Lithops (lithops) are succulents native to Africa, called “living stones” because of their appearance. They look magical, resembling stones, so much so that even their discoverer, William John Burchell, thought he saw a special stone before realizing it was a plant after all.
Lithops, Living Stones – Appearance
Lithops has no stem, and its leaves are one pair fused into a strange stone-like formation.
The fused leaves have a slit at the top, often dividing the body of the plant into 2 different parts.
Living stones form new leaves in the spring. During this time, its “old” leaves dry up. This phenomenon occurs during the months of March through May.
First bloom of 3-year-old plants. The flower appears in the fall. Then their leaves open and the flower that grows from them is white or yellow in color.
Lithops, Living Stones – Care
Living stones grow in the very hot, dry and sunny climate of Africa.
They accumulate water in their leaves, which allows them to survive very long periods of drought.
Substrate for Living Stones
As a substrate, live stones tolerate a mixture of sand and gravel.
If you have a mixture for cacti, it is enough to add sand to it in the ratio 5:1
The top layer of the substrate can be decorated with pebbles or coarser gravel.
Location for Living Stones
Living stones like sunny and airy positions, but they don’t like cold drafts.
Damp positions cause rotting of plants.
During the dormant period, i.e. in winter, the right temperature for these succulents is 68°F– 59°F.
Living Stones – Watering
These succulents only need to be watered once every 2-4 weeks.
These plants should not be kept in too wet a substrate, so it is always a good idea to check that the soil in the pot has dried out before watering again.
Living Stones – Watering in Winter
If you have the opportunity during the winter from November to March to keep the plant at a temperature of 50°F-59°F, then you should completely refrain from watering for this period.
If the ambient temperature is higher, the living stones only need to be sprinkled with water, but still not watered.
In early March, succulent leaves will begin to wilt, but this will be due to new leaves leafing out and old leaves dying.
Living Stones – Fertilization
Living stones do not require special fertilization, and possibly feeding the plants with cactus fertilizer can be used once a month.
Living Stones – Propagation
Live stones are sown from seed between March and June. The seedlings germinate quickly but need a sunny position.
However, they should be exposed to direct sun gradually and carefully.
Diseases of Living Stones
Living stones are threatened by fungal diseases if the plant is watered too much and too often.
In addition, too little light, as well as too much fertilizer, will cause the plant to become bushy or may crack.
Living Stones – Pests
Succulents can be attacked by spider mites, mealybugs, earthworms. For these pests, use appropriate preparations to control them.
We hope that this tips have helped, let us know in comment below!