Living Stones – Lithops

 

Lithops

The name Lithops comes from the Greek word lithos which means stone-like or stone appearance.  Hence, the common name for this fascinating plant:  Living Stones.

Lithops originate from South Africa and are normally found in rocky terrain.  They are a miniature favorite of succulent collectors and amateurs alike.  They are somewhat easy to grow as long as they are watered lightly and very infrequently.  Lithops are accustomed to growing in very dry conditions.  Water only during their growing season, which is late winter to early summer.  During the rest of the year, watering them so lightly as if you are ‘only taking the dust off their fleshy leaves’ is enough.  In fact, Lithops have been known, in their natural habitat, to adapt to very long droughts by pulling themselves so far into the ground as to become nearly subterranean.  This protects them from the harsh sun and winds.

Flowers are large for these 1 inch plants and very daisy-like in appearance.  They are either yellow or white.  Lithops produce blooms during the height of their growing season: from March until May.

 

Care Tips

Light:  A sunny spot is best!  Some amount of direct sun is essential.  Place on a windowsill.  Lithops will grow tall and narrow when lighting conditions are not bright enough.

Water:  very sparingly.  Water during the growing season – from Winter until early Summer, but only lightly.  Hold back on watering during the hot summer months.  You do not want soil to become bone dry so it is best to merely mist your lithops when it is not in a growth period.  They will shrivel when they are in need of water.  However, new growth occurs between the fleshy leaves.  As these new leaves emerge, do not be alarmed as the old leaves shrivel up and die – the plant is regenerating rather than reproducing (kind of like a snake shedding its skin).

+Not Toxic!+

+there are many varieties and they look great when planted together, perfect for a tiny low-maintenance collection+

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