Many of us like to grow unique plants in our garden. Conophytum bilobum or living pebble succulent is best fit to that category. Their out of the ordinary appearance and amazing flower bloom will blow your mind.
So, let’s find out how to care for Conophytum bilobum succulent in this article.
What is conophytum bilobum?
Conophytum bilobum is an easy to grow succulent which are native plants in western part of South Africa.
They usually tend to grow in well-draining soil along with some water during winter. Chances are that they could grow stemless or grow with a short stem.
You could commonly call this plant a living pebble. They belong to the family Aizoacea and to the genus Conophytum.
When we consider the body of the Conophytum bilobum plants, they would usually consist of a pair of leaves.
In terms of flowering, they produce yellow-colored blooms during Autumn. You could spot them flowering in summer rarely.
How do I identify a conophytum bilobum?
You could identify the Conophytum bilobum plants by looking at their unique appearance.
They consist of paired triangular shaped leaves without a stem. However, sometimes there could be some Conophytum bilobum which grows with a short stem.
If you touch the surface of the leaves, you can feel the harshness of the surface. You could spot them in chalky green with darker green dots. Their leaf tips are free and keeled.
Although their leaf margins and the tops are green in color, you could spot them with a reddish or deep purple line.
Conophytum bilobum plants flowers are another way of identifying them. Their flowers are diurnal and bright yellow or red orange in color.
They could be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width. You could identify the Conophytum bilobum plants from their flowering during Autumn.
Conophytum bilobum are small-sized plants. They could rise to 3 inches (7.5cm). On the other hand, their leaves could be about 1.2 inches (3cm) in width.
Conophytum bilobum are usually a slow growing set of plants. Literally they would take about 5-10 years to reach the ultimate height.
One look care guide
|Botanical Name||Conophytum bilobum|
|Common Name||Living Pebble|
|Mature Size||3 inches (7.5cm) in height|
|Sun Exposure||Full sunlight to partial sunlight|
|Soil pH||acidic, alkaline or neutral|
|Bloom Time||Autumn and rarely in summer|
|Flower Color||bright yellow to red orange|
|Native Area||South Africa|
|Price range||USD 8 – 40|
How do you take care of a Conophytum bilobum?
Conophytum bilobum are a bit hard to grow since they are prone to root rot. But do not be discouraged. If you give them the perfect growing conditions, the plant will grow effortlessly.
The important thing to do is keeping track of your plants’ behaviour. If they look pale or tired than usual, find the cause and treat them well.
Before writing this article I gathered a lot of information about the C. bilobum plant just for you. I have summarized the information below.
Please try to follow the instructions for an amazing C. bilobum succulent.
You should provide full sunlight in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon for these plants to thrive well. Afternoon sunlight could be harsh on these plants.
If you expose them to afternoon sunlight, it could cause sunburns in the plants. if you grow them indoors, you could consider growing them closer to an artificial lighting source.
They can withstand temperatures from 70° Fahrenheit (21° C) to 35° Fahrenheit ( 0° C). You should try to maintain this temperature range to grow your living pebbles plant healthire.
Is it cold hardy?
Conophytum bilobum are hardy up to -2 degrees Celsius.
Conophytum bilobum preferred USDA zones would be 10b-11b
Conophytum bilobum’ s watering requirement is very minimal. You need to water these plants during summer if you could spot their shriveling only.
However, frequently, you could water them once every three weeks. You could water them moderately during the winter season.
However, it is important that your pot has enough draining holes so that the excess water could move through faster from the pot.
Make sure that you provide a well-draining soil mix for the Conophytum bilobum to thrive well. Unless it could cause root rot in the plant.
In terms of the pH of the soil mix, it has to be 5 – 7. You could grow them outdoors in sunny, sunny rock crevices. However, you need to provide protection for those plants during the winter season.
Best option to grow the Conophytum bilobum in a commercial cactus and succulent soil mix. if you use that you could consider adding 50 % pumice and then use.
You could use perlite instead of pumice too.
Flowering and Fragrance
Conophytum bilobum blooms are usually diurnal. They could be bright yellow to red orange in color.
In terms of the sizes, they could be 1 inch (2.5cm) in width. Their flowering season would usually be in Autumn.
However, you can rarely spot them flowering in the summer season as well. They do not carry any specific fragrance though.
Pot size Potting and Repotting
Best is to grow the Conophytum bilobum in terracotta pots. As aforesaid these plants are prone for root rot, and it is crucial that you are using a pot type which does not retain any moisture within.
It has to be a porous material and that is why using a terracotta pot would suit them the best. Apart from that, you need to make sure that your pot has enough draining holes as well.
In terms of repotting, you need to keep in mind that you should avoid repotting them on a frequent basis.
That is simply because they are slow growing plants, and they could survive in the same pot for a few years.
To repot them, you simply have to take the plant out from the pot. After that you could get rid of the older soil around the roots.
Next, observe whether there are any damaged roots or rotten parts of the plant. After that only you could plant them in a new soil mix which is well draining.
Where to Plant
Conophytum bilobum plants will perform well if you grow them in a well-draining soil mix.
Further ensure that they receive bright sunlight in the morning and partial sunlight during afternoon hours.
Outdoors, they would thrive well even in sunny dry rock crevices. Further you could plant them in alpine houses as well.
Fertilizer and time of year
You could consider fertilizing them with a fertilizer which is specifically made for cactus and succulents.
However, ensure that you are using a fertilizer which has a low component of Nitrogen. You could fertilize them once in their growing season.
When you apply them, you may dilute it to half strength on the prescribed quantities. Make sure that you do not overfeed them since that could lead to severe repercussions.
Conophytum bilobum are summer dormant plants. Their active growing season would usually be the winter.
To be precise, they would actively grow in late winter to late spring. After that only they would approach their dormancy in summer.
Other plants Pairs Well With
Conophytum bilobum would grow well with Lithops
Can it be toxic to pets?
Conophytum bilobum are non-toxic plants.
Handling the plant
Since they are non toxic when handling the plant you do not have to use gloves.
You simply have to make sure that they are getting adequate sunlight levels. Further be vigilant to not over water them as it could affect the plant badly.
Apart from that, ensure that you have grown them in a well-draining soil mix too. Keep the plants under your observation and make sure that you conduct regular inspections on the plant.
That will help you to identify if there are any early signs of pest’s attacks.
Common bugs and illnesses
When it comes to bugs and illness issues, you need to be more vigilant to not over water these plants. As aforesaid they are vulnerable to root rot.
Root rot could be so dangerous since you could even lose your beloved Conophytum bilobum plant. In addition to that, they are more prone for pests such as mealybugs and scales as well.
In general, their genus is resistant to pests. However, they may come across aforesaid pests’ attacks.
As such, it is best to water the Conophytum bilobum plants with an appropriate insecticide during autumn. That would act as a prophylactic measure.
In addition to the above , chances are that thrips could also attack the flowers of these flowers. However, they will not cause greater damage to the plant.
Conophytum bilobum plant benefits
As a beautiful succulent they provide beauty to your garden. You can place them in your study room or living room to enjoy their unique shape and beautiful flowers.
Propagation of Conophytum bilobum
If you wish to multiply the Conophytum bilobum plants, you could consider propagating them. To do that you may use their cuttings or seeds.
Propagation via cuttings
- To start off, you first have to obtain the cutting from a matured Conophytum bilobum plant.
- Make sure that your cutting has a couple of heads along with a root part as well.
- After that you may grow them in a well-draining soil mix.
Propagation via seeds
- Seed propagation method is also very easy. You simply have to place those seeds in a pot which is filled with a well-draining soil mix.
- Do this during spring or in summer.
- You need to cover the seeds with some grit and water.
- Further you need to apply a fungicide to avoid any bacterial infection.
- You may consider covering the specimen with a sheet of glass. Instead of a sheet of glass you may also use a clear Perspex, and these will help to keep the humidity level high.
- After that you could take off the glass and add a light shade cloth. I would encourage misting them once or twice daily for two weeks’ time.
- By that time most of the seeds could be germinated.
- Plant them carefully in the prepared pots.
How often do you water conophytum bilobum?
During summer, you may limit watering them for once every three weeks since that would be their dormant season.
On the other hand, you could consider watering the Conophytum bilobum once every week during late spring to summer.
Should I mist my conophytum bilobum?
You should mist the Conophytum bilobum plants once every fortnight if you live in a dry climate.
I hope now you are aware of how to take care of a Conophytum bilobum plant and you are confident enough to grow one of these wonderful plants. So happy gardening!