This Rare, Heart-Shape Succulent Looks Too Cute to Be Real
Succulents are some of the easiest houseplants you can grow, and they come in so many fun colors and shapes that they're hard to resist. My latest crush is Conophytum bilobum, an adorable succulent (despite its mouthful of a name) that grows tiny, plump, heart-shape leaves. Also called living pebbles, this succulent is native to South Africa but it will happily grow in dish gardens and as a houseplant. All you need to grow this sweet little plant is soil with good drainage and a bright, sunny spot. And this drought-tolerant succulent won't mind if you forget to water it for a few weeks.
Living pebbles have a few similarities to sweetheart hoya, another easy-to-grow, heart-shape succulent. But unlike sweetheart hoya, which usually only grows one large heart-shape leaf, living pebbles can slowly spread and produce a small cluster of hearts. If you want more succulents, you can gently break off and propagate the individual hearts and plant them in a new pot.
To grow living pebbles, plant them in a cactus and succulent potting mix ($17, Walmart) and be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole. Like most succulents, they can go without water for quite a while. However, they don't appreciate constant dampness so only water when the soil feels dry. If you see tiny wrinkles forming on the leaves, that means your succulent is starting to dry out, and it's definitely time for a drink.
Not all succulents grown as houseplants can tolerate direct sunlight, but living pebbles prefer it. Try placing your plant in a south- or west-facing window, where it can soak up direct sun for the last few hours of the day. If you keep your plant happy, it may even produce tiny yellow or orange flowers in the fall. They'll sprout right from the center of each heart and bloom over the leaves, making your plant even cuter for a few weeks.
Living pebbles can be tough to find, but there are a few sellers that will ship the plant (or the seeds) to your door. If you end up trying to grow them from seed, be sure to follow the package directions for sprouting them, and make sure they have plenty of light and enough water to germinate.
If you're lucky enough to score one of these adorable plants, it'll add plenty of love to your home without much effort on your part. Just water it every now and then, and it'll reward you with adorable heart-shape leaves and tiny, sunny yellow blooms.