers or a pair of scissors for this task (so that your fingers do not get too close to its spines).
It is important that all pruning is done well above soil level; otherwise, it could lead to rot or other problems if the plant’s roots are left exposed for too long.
Pruning is best done during the spring and summer months when your cactus has access to sunlight (and more warmth). This will help keep growth healthy and strong, while also preventing any new shoots from being damaged by frost before they can harden off.
Pruning is best done in the morning when the moonstone succulent has been watered well and any excess water can drain away from its upper roots during this time.
When to repot
If you are growing your moonstone succulent indoors, it may need to be repotted once every other year. Although the plant can survive in a variety of soil types as long as they drain well and have been enriched with organic matter, it’s best to use cactus potting mix for this task (so that roots do not become waterlogged and rot).
If you are growing your cactus outdoors during the summer months, it should be repotted once a year or every other year. Pot up into a larger pot if necessary (or mix some new soil in with old) so that roots have plenty of room to spread out. Be sure not to damage its shallow root system when repotting.
If you are growing your cactus outdoors during the winter months, it should be brought inside so that its roots do not become exposed to cold temperatures for too long (which can kill them). Repot into a larger pot if necessary when bringing it in so that there is plenty of room for new growth when warmer weather returns. Be sure not to damage its shallow root system when repotting indoors.
Be aware that moonstone succulents do tend to get leggy if they aren’t cut back regularly (especially after being moved or switched from one environment to another).
The moonstone succulent is an evergreen plant that does not go completely dormant in the winter months. It can still grow at this time, but its growth will be weaker if temperatures are kept too cold for too long (or if there isn’t enough natural light).
If you live in a climate where frost occurs frequently during the fall/winter/springtime, the moonstone succulent should be brought indoors (or otherwise kept out of reach of frost) until temperatures start to rise again. If you live in an area where it doesn’t get too cold for long periods or your cactus is outside year-round, then there’s no need to worry about this.
Pachyphytum oviferum flower & Fragrance
The moonstone succulent is usually grown for its beautiful appearance, rather than flowering or fragrance. This cactus produces white flowers during the summer months that are quite large in size (and pretty to look at). It also has a scent similar to cinnamon which can get stronger when it starts to bloom.
Growth rate & Size
The moonstone succulent is a relatively slow-growing plant that only grows to around 12 inches tall. It can produce offsets (which are sometimes left on the mother cactus or removed and repotted), but these new plants will not be identical in size, color, the shape of leaves, etc.
Although this cactus does have a shallow root system, it can still grow in any soil type that drains well and is enriched with organic matter. It also does best when given plenty of sunlight so try to place your moonstone cactus where it will get at least six hours per day.
The moonstone succulent is non-toxic to dogs and other pets, although it can have a toxic effect on cats if eaten (so it’s best to keep this plant out of reach too). It has spines that are quite sharp, so it’s best to keep this plant out of reach of babies or toddlers who might try tasting the flowers (or anything else) while exploring their surroundings.
USDA Hardiness Zones
The moonstone succulent is suitable for growing in USDA hardiness zones: 11-12. It can survive winter temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (but should be brought inside to a warmer area when frost occurs), and doesn’t need below 40-degree weather during the summer months.
Even if you live outside of these zones, this plant should still grow well if given the proper conditions.
Pests and diseases
The moonstone succulent is a low-maintenance plant that can also resist pests and diseases if cared for properly. If the weather gets too cold or your plant becomes infested with mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, etc., you can gently remove them by hand (or use an organic insecticide).
If only one or two leaves have been damaged, you can remove them from the plant and hope that it will grow back. The moonstone succulent usually becomes weak or dies if a lot of its leaves are removed though, so be careful when trimming any part of the cactus to prevent further problems.