The Pachyphytum Oviferum, or commonly known as the sugar almond or moonstone succulent, is a unique and beautiful house plant known for its moonstone-like leaves and easy care. Perfect for any gardener, elite or beginner, this succulent is great for adding an aesthetic touch to your home and garden.
Even for beginners, it is hard to find the right information when looking at how to take care of the Pachyphytum Oviferum.
In fact, some of the information we found on its care was just flat out wrong.
So, to set the record straight, we have compiled the best information on the Moonstone succulent available.
Such as how to take care of it, what are the best products for it plus tips and tricks on how you can take care of this gem-like succulent to spruce up your environment, whether it is indoors in your office or outside in your garden.
What Is The Pachyphytum Oviferum?
The Pachyphytum Oviferum, or commonly known as the Sugar Almond succulent or the Moonstone succulent, is a species of succulent of the Pachyphytum genus from the Crassulaceae family. Native to Mexico, this succulent is found in its largest known quantity in the rocky cliffs in San Luis Potosi.
The Pachyphytum Oviferum has plump, egg-shaped leaves that adorn a stem that is 20cm wide and 1cm thick.
Although the Moonstone succulent commonly comes in pale blue-green and bluish-purple, resembling that of a sugared almond confectionery treat, the succulent also comes in many different colors due to the number of varieties.
The flower head, or the inflorescence, is made up of a 30 cm tall stem with bell-shaped flowers that bloom in winter and early spring.
However, depending on the hybrid of the succulent, the Moonstone succulent’s blooms can have a green underside or a reddish-pink inside.
What Are The Common Names Of The Pachyphytum Oviferum?
The common names of the Pachyphytum Oviferum are “Sugar almond plant” and “Moonstones”.
Before we decipher the common names and their meanings, we need to first understand the meaning of the genus and species.
The genus, Pachyphytum, comes from the Greek words “pachys”, meaning thick, and “phyton”, meaning plant. The species, Oviferum, comes from the Latin words “ovum”, meaning egg, and “fero”, meaning to bring or to carry.
When you put them together, it means “thick plant carrying eggs”, referenced to the succulent’s egg-shaped leaves.
The common name “Sugar almond plant”, refers to the succulent’s most common color of leaves.
Although the succulent comes in many colors due to hybrids, the most common color sets of Pachyphytum Oviferum are pale blue-green and bluish purple, resembling the sugared almond confection you may be familiar with.
The common name “Moonstones”, refers to the succulent’s leaves resembling moonstones, a pearly and opalescent colored gem.
History Of The Pachyphytum Oviferum
Although there is no recorded information with in-depth stats on the origins and discovery of the Pachyphytum Oviferum we can presume that it was cataloged by Mexican scientists as it’s found in their literature as early as the mid 1920’s.
How To Take Care Of Your Moonstone Succulent?
To take care of your Moonstone succulent, you will need to know the right soil and fertilizer to use, how much sunlight to expose your succulent to, how much water and how often should you water your succulent, and the ideal temperatures. All will be covered in the following paragraphs below.
One of advantages of the Moonstone succulent is that it doesn’t need much care, though that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t neglect it completely.
Don’t use any soil that holds water for a very long time, this succulent doesn’t particularly like it. Before you settle on a soil product, make sure it has a good drainage medium. Using a mixture of porous alternatives and regular potting soil is perfect for the Moonstones.
A homemade mix of perlite, sand, and regular potting soil works great as a potting medium. However, it is important to look into pots that provide good drainage, you don’t want your pot and soil to hold any large amounts of water.
The Moonstone succulent thrives best on succulent fertilizer that is fed monthly during the spring and summer. Don’t give the succulent any fertilizer during the fall and winter seasons where it will go dormant for most of this time.
For the Moonstone succulent, it is best to water it thoroughly and only water it again when the top half of the potting medium feels dry. You can use the golden rule of watering to help you keep your watering schedule in check.
Water it only when the soil feels bone dry. When you water it, soak the soil, but do not pour the water directly onto the plant, this can be a bit much for it and may induce rot.
This succulent stores a large amount of its water in its leaves and is more comfortable in a dry pot rather than a wet one.
You can tell if you’re not giving your succulent enough water, if you check its leaves and they look deflated or shriveled, not enough water.
If your succulent’s leaves look yellow and mushy, it means you’re giving it too much water and must repot it in some dry potting medium.
Partial to full sunlight is great for the Moonstone succulent. If you prefer to keep your plant indoors but don’t have windows, you can use a grow light.
Speaking of temperatures, since the Moonstone succulent is a desert native plant, it prefers temperatures between 65-80°F (8-27°C). If temperatures where you live tend to get below 50°F (10°C), make sure to keep your succulent in a portable container so that you can bring it in if starts to get much colder than that.
What Is The Best Soil To Use For The Moonstone Succulent?
The best soil to use for the Moonstone succulent is one that doesn’t hold large amounts of water for a long period of time. You can make homemade mixes using different porous products like sand, perlite, etc, and mixing it with regular potting soil.
It is also important to have a pot that provides good drainage so that your succulent doesn’t develop root mold/rot that can be very hard to get rid of.
What Is The Best Fertilizer To Use For The Moonstone Succulent?
The best fertilizer to use for your Moonstone succulent is a fertilizer that is made specifically for succulents, or a fish dilution will work out fine. Just feed it monthly in the spring and summer and don’t give it any more feed in its dormant fall and winter months.
How Often Should I Water My Moonstone Succulent?
You should water your Moonstone succulent when the top half of the potting medium soil feels bone dry. Water your plant thoroughly and make sure to keep to the golden rule of watering to help you keep on schedule.
If your succulent’s leaves look deflated or shriveled, that means you’re not giving it enough water. And if your succulent’s leaves look yellow and mushy, you’re over watering it and should re-pot your succulent in new dry potting soil.
How Much Sunlight Should I Expose My Sugar Almond Plant To?
The Moonstone succulent thrives in partial to full sunlight, so you can place it indoors or outdoors.
If you don’t have windows and you wish to place your succulent indoors, the plant works perfectly fine with a grow light. If you place it outdoors, be mindful of the temperatures, if they tend to drop below 50 degrees F bring the succulent indoors until temperatures get warmer outside.
What Temperatures Are Ideal For The Moonstone Succulent?
The ideal temperatures for the Moonstone succulent are between 65-80°F (8-27°C). If temperatures where you live tend to get below 50°F (10°C), it is best to bring it indoors until temperatures rise up to be warm enough for the succulent.
How To Propagate A Sugar Almond Plant ?
The best method to propagate a Moonstone succulent is by leaf cuttings.
This propagation method is best in the springtime. Use a sterilized cutting tool like a knife or scissors and cut the leaf close to the stem. Let the end of the leaf dry and callous over and then place the cut end in a bit of lightly moist cactus mix.
Avoid burying and covering your leaf in soil, this succulent grows better when it comes in contact with potting medium.
Is The Moonstone Succulent Poisonous To Cats Or Dogs?
The Moonstone succulent is not considered poisonous to pets and humans. If the succulent is ingested in large amounts, it may cause stomachache, but it should not cause any serious side effects.
Is The Moonstone Succulent Edible?
Although you can eat the Moonstone succulent, it is not advised to eat it because it can cause stomachache.
Is The Sugar Almond Plant Succulent Seasonal?
The Moonstone succulent is seasonal. In the fall and early winter, it goes dormant but in the late winter and early spring, the succulent blooms beautiful bell-shaped flowers from the flower head located at the top of the succulent.
What Colors Can The Moonstone Succulent Come In?
Although the Moonstone succulent commonly comes in blueish purple and blue-green hues, this succulent is known for its beautiful array of color combinations derived from hybrids and crossbreeding.
One of the most notable of these is the pinkish tone that nearly resembles some of the coloration’s on sugared almonds.
Why Are My Sugar Almond Plant Leaves Falling Off?
If your Moonstone succulent’s leaves are falling, it means that it is getting too much water. Over watering is a killer for most succulents, if not all, and giving your succulent too much water will result in it turning yellow, mushy, and loose leaves that may fall off entirely.
The best way to fix this is by transferring your succulent to a new pot of dry potting medium so that the water that is already inside of the plant can be used up and the plant returns to normal.
When Does The Moonstone Succulent Go Into Dormancy?
The Moonstone succulent goes into dormancy in the late Fall and Early Winter months.
Why Is My Moonstone Succulent Dying?
Your Moonstone succulent is most likely dying from over watering. As stated earlier, over watering is a killer to mostly all succulents, and the best way to help revive your dying succulent from over watering is transferring it into a pot of dry potting medium so that it can use up all the water it has in storage.
Is The Moon Succulent Rare?
The Moonstone succulent is not a rare plant and is, in fact, quite common and can be bought in online gardening stores that carry its seed packets.
Why Is My Moonstone Succulent Wrinkly?
Your Moonstone succulent is wrinkling because it is not getting enough water. It is important to keep the golden rule of watering in mind to help you keep in check with your watering schedule; water it thoroughly only when the soil feels bone dry.
Why Does My Moonstone Succulent Have Yellow Leaves?
Your Moonstone succulent has yellow leaves because of over watering. From over watering, your succulent will develop visible side effects like yellowing leaves and a visible mushy appearance. It is important to water your succulent thoroughly and only when the soil feels bone dry.
What Are The Most Common Moonstone Succulent Pests And Diseases?
The most common Moonstone succulent pests and diseases are mealybugs and rot.
You can tell if your plant has a mealybug infestation by analyzing your succulent for fuzzy, white, cotton-like specks on the leaves and stems. If your plant also looks limp, wilted, and you know that you haven’t over watered it, carefully remove the plant from its pot to check for root mealy bugs.
To get rid of these pesky pests, you can make a make a homemade mealybug repellent from one tablespoon dish soap and mixed with a quart of water.
First, remove whatever mealybugs you can see on your succulent by hand, and then spray the plant with the mixture. You may have to treat it like this for the next week or so until there are no more mealybugs spotted.
Rot is a disease that all plants are susceptible to. It is mostly caused from over watering and or standing water. It is important to keep in mind how much water you give your succulent and how often you water it.
If your succulent has root rot, the worst-case scenario is that it is so bad that you can’t prune it and have to resort to leaf propagation to plant several offspring.
To avoid all this hassle, you simply have to have a good potting medium and pot that provides good drainage, and water your succulent only when the soil feels dry.