Living stones properly care for Lithops and bring them to bloom
Lithops are fascinating small plants and come from the driest regions of South Africa. The name "living stones" is due to their appearance and lifestyle. They grow extremely slowly and resemble the pebbles under which they strike roots, making them virtually invisible.
Even more fascinating is the way they get sunlight. The flat heads of the Lithops actually consist of cells that act as windows, allowing the light to penetrate deep into the plant. This ingenious adaptation lets them live almost completely underground and out of sight.
When it comes to taking care of one of these unique plants, you'll quickly find that ignoring is generally the best way to keep them happy. This makes living stones the most easy-care and the most difficult to care for succulents. We give you some helpful tips, so you do not go wrong!
Since living stones are growing so slowly, such collagen can easily be imitated
In nature, Lithops practically merge with your environment
Typical light and temperature conditions of the Lithops
Living stones need, like all succulents, a lot of direct sun. In nature, they are a full-suned plant. At home, 4 to 5 hours are generally enough to maintain the colorful, stone-like pattern. Watch out for warping or color loss, which indicates too low lighting conditions.
In South African regions, frost conditions are rare. This means that living stones have never actually adapted to cold. Under 5-10 degrees, Lithops can not survive long. Optimum temperatures are between 18 and 26 degrees. Although living stones tolerate heat (35-40 degrees), under these conditions, sun only needs shade in the morning and in the afternoon.
Living stones feel most comfortable in a sunny, warm spot
Living stones need very little water and only at certain times
Casting is the most important aspect of maintaining Lithops. It is also the part that most hobby gardeners do wrong. Living stones come from an area with extreme drought and have adapted perfectly to it. They follow very different seasonal habits and you absolutely must follow them to enjoy a healthy plant for many years to come.
Spring and fall are the normal lithographic growing seasons and the time when they most likely need water. Limit the watering to every few weeks in these seasons. If your plant seems to be happy without water, do not water it. There is a possibility that the humidity and the dew provide sufficient moisture.
In the summer we are all used to water our plants more often. However, living stones have their resting phase during the summer heat and it is important to water them only when the plant is properly wrinkled and looks as if the leaves are drying out.
This is neither a brain nor a sign of Wassernot, but only the subspecies Gracilidelineata Waldroniae
In winter, living stones are not cast under any conditions. During the cold season, the new leaves absorb water and nutrients from the old ones, with the latter shrinking over time and leaving a thin dry husk in the spring. Carefully remove this skin with tweezers to prevent rot.
Due to the drastically different irrigation requirements, Lithops can not be combined well with other plants in a container. So they should always be planted alone or with others of their kind.
Living stones grow almost similar to reptiles – they skin
Of course, imitate rocky ground and thus ensure trouble-free growth
The optimal growth medium for Lithops is one with pearlite, coarse sand, gravel, pumice stone and lava rock. About 1/5 of the medium should consist of organic material (soil) and the rest should be mineral. In addition to the simple blend, this combination of colorful stones in different shapes and sizes creates a unique aesthetic. It closely mimics the rocky habitat of the Lithops while emphasizing the natural camouflage that makes it so popular.
Repotting live stones only during their growing season (spring or autumn) and not more often than once every 3-4 years. They rarely need fertilizer, if at all. However, if you plant Lithops in a completely bottomless medium, consider a very small, diluted amount of cactus fertilizer per year. This also promotes flower formation.
Under such conditions, Lithops grow in nature
Create striking contrasts with the natural colors of your succulents
These plants look quite alien
Living stones bloom once a year and only when they are really happy
Lithops generally bloom in late autumn or early winter. A single large flower then grows out of the gap between the two leaves. Only plants older than 3 years, however, produce flowers.
The flower itself is a bit like a daisy. It can be orange, white or pale yellow and have a spicy-sweet scent. In the early afternoon, the flower opens in the sun to allow pollination, and then closes in the late afternoon before dark.
Because living stones are not self-pollinating, they rely on insects or humans to produce seeds. After the flowers wither, a seed capsule forms in its place, which only opens when moistened.
Large flowers are not very durable, but very pretty and aromatic
Lithops are probably the easiest succulents to care for. They are a great gift for people who always forget that they have a plant to water and can even be considered a symbol of lasting relationships as they can easily live for over 40 years. Lithops can be found in most garden centers.
Is not this young plant sweet to fall in love with?
Lithops can grow close together, but need a rather deep pot for their long roots
Design great shapes with the slowly growing succulents
Living ideas and decoration –