Lithops – The Stone … plants, amazing ideas for home and garden
A very special kind of succulent plant originating from South Africa and a key characteristic stone face … that in their natural environment works for Lithops as the perfect camouflage that there is no food for the animals.
Due to their very peculiar appearance and their small size, since no variety exceeds 5-6cm in full growth, it makes them one of the most popular and favorite species for plant collectors.
These plants are awesome collectibles, however, they require a careful hand to the level of the soil. Like all succulents, they don’t need much water as the plant can die. If you care well for them and provide them with the right conditions, they will give flowers in mid-to-late summer.
Their peculiarity over other species of succulents is the ability to live in an environment of complete drought, keeping a large amount of water-moisture in their leaves, and therefore their watering needs are minimal. The above water in their soil results in a rapid rot of the plant and the balance between the moisture they need and the water that the soil will immediately receive from time to time is the key to their cultivation – care.
They consist of two leaves joined at their base, with the classic very tough texture of succulents, between which there is a slit where their flower grows.
Both the colors and the shape of the leaves and the blossoms vary according to the variety, and just as in their natural environment, the shades also vary according to the lighting – humidity conditions that the Lithops receive.
There are over 30 varieties and many more hybrids with the most common being white, green, brown or gray, while the most impressive is the Stones in bright red, pink, purple, blue and yellow.
Make sure you provide as much light as possible because they thrive best in sunlight. Weak light will cause elongated leaves and washed out patterns on the leaves.
In the summer, as the plants are dormant, water them lightly if the leaves shrivel. In general, plants should not be watered during their summer dormancy or during the winter.
Warm in summer (household temperatures are fine) and colder in winter months (down to 12-10°C at night).
For best results, use a cactus mix or very fast-draining potting soil mixed with sand.
Lithops develop a new set of leaves every year. In late summer, the plant will go dormant and this means you should reduce, or stop watering in order to prevent bursting leaves. The flowers appear near the end of summer or fall, first showing up as a small bud forcing its way between the leaves and growth will begin again. It’s safe to water during this period. In winter, the leaves will still be growing, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel up and encase the new growth. In spring, it’s safe to begin lightly watering again as the plant begins to grow again.