Lithops (lat. Lithops) - "living stone", comes from the genus succulent. Belongs to the Aizov family. Distributed in the stony deserts of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana.
These amazing plants do not have a stem, outwardly resemble stones of a small size, round in shape, the color is changeable, as a rule, depends on the soil.
The aboveground part of the plant is two connected leaves, between which a peduncle and young leaves are formed. Lithops bloom with white or yellowish flowers up to 5 cm in diameter.
About 37 species of this plant are known.
An unpretentious flower in the wild grows under the scorching rays, withstands air temperatures above + 50 ° C. An unusual guest from a hot desert can be grown without problems at home if you provide a lot of light and strictly monitor the correct watering.
Other names for lithops: "like a stone", "living stone".
Lithops - popular varieties:
At home, the following types are common:
Lithops bella (Lithops bella) - "stone" leaves of brown color consist of several pairs. Height up to 3 cm, diameter about 2.5 cm. White flowers with a subtle aroma.
Divided lithops (Lithops divergens) - leaves are green, covered with large gray spots. Pairs of leaves differ in different sizes from 1 to 3 cm, their surface is slightly sloped. Flowers are yellow, formed in a deep gap between the leaves.
Lithops salicola - gray leaves reach a height of 2 - 2.5 cm, and exactly the same diameter. The surface is flat, olive-colored with dark spots. Charming white flowers appear in the shallow gap between a pair of leaves.
Choosing and buying lithops. When buying, pay attention to the roots of the plant. If the beginning of the shoot consists of softened tissue, this indicates that the flower has been waterlogged and the process of decay has begun, you should not buy such a plant. It is important to inspect the neck, there should be no signs of decay or stains on it.
Choose an outwardly healthy plant, without mechanical damage and wrinkles.
You can buy lithops in our store. Lithops, "Living stones".
"Living stones" in the garden or in the apartment will add originality, novelty, variety and exotic beauty to your interior.
An ornamental plant loves sunny places, the best option for indoor cultivation would be the southern window sill. Watering is necessary in the summer no more than once a month, and in winter it does not require additional moisture at all.
It is better to grow them in a large company of congeners, for example, place several species of Lithops in a large pot, since they do not grow well alone and may not bloom.
The pretty lithops, which are easy to care for, can decorate flower arrangements or become an important part of rocky mini-potted gardens.
They are suitable for exotic lovers and flower collectors.
Important: Protect children and animals from exotic plants, lithops contain toxic substances.
Lighting. These light-loving plants do not have much sun. Lithops do not react well to a change of place. Having installed a flowerpot with plants in the south side of the apartment, where there is no shortage of sunlight, try not to rearrange or even turn it.
Temperature. It tolerates summer heat and dry air well. It is recommended to observe a moderate temperature regime. In the cold season, it needs coolness: + 12-15 ° C.
Air humidity. In summer, you can humidify the air in the room where the lithops is located. This should be done not too often, using a spray, being careful not to get on the plant.
Watering. Watering rules should be taken very seriously. The fact is that the need for water in "living stones" is minimal and the reason why they sometimes die is decay from excess moisture in the soil. From August to November, during the flowering period, moderate watering is needed. Then comes a dormant period until spring, at which time watering is stopped.
It is important that water does not get into the gap between the leaves, this threatens the plant to rot.
Top dressing. There is no need for special fertilization. It is enough to transplant lithops every 2-3 years. If for some reason this was not done, then you need to carry out top dressing, for this, take half the recommended dose of the agent indicated in the instructions.
Transfer. Domestic lithops come to us from Holland, where they are grown in compressed soil. The flower should not stay in such soil for too long, therefore, the plant must be transplanted immediately after purchase.
Lithops need a dry regimen before transplanting. Lithops are not too demanding on the soil, they are able to adapt to various non-peat soils, yet this should not be overused. The preferred soil mixture, consisting of sand and clay soil, with a low nitrogen content, without humus inclusions, with a pH of 6.5.
Choose a pot that is not too small, wide, since the succulent has a large root system; be sure to install expanded clay drainage at the bottom. The ceramic pot is best for growing lithops, it does not retain moisture and promotes its rapid evaporation through the pores.
The upper space between the live rock groups can be filled with sea pebbles, colored pebbles, or crushed bricks, this promotes better growth and looks beautiful.
Trimming and shaping. This representative of succulent plants does not need pruning.
Bloom. "Living stones" bloom in the third year of life. The period of flowering and dormancy depends on the length of daylight hours. Flowering begins at the end of the active growing season. A delicate flower appears between the two fleshy leaves, the size of which is usually larger than the leaves.
The dormant period is characterized by stunted growth, pale coloration and loss of foliage. The old shell splits into two parts, gradually dries up and falls off, and new ones appear in their place.
Reproduction. Can be propagated by seeds, fruits and young shoots.
Before sowing, the seeds are soaked for 5-6 hours. Without drying, sow. Without deepening, into the prepared, pre-moistened earthen mixture. In the room where the seedlings are grown, it is important to maintain good lighting and warm, dry air. You need to water strictly around the leaves from a pipette or syringe.
Fruit propagation is carried out in early summer, at a temperature of 20 ° C, small fruits that have appeared in place of flowers are taken.
Young shoots are separated and planted only from an adult plant.
Diseases and pests. May be affected by aphids and worms. Systemic insecticides are used to control pests.
The owners themselves bring the greatest harm to lithops when they neglect the rules of watering. From an excess and stagnation of moisture in the soil, the root system rots and the plant may die.
Lithops in winter. For a successful wintering, follow certain rules. Provide the room with sufficient light and cool + 12-15 ° C. Stop watering, even if the leaves look wrinkled, this is normal, in the spring the plant will return to its usual appearance.
Interesting Facts. In the desert during a drought, lithops hide from the sun by burying themselves in the sand. This is due to special contractile roots that literally pull the plant into the ground.PHOTOS OF LITHOPS