I have a small Argyroderma I picked up from the local plant store, but I'm not sure when and how much to water it.

It is potted in a tiny (roughly 2" cube) pot that appears to be filled with a sandy, stony material.

I watered it once, a new leaf grew in, and the outer leaf shriveled up into a tiny brown mess. It was pretty cool, but it's been a week or so and the new leaf is starting to shrivel a bit.

Some of the internet says to "water when shriveling", but other places I've read "every couple weeks", and some other places (sorry, no links) said a few times per year!

How often should I water it, and how much water should I use? If based on shriveling, how long should I wait between waterings to see if the shriveling is reduced?

1 Answer 1


The reason for the cautious watering recommendations is that these are extremely susceptible to root rot, and even what would be a light schedule for another plant will kill these. Watering when shriveling is a good system. I usually go by soil rather than the plant, and water when the top 2/3's of the mix are bone dry, barely moistening the soil. In a small pot, this is rather frequent, but in a large pot, it might be only a few times a year.

From fall to spring, they have a rest period during which the old leaves shrivel and are replaced by new ones. During this period (overwinter), don't water at all. The water the pant takes from the old leaves is enough to supply water for the new leaves, unless the pot is tiny, in which case small amounts of supplementary water are beneficial. There is no need to fertilize, ever.

  • Sound advice, I have learned learned 3 things from having (and killing) plants like this one and similar species: 1.- Do not water them more than once every 2-3 weeks. 2.-If you are going to repot it , do not add soil to the top of the root ball, leave some space between the first leaf and the soil. 3.- Even if the plant seems to be okay with a frequent watering please stick to point # 1 I had a beautiful Split Rock-Pleiospilos Nelii that had new leafs and everything and the very next day it burst from all the water it was retaining
    – BigBen3216
    Apr 7, 2015 at 23:07
  • 1
    Turns out I ended up killing it, presumably by overwatering. Thanks for your response though! I might try again but it seems to be a rather finicky plant, so maybe not. Jul 23, 2015 at 23:25

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