Pachyphytum oviferum (Pak-ee-fy-tum oh-vee-fer-um) is a small and charming member of the Crassulaceae family of plants native to the rocky cliffs of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
The self-explanatory meaning of the Latin genus name, Pachyphytum, is “thick plant. “ The specific epithet, oviform, means “bearing eggs.” This is a reference to the egg-shaped leaves.
You may also hear about this perennial Mexican succulent called Sugaralmond Plant or Moonstone.
- Moonstone Care Tips
- Pachyphytum Oviferum Care
- How To Propagate Pachyphytum Oviferum
- Pachyphytum Oviferum Main Pest Or Diseases
- Suggested Pachyphytum Oviferum Uses
Moonstone Care Tips
Pachyphytum Oviferum Care
Size and Growth
Sugar Almond Plant has a trailing growth habit. Stems grow to be about 8″ inches long, with their stems growing to 12″ inches in height.
You can allow the separate stems to grow, trail, and tumble if you wish. You can prune for bushier growth if you prefer a more compact plant.
In addition, it also produces fleshy leaves with various colors, ranging from purple and green to orange.
Flowering and Fragrance
In the springtime, the Moonstone plant produces tall slim flower stalks topped with clusters of fragrant white blooms. They bloom in late winter or early spring with flowers that have a deep burgundy center.
However, you will also find that moonstone succulents come in a variety of pastel colors, including yellow, blue, pink, purple, gray, and orange blooms.
This beautiful succulent plant has thick, egg-shaped bluish-purple leaves arranged in a loose rosette growth formation. Each rosette grows to be 3″ or 4″ inches wide.
The plump leaves of the Pachyphytum oviferum plant are an attractive shade of powdery blue-purple-green. As the plant matures, tinges of purple and black develop in the healthy leaves.
Light and Temperature
These chubby succulents need ample bright, indirect sunlight. You can also plant it in a sunny spot to ensure your plant gets full sun all day long.
However, avoid harsh direct sunlight, especially during hot summers, as it can cause damage.
In an outdoor setting, Moonstone should receive 6 or more hours of bright sunlight daily, especially if grown outdoors as part of a succulent garden.
However, protect it from scorching afternoon sunlight if you live in an area where temperatures are very high, and the sun is especially punishing.
It’s also best to provide light shade or keep them in a dappled shade during summer afternoons, especially if you live in an area with intense summer heat.
Indoors, placement in or near a west or southern-facing window is good. Supplement with artificial or grow light as needed if you don’t have a sunny window.
Remember to turn your plant every few days to prevent uneven, leggy growth. Also, providing adequate sunlight will keep your succulent moonstone healthy.
Keep temperatures consistently warm. The best range is 65° degrees Fahrenheit and 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t allow temperatures to drop below 55° degrees Fahrenheit as it cannot tolerate cold weather.
As a general rule, protect your plants against temperatures higher than 85° degrees Fahrenheit.
Pachyphytum oviferum is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10 and above. Sugar Almond Plant can only be grown year-round outdoors in the US in some very small portions of southern California, Nevada, and Arizona and at the very southernmost tip of Florida.
Watering and Feeding
Use soak and dry watering to water thoroughly, and then allow the soil to become quite dry before watering again. An excellent way to keep the soil dry is to use rocks on top of it.
Remember, it’s best to water your Succulent Moonstones in the morning, especially during the summer months.
A sign it’s time to water your succulent moonstone is when the soil is completely dry.
When grown in containers, just make sure it’s a pot with drainage holes so the excess water can leak out, as this plant doesn’t do well in moist, soggy soil.
Another different thing about moonstone is that it needs more water in winter, as it’s actively growing in the cold season.
An indication your succulent lacks winter is when there are wrinkled or shriveled leaves.
Keep fertilizer light and infrequent. A quarter dose of a good balanced liquid fertilizer or organic fertilizer at half-strength should suffice once early in spring and again in the summer.
A diluted slow-release fertilizer will also provide your moonstone succulents with the necessary nutrients.
If you’d prefer a set-it-and-forget-it option, use a slow-release fertilizer very sparingly early in the springtime or top dress with worm castings.
Remember that since these plants are not heavy feeders, they would only need monthly feeding.
Soil and Transplanting
Remember that these plants naturally grow on hot, rocky Mexican cliffs, so do your best to provide them with sharply draining soil.
In a plant pot, use a specially prepared mix for cacti and succulents. You can also incorporate regular potting soil with 50% to 70% perlite, sand, pumice, or other mineral grit in the landscape.
If grown in a container, make sure the potting mix is loose, gritty, and well-draining soil.
To grow as container plants, choose a container that provides swift drainage and good air circulation to the roots. Terra cotta or clay pots are a good choice.
Moreover, they need to be repotted every couple of years, as pink moonstones are slow-growing plants.
Grooming and Maintenance
This plant has fairly self-contained growth. Remove damaged or dead leaves and stems as needed.
Trim back stem tips if you want a more rounded growth habit. Keep trimmed stem tips and healthy chubby leaves to propagate more plants.
Moreover, you can place a layer of black pebbles over the soil to mulch and enhance your plant’s visual appeal.
During times of frost, cover your Moonstone succulent with a light blanket to protect it from the cold.
How To Propagate Pachyphytum Oviferum
It’s very easy to propagate the Sugar Almond plants from stem cuttings or leaf cuttings taken using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife from the mother plant.
You can also propagate this plant with succulent leaves.
Pachyphytum Oviferum Main Pest Or Diseases
Moonstones can be counted on as disease and trouble-free plants as long as you don’t crowd them, overwater them, use too much fertilizer, or keep them in settings that are too dark or cold.
If poor conditions compromise your plants, they will likely develop root rot problems and other fungal disorders like black spots and leaf spots. Weakened plants are very likely to attract common pests, especially mealybugs.
One way to prevent a severe pest infestation is to remove the infected, damaged leaves or the entire plant. You can also apply an isopropyl solution multiple times when dealing with a large infestation.
Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?
Sugar Almond Plants are completely non-toxic plants for dogs and cats!
Is the plant considered invasive?
Although Pachyphytum oviferum grows easily in Florida and in other conducive settings, it will self-propagate through dropped leaves. It is not aggressive and is not considered invasive.
Suggested Pachyphytum Oviferum Uses
In ideal outdoor settings, the Moonstone succulent is an eye-catching succulent that makes a great addition to a rock garden, container gardens, and terrariums.
This plant also makes a great addition to your shady outdoor gardens or sunny windowsills.
With its stunning shades of colors, it also makes a nice ground cover for an open, arid setting.
As a container plant, it can make a pretty hanging basket and an excellent houseplant. It makes a nice understory surrounding taller cacti or succulents.
Moreover, pink moonstones add a pop of color to your garden, or anywhere you grow them.