Botanical Name — Aloinopsis schooneesii
Common Name — Living Stones
Plant Family — Aizoaceae
Aloinopsis schooneesii is a highly sought South African native for its pleasing stonelike appearance and vibrant yellow flowering habit. A large root tuber is often lifted from beneath the soil by plant owners to create a “trunk” and resulting in a truly unique bonsai succulent specimen. Leaf coloration can range from lush green-blue to dark slate with hints of green.
- Living Stones do best in filtered sun, 4 to 5 hours a day. Avoid intense afternoon sun by sheltering this plant beneath the limbs of a larger plant or placing it in the shadow of a sheer curtain. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii prefers warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s. That said, it can become stressed if left in the intense sun.
- These plants are cold hardy down to 10ºF. However, their winter conditions rarely bring rains. If rain or snow are common, it’s best to move this plant indoors when night time temperatures drop below freezing. Wet frosts could damage or kill this plant.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii are drought tolerant plants that store a lot of water in their knobby leaves and bulbous roots. Water when the soil dries out in the summer and only infrequently during the winter. Their soil should always be allowed to dry out entirely before watering thoroughly.
- These plants prefer a sandy, sharply draining mix. Cacti or succulent potting mix is great. You can amend a regular potting soil with sand or pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii produce bright yellow or orange daisy-like flowers on the surface of their rocky leaves, most often right at the end of winter. If early spring is cloudy, these flowers may bloom, but not open entirely.
- These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.
- Never fertilize in winter.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii can be propagated from stem cuttings. The best time to do this is late spring or early summer. Allow cuttings to callous for one to two weeks before dusting with rooting hormone and placing in soil.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii are not often prone to pests, but keep an eye out for common houseplant invaders like mealybugs or spider mites.
- Root rot can also be a concern and is triggered by overwatering. Always err on the side of underwatering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Little maintenance is required to grow these plants.
- This plant loves to be rootbound in a pot. Once established in a deep pot, they will be happy there for several years. Repot once every two to three years.
- Raise the root to create a bonsai “trunk” only after the plant has established itself.
- Aloinopsis schooneesii are poisonous plants. Keep away from young children and pets.