Lithops [LY-thops] is a genus of surprising succulents belonging to the ice plant household (Aizoaceae).
The identify means “like stone” in Historical Greek referring to the looks of the plant.
These “dwelling stones” mix with surrounding stones and usually embrace a number of bulbous pairs of succulent leaves.
Additionally referred to as pebble crops, lithops are native to South Africa and Namibia.
In these areas, the crops endure lengthy intervals of drought, requiring them to retailer water within the succulent tissue.
Dwelling stones are somewhat difficult to develop, particularly when attempting to get them to flower.
Understanding the expansion cycle and advisable plant care ideas will increase the possibilities of a profitable bloom.
Dimension & Progress
Most species of dwelling stones are comparatively small, measuring not more than three” inches tall.
The plant produces pairs of succulent leaves.
The leaves are spherical and partially fused collectively.
Because the leaves develop, they swell and develop into rounded, resembling small stones.
Lithops usually begin with one pair of leaves and should develop extra as they mature.
The colours of the leaves differ.
Some lithops are brownish-yellow, greenish-gray, or pale orange.
The shade tends to mix effectively with close by stones and rocks.
Flowering and Perfume
Dwelling stones produce giant flowers, blooming between August and September when grown in the best circumstances.
Relying on the species, the daisy-like flowers might seem orange, yellow, or white.
The flowers don’t produce a scent, and they don’t all the time seem.
The plant solely blooms when cared for accurately.
If the lithops obtain an excessive amount of water or not sufficient mild throughout the remaining interval, they might not produce flowers the next season.
Gentle & Temperature
Lithops require daylight all yr, even throughout their relaxation intervals.
The crops are winter hardy solely in USDA hardiness zones 10 and better.
If temperatures drop beneath 40° levels Fahrenheit (four° C), the plant must overwinter indoors or be protected in opposition to freezing.
Nevertheless, it nonetheless wants brilliant daylight.
When stored indoors, place it in an East, West or South-facing window to supply mild all through the day.
Watering and Feeding
Dwelling stones don’t require lots of water. Overwatering is likely one of the commonest errors when cultivating lithops.
From September to April, cease watering the crops.
From Might to August, solely water the crops on heat, sunny days.
Typically, Do Not use fertilizer. Feeding the plant might change its form and dimension.
Nevertheless, a light-weight diluted 1/four or 1/2 power liquid succulent fertilizer must be fantastic.
Soil & Transplanting
These crops want good drainage. Use a combination of 75% gravel and sand and 25% commonplace gardening soil.
Cowl the highest of the combination with a layer of sand.
The sand retains moisture from penetrating the leaves.
As with many succulents, dwelling stones develop effectively in shallow dishes or glass terrariums.
An alternative choice is to plant the dwelling stones in a clay pot buried in a bigger container of sand.
The sand helps preserve the roots cool throughout the winter and heat in summer time.
TIP: If utilizing a clay pot buried in sand, water the sand and permit the roots to attract up moisture via the clay pot.
This helps eradicate the chance of over-watering.
Repot dwelling stones each 4 to 5 years.
Utilizing contemporary sand and soil provides the crops extra nourishment, serving to to help the basis system.
Dwelling stones don’t want grooming.
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Propagate Dwelling Stones
Propagate lithops with seeds.
To germinate the seeds, fill a pot with sandy and sprinkle the seeds over the soil.
Cowl the soil with paper after which plastic.
The paper protects the seeds from direct daylight, whereas the plastic holds within the moisture.
Hold the pot in a brilliant space with a temperature of about 77° levels Fahrenheit (25° C).
After the seedlings sprout, take away the paper and infrequently elevate the plastic to air out the pot.
When the seedlings attain about ¼ inch, transplant them to new pots.
Preserve moist soil to maintain the roots from drying out, and keep in mind so as to add a layer of sand.
Dwelling Stones Essential Pests or Illness Issues
Dwelling stones hardly ever undergo from pest infestations.
The crops and flowers wouldn’t have scents, they usually resemble rocks.
Within the uncommon likelihood the plant attracts pests, take away them with a cotton swab.
Whereas dwelling stones are usually not poisonous, utilizing an insecticide provides toxins to the plant.
Improper care is the most important risk to dwelling stones.
If the crops obtain an excessive amount of water, they might develop rot.
To keep away from rot, observe the advisable watering ideas.
Water the crops solely on brilliant, sunny days, and don’t water from September to April.
When watering the plant, keep away from pouring water over the “leaves.”
The drops of water might trigger scorching on the leaves, creating everlasting harm.
Pour water slowly over the soil.
Steered Lithops Makes use of
Lithops are ornamental succulents which look nice grown collectively in clusters or with quite a lot of different succulents and cacti.
Develop the crops in terrariums or flat dishes.
For the most effective outcomes, develop dwelling stones in clay pots inside bigger containers of sand.