Cycle of active growth and the period of "hibernation" in domestic Lithops the same as that of plants of this species in the wild.
From July to the end of August, in the natural habitat of “living stones” it is very dry and hot, therefore the whole warm season in our region is dormant, and within them new pairs of leaves are gradually developing.
Lithops bloom falls on September, when the metabolism is activated. They are beginning to please the owners with impressive colors.
In November, the reverse process occurs: the color of the leaves becomes less bright, which serves as a signal for the plant to “fall asleep” until spring. In late February, plants begin to enter the phase of active growth.
Periods of rest and development may have a different cyclicality, if the florist arranges the wards for periods of artificial drought, in terms other than the dry season in the homeland of the plants.
The flowers are either odorless or exude a light, pleasant scent. The most fragrant look - Lithops thin line (smells like blooming mimosa).
Transplanting one-year-old seedlings and older plants begin in late February - early March, focusing on the process of changing leaves of plants.
If there is enough space for the distribution of the colony, the plants are blooming, and the juiciness of the color, the density of the leaves is normal, then the pot can be changed for two or three years.
Emergency transfer because of the long-term wetting of the soil, do the following:
- gently remove the plant,
- a little dry his root system in the air,
- they plant in a suitable dry soil,
- during the week watering Lithops do not spend, just spraying,
- the plant is held not in partial shade or shade, but in the sunniest place.
Each seedling is placed in the landing hole so that the neck was covered with soil.
Overdoing with the immersion of plants in the ground will not work, because they will not give leaves.
Changing plants to the pot with the soil, they are planted in pairs or groups, placing in one container instances of the same age. Between the individual "stones" leave a little open ground, equal in area to half the diameter of the planted succulents.
For young seedlings, the same soil composition is suitable as for adult plants..
Replanting an old plant with large roots, they are slightly shortened.
At the bottom of the pot necessarily poured a layer of drainage, using for this purpose crushed brick, expanded clay crumb with large fractions.
In one pot, you can grow different types of Lithops, since they all require identical care. Moreover, plants grow better in the presence of relatives, even if they have a different color and belong to a different type.
From late summer to November each watering is carried out after the final drying as the surface of the soil and its lower layers. The intensity of irrigation of the soil should be slightly higher and more often when you notice that the plant changes the foliage.
However, increasing the amount of water emitted by one pot is not worth it: because of the accumulation of excess moisture, the leaves will crack and the bush will die.
Soil irrigation perform every two weeks in the hot season. Approximate volume of water per adult specimen: 2 hours spoon on the ground.
On particularly hot days, spraying will help replenish the moisture in the plants and not pour them. The procedure is performed in the morning, before the plants start to get direct sunlight or after a decrease in the intensity of illumination (to avoid sunburn).
In nature, Lithops independently “burrow” into the ground during the arrival of the dry season, so if the plants “sit down”, it means that they have a period of rest. At such time (January-March) watering is stopped.
If suddenly a much larger amount of water got into the pot, it was absorbed into the soil, and did not leak through the drainage hole, then it is better to be safe and transplant the “pebble”.
It is possible in the same pot, after replacing the soil in it. Before planting, a plant with bare stones should be held in the shade for about an hour in the air so that excess moisture can evaporate from the surface of the lower part of the lithope.
Everything Lithops love sunny and hot places. In the wild, the soil around them can warm up to a temperature of 500 ° C and higher, so a window overlooking the south side, where the temperature of the atmosphere in summer reaches the limits that are detrimental to habitual room vegetation, is the most preferable option.
Placing a pot on the windowsill on the north side, The plant needs additional illumination.. Otherwise, the bushes will gradually be drawn out and partially become less decorative.
The location of the container with growing specimens should not be changed without special need.
When preparing the soil, you must take into account the following mandatory conditions:
Soil should be quite poor. Consist of crushed red brick, river sand with large and small grains of sand. Clay and soddy humus are used as an obligatory additive (the best option is soil from rotted birch leaves).
The ratio of 1: 1: 1: 0.5: 0.5. Pebbles, small pieces of granite and other stones are poured onto the top layer of soil.
There should be no limestone in the soil.
Plants form long roots, so to create a comfortable environment, you should give preference to the pot of medium depth.
Fertilize no more than once every two years. (subject to the cultivation of copies in the same pot for two years). The saplings transplanted last year do not need top dressing.
Lithops breed by either layering or seed.
It is more difficult to propagate this type of plant by layeringthan seeds, because the "kids" on the bushes are rare.
Stable replenishment of the family with the layering gives only a beautiful type of succulent, so other species easier and faster to breed lithops from seeds.
Lithops seeds at home, placed on the surface of moist soil, after which the "nursery" is covered with a cap or lid.
How to grow "Live stones" (lithops) of seeds at home? Twice a day, airing the soil with the seeds for ten minutes, around the pot, the temperature is maintained at 28–300 C in the daytime and 15–180 C in the dark.
After the seeds have been pricked (for 6–7 days), the duration and frequency of the air “baths” are doubled by raising the cap.
From 30 days from the moment of emergence, seedlings can be placed in the open sun. Cap-capped plants cannot be kept at + 40 ° C.
The optimal time for the first seedling picks: the first phase of active growth of plants of this species (end of February, March). Planting tiny lithops in the ground, monitor the direction of the ends of the root system. Each branch must be positioned so that it "looked" down.
Lithops - "living stones":
Diseases and pests
The most common problems are due to:
- Spider mite - attacks the plants contained on poorly blown but well heated window sills, where rarely do wet cleaning of accumulated dust.
- Rootworms, which often attack plants with an extended period of "sleep", so it is better to carry out prophylaxis beforehand, using Dantop, Mospilan, etc.
Lithops do not get sick and are not affected by pests., if they are not flooded and they are placed in a zone with a comfortable temperature, a sufficient amount of light.
These three conditions are enough to count on the imminent blooming of “living stones”.
How to choose a Lithops when buying
Before going to a specialty store for such an exotic plant, it is advisable to learn what Lithops are and what type they are. The reason is simple: using the ignorance of people, unscrupulous sellers often give out ordinary dwarf cacti for lithops.
When buying, you should carefully examine the entire surface of the plant for the presence of any spots, traces of mold and rot, as well as mechanical damage. Even small pockets and scratches in the future can be destructive, so it is better not to buy Lithops with similar defects.
The degree of development of the root system also needs to be checked before purchase. Fortunately, it is quite simple to do this - you need to slightly swing the plant and assess the condition of the shoots on the surface. They must be strong and move away from the leaves not less than 2-3 cm in radius (for young shoots).
It is also necessary to lightly touch the surface of the leaves of Lithops. Its softened structure indicates the beginning of rotting, that is, a complete violation of the prescribed conditions of detention. Shopping such "blooming stones" should be avoided.
What conditions to create for growing lithops in the house
According to the opinions of specialists and experienced flower growers, Lithops are unpretentious, however, as for any other home plant, it is imperative to create optimal conditions for the “blooming live rock”. To this end, it is necessary to properly place the pot with the plant, to ensure proper lighting and temperature.
Location and lighting
The most important factor in the home maintenance of a “living stone” is its location and lighting. In the wild, lithops grow exclusively in open sunny areas, so the plant should receive enough natural light at home. For “blooming stones” it is better to fit the place in the house where the sun's rays fall within three to four hours a day.
Experts recommend putting a pot with Lithops to the south or west windows in the house, and as close as possible to the glass (so that the sun's rays do not refract). In winter, when natural lighting becomes significantly less, it should be compensated by installing over the “living stones” artificial lighting. As a rule, fluorescent lamps are best suited. The height of their fixing is from 10 to 15 cm (depending on the power of the lamp and the size of the lithops).
Due to its nature, this exotic plant is much better. tolerates dry weatherrather than freezing. Moreover, Lithops very sensitively react to a decrease in atmospheric pressure.
In the spring and summer, when the root system of “live stones” is actively growing, the temperature of their home maintenance should vary within + 20 ... + 25 ° С. In the autumn-winter period, when flowering does not occur, the pot with lithops should be kept at + 12 ... + 15 ° С.
It is noteworthy that an adult plant, like small shoots, loves temperature drops, so in the summer period it is desirable to change the temperature of the content from +25 ° C during the day to +15 ° C at night. To do this, simply move the pot from the windowsill to the floor. In winter and during the rest period, such procedures are not required.
How to care for "live stone" at home
Along with the unusual appearance of “living stone”, many people are attracted by its unpretentiousness, as well as the fact that even at home you can productively grow lithops, leaving and maintaining are reduced to timely and sufficient watering, proper placement of the pot with the plant and correct feeding. blooming stone.
Despite the fact that the lithops can quite easily transfer some lack of moisture, getting it from the reserves in the leaves, excessive watering and stagnant water, as a rule, quickly lead to the destruction, weakening and rotting of the roots. Therefore, you should correctly determine the mode of watering.
So, from mid-spring to late autumn, Lithops require watering every 7-10 days. It is important to pay attention to the condition of the plant - if the incoming moisture is not enough, then in the daytime the leaves will shrink. In case of such situations, the frequency of watering should be increased.
On particularly hot and dry days, the care of “live stones” should change: in addition to the main irrigation, every evening the Lithops leaves should be sprinkled with warm water. At that moment, when the plant is preparing to change the leaves or the formation of buds, watering increase. Together with irrigation at this time you can make some mineral fertilizers, spreading them in water.
With the beginning of the dormant period, which falls on the winter, watering should be stopped. It is desirable to restore it only in February, and the regularity and volume of watering should be reduced. So, it is quite enough to moisten the soil in the pot with a sprayer every 2-3 weeks. The frequency of watering should be increased only if the opening of the gap between the leaves of "living stones" is delayed.
During watering, it is strongly recommended to avoid direct ingress of moisture into the gap formed by the leaves, and not to leave it on the side surfaces of “live rock”. This can cause severe sunburn and tissue rotting.
It is noteworthy that with regular moderate watering, it is permissible once every 1-2 months to pour a plant pot abundantly, imitating the natural rainy season. In general, it favorably affects the development of the root system.
It should be understood that it is watering that predetermines not only the viability of lithops at home, but also its appearance. So, with an excess of incoming water, it accumulates in the old, outdated leaves, as a result of which they do not die, which significantly worsens the overall appearance of the “flowering stones”.
Lithops, home care for which is quite simple and straightforward, does not require special conditions regarding humidity. This eliminates the need for additional spraying and wetting. Moreover, this exotic plant easily tolerates a long stay in rooms with dry air.
Only the freshness of the air is decisive, so regular frequent airing of the room where there is a pot with lithops is strictly obligatory.
"Stones-flowers" can be fed with any of the available fertilizers intended for cacti. However, they should not be abused, since the root system of the plant absorbs the introduced components rather slowly, and their excess in the soil can destroy the lithops. Therefore, in the process of feeding it is recommended to make only half of the dose prescribed on the package.
Top dressing, as a rule, helps to save the plant from death, when the leaves begin to wither and lose their shape or the plant is attacked by parasites. Re-processing can be carried out not earlier than in a month.
It is not necessary to produce top dressing without urgent need. The only exception is when a plant grows in one place without a transplant for more than two years - in this case, top dressing will strengthen it and saturate it with minerals.
Features care in a dormant period
During the year, the Lithops live through a period of peace twice. The first comes in the change of leaves, when all the vital processes of the plant slow down significantly, and the main forces are spent on the growth of new leaves.
The second runs parallel to the dropping off of flowering buds, since the Lithops reconstruct and re-adjust the power system. The rest period, as a rule, 2-3 weeks proceeds. At this time, the plant needs special care.
First of all, in this period categorically is prohibited feed lithops, watering should also be stopped. This is due to the fact that the slowdown of vital processes is primarily concerned with the suction capacity of the root system.
In view of this substance and excess water concentrate around the roots of the plant and gradually destroy them, causing the Lithops to die. It is most advisable to put at this time a pot with “living stones” in a bright, dry and ventilated, but reliably protected from drafts place.
Lithops transplant: the choice of pot and soil
Transplantation should be carried out only if the plant's root system no longer fits into the pot volume and, as a result, a noticeable slowdown in the growth of lithops begins.
Before transplanting a Lithops, you should carefully check its condition, as this determines whether the plant will transfer such manipulations. It should be free of stains and plaque, and the color must be normal.
It is extremely important that the soil for the Lithops at the new landing site is not very different in composition from the one into which it was originally sown. This is due to the weak adaptability of the plant to new conditions.
It is best to transplant "flowering stones" in pots with a large diameter, but a small height. For the Lithops, pottery is most suitable. Transplantation should be carried out with whole families (a group of plants), since a single plant develops weaker and, as a rule, does not bloom.
Planting substrate for planting Lithops at a new location should be multi-component, but not contain minerals and nutrients in high concentrations. The best option is self-preparation of the substrate. So, for 1 part of soddy humus add 1 part of peat (or clay), 1.5 parts of quartz sand with a large fraction and 2 parts of small brick chips (no more than 2 mm). Наличие известняка в почве недопустимо.
Дно горшка по всей поверхности следует плотно уложить гравием, чтобы обеспечить отток излишков воды и вентиляцию, а после пересадки верхний слой усыпать галькой или гравием, чтобы воссоздать для литопсов естественную среду произрастания.
Цветение «живых камней»
Lithops, which bloom first occurs only in the third year after sowing or planting, usually bloom in the fall. Moreover, initially only some specimens from the family of plants bloom, and the rest gradually join this process with each subsequent year. It is noteworthy that the first to bloom can not the most adult and large representative families.
"Living stones" release a white or yellow flower of amazing beauty between the leaves. Its size can even exceed the dimensions of the sheet of leaf and, as a rule, reaches 3-4 cm in diameter.
Under natural growing conditions, as with optimal home maintenance, flowering lasts 10-15 days. In this case, the flower is revealed only by noon, and with the onset of night closes the petals. It is worth noting that under the influence of the scorching sun the flower can change its color: from white to pink and from yellow to red.
Combating possible diseases and pests
Lithops (live stones) for various reasons may be exposed to diseases and pests. Often there is a situation when the Lithops grimaced, what to do in this case? Such a reaction arises from the attack of a spider mite. It attacks plants that are contained in poorly ventilated and polluted areas. Fortunately, it is very easy to get rid of the tick.
To do this, you should prepare a mixture based on 1 part of household soap, 0.2 parts of alcohol, 0.2 parts of water and 0.2 parts of laundry detergent. The resulting slurry must be carefully applied to the leaves of the Lithops and after 10-15 minutes, wipe with a soft cloth. As a rule, two or three procedures are enough.
A lover of succulent is the root scarlet, which infects the plant in a dormant period, when the “living stones” are most vulnerable. To protect against such attacks, it is recommended to prophylactically treat Lithops with Dantup and Mospilan preparations (or their analogues) before a rest period.
Growing Lithops from Seeds
Self-growing lithops from seeds at home can be quite simple, for this you only need to adhere to some recommendations and advice.
Sowing is best done in March, the substrate for planting "live rock" should be poor in mineral composition, but include several main components: brick chips, sod or leaf earth, quartz sand, peat or clay. It should prevail sand and brick battle, and the other components are taken in equal shares.
After preparing the substrate it is steamed (pour boiling water), mix thoroughly and re-loosen. When falling asleep in a pot, first of all, from a small gravel or pebble, a drainage layer is formed, and only after that a substrate is placed in it.
Immediately before planting, seeds should be soaked in water for 6-8 hours. During this time, the seed is saturated with moisture and opens, which significantly increases the germination rate and growth rate. Sow seeds need to wet, without drying.
Lithops, the reproduction of which is carried out without soaking the planting material, as a rule, demonstrate lower germination.
Lithops need to be sown on the surface, not sprinkling and not mulching the seeds. Immediately after this, the container with the seedlings is tightly covered with glass or garden film and placed in a warm, well-lit place, thus creating greenhouse conditions close to the natural habitat of the “flowering stones”.
After this, the success of growing and developing young Lithops at home depends entirely on the correctness of care.
Very important for seedlings temperature. Thus, the temperature of + 25 ... + 30 ° С, necessary for lithops during the daytime, should be replaced at night by a lower and softer one - + 15 ... + 18 ° С. At the same time every day, the container should be opened for 5-10 minutes.
It is necessary to moisten the soil with seedlings only in case of its complete drying and exclusively using a spray bottle because the usual jet "clog" the seeds, which will slow their growth.
Germination of seeds and the first emergence of shoots can be expected already in 7-10 days after planting.
With the emergence of shoots should increase the frequency and time of ventilation of the pot (4-5 times a day for 10-15 minutes). At the same time, you need to make sure that the container with the sprouts does not stand in a draft. Greenhouse conditions for seedlings of “live stones” need to be maintained, but not to allow overheating of air in the greenhouse above +40 ° C. Also Lithops need to protect from direct sunlight.
When the size of the “blooming stones” seedlings reaches 1 cm in height, the surface of the planting ground should be carefully mulched with small pebbles. At this time, it is acceptable for prophylaxis to treat the soil with a weak solution of potassium permanganate to protect the plant from moss and mold.
Despite the possible difference in growth rates of individual Lithops, with proper home care and the creation of the required conditions, six months after planting, the plant starts changing leaves. During this period, it is necessary to sharply reduce or completely stop watering, which can be restored only after the old leaves die.
The first time to plant "flowering stones" is desirable not earlier than one year after sowing. It is very important that the composition of the soil in the new place is not very different from the one in which the plant was originally located, and the volume of the pot was sufficient for the growth of the root system. It is best to survive Lithops families, because in this case they develop faster and bloom better.
Lithops is a terrific exotic plant that is increasingly grown at home, like the usual indoor flowers. A large number of people who choose to grow Lithops are easily explained by the originality of the plant and its appearance.
It is quite simple to create optimal conditions for the plant - all that is needed is to properly place the pot with “live blooming stones” and ensure proper care (watering and fertilizer). Such simple actions will help lovers of non-standard beauty quickly and easily grow lithops at home.
When did you first become known?
For the first time Lithops were discovered by William Burchell in 1811. He described them in his book of travels in South Africa. And in this description he mentioned the bizarre "living stones", painted their appearance. There were also sketches of these plants, which allow us to understand what he said about the current Lithops (“living pebbles”).
What is this plant?
Lithops is a flower with unique decorative properties. It belongs to succulents, that is, representatives of vegetation, which have the ability to accumulate fluid in their body. The “reservoir” is the leafy part of the plant. Sheets are dense, have a diverse coloring and are covered with spots or other patterns.
Lithops has small dimensions and in appearance is very similar to stone. The plant consists of two leaves, which are separated by a recess (or slit). Leaves are updated throughout the entire period of life. However, the number of leaves remains unchanged. Lithops flowers are somewhat similar to daisies and are relatively large in comparison with its main body.
The unique property of this plant is its disguise under the pebbles. This is especially noticeable in the homeland of its growth, since the Lithops very similar to the desert African stones, which are somewhat similar to our pebbles.
This circumstance is the most attractive aspect. Flower growers are happy to expand and complement their collections with “live stones”. This plant can be attributed to long-lived. With good care and maintenance, Lithops can live for about 15 years at home.
Conditions for content
Care and maintenance of Lithops includes abundant lighting. It is very important for them to get enough sunlight, since this is due to their natural habitat.
The ideal place for growing Lithops is one that has a lot of sun, but at the same time will not expose the flowers to direct sunlight. This may seem strange, given the fact that they grow in nature under the open sky and the scorching sun.
But there are some nuances that distinguish the cultivation of Lithops in the home and their livelihoods in terms of nature. First, Lithops, which grow in the wild and not in pots, have better cooling of the root system. After all, the area of land in the desert is warming up is not as intense as the tiny area of the pot. Secondly, plants in the wild receive protection from the sun with shade from surrounding stones and plants.
"Living stones" in their natural habitat tend to grow on the slopes that are in the shade. Ventilation is also very important. Good airflow maintains temperature and reduces air humidity.
We draw conclusions: if you do not have such a place that it is without direct sunlight, then you will need to protect the flower from the activity of sunlight. In this case, "sunbathing" should be at least 5 hours a day. Only then can the plant survive.
In principle, if Lithops is too hot, he lets know about it. Its peel, which covers the leaves, begins to frown and resemble a “baked apple”. This is a clear sign of water scarcity.
Watering the "living stone"
The plant comes from very dry areas of South Africa. There Lithops flower receives the minimum amount of moisture almost all year round. Now we consider how to water and care for lithopsa at home.
There are many species of this plant, therefore it is difficult to describe the rules for each watering, especially since the climate is different everywhere, and much depends on the latter. However, some basic aspects can be distinguished in terms of their growth cycle.
Incorrectly chosen mode of watering Lithops can lead to plant rot. And as the root system, and leaves. In this case, it is better to water less than to overwet. In a plant, the leaves are arranged in such a way that they play the role of a reservoir of water and in the case of drought they use these reserves.
During the period of active growth of “living pebbles”, it is necessary to regulate the level of irrigation, starting from the temperature regime of the environment. Naturally, in the summertime and flowering period, watering is more active, and in cold weather, the intensity of watering decreases.
It is important! During irrigation water should not fall into the groove between the leaves. This can cause decay. Therefore, it is better to water the bottom. It is forbidden to water Lithops in the period of active sun, it is better to do this in the evening.
But you can still bring the average rate of irrigation for Russia. This is about once every two weeks. The irrigation period begins in spring and ends closer to October. Winter, as we have said, refers to the period of rest, so in winter you should not be zealous with watering, you can stop it altogether. And it should be renewed only after changing leaves.
Signs of excessive watering can manifest themselves in the softness of the leaves. They become as if liquid or resemble jelly products. This suggests that you "drowned" the plant.
Soil and its characteristics
The choice of soil is very important for the care and maintenance of Lithops. There are various “recipes” of soil that were developed by flower growers themselves, and each uses the soil that, in his opinion, is most suitable for Lithops.
However, it should be said that the soil should be “light”, moisture-permeable and should not be collected in a heavy bed when watered. This is important because the water should not linger in the soil, it should immediately drain.
If the climate is too humid, it is necessary to use drainage stones. But if the climate is very hot and dry, the use of denser soil is allowed for moisture retention.
When preparing the soil is desirable to add compost. In this case, you must ensure that it is quite crumbly. It is possible for loyalty to sift the fertilizer to remove large particles.
What to prepare the soil from?
To prepare the soil, you can use various mixtures and materials, however, as mentioned earlier, you need to start from the climate to determine the density.
One of the best bases for growing Lithops is granite soil, but it is not always easy to get. Too fine sand can not be used in its pure form, as it has poor drainage properties. But a small amount of sand can be added to the grinded pumice. For the preparation of the soil is also suitable material such as perlite.
Planting Lithops in clay soils is also a very bad idea. This soil has poor breathability and retains moisture.
The following is the composition of the mixture, which is well suited for the care and maintenance of Lithops:
- 4 parts of fine river sand,
- 4 parts of coarse river sand,
- 4 pieces of sifted compost,
- 1 part perlite,
- 1 part vermiculite,
- 1 piece of coconut fiber.
This is just one example of soil preparation. In fact, the "recipes" are much more. But one is better suited for someone else. The main thing is to take into account the climatic features of your region.
Pots and materials
When the soil is ready, you need to find a suitable pot for planting Lithops. You can use plastic or ceramic containers, but it is worth considering that it is better not to plant a flower in clay pots.
Clay pots will pull in moisture, and evaporation will take time, and for our flower it is bad, especially during the period of cold and high humidity.
The size of the pot also matters. Lithops have rather long roots, so the pot should not be small, especially for an adult plant.
The approximate size of the pot is 12 x 12 x 12 cm. This is sufficient for the root system of the Lithops. It is better to choose lighter pots for the care and maintenance of Lithops, since blacks get very hot and they don’t need it.
How to germinate and grow?
Growing Lithops from seeds is possible at any time of the year. The main thing is to comply with the temperature regime and other features of care. It is most preferable to germinate seeds in early spring, for example in mid-April.
Let us consider in more detail how to grow Lithops at home.
- Take a small container and fill it with prepared soil, if there is none, then try to find a loose substrate that easily passes moisture.
- Now plant seeds of Lithops in this tank. Seeds need to be evenly distributed over the surface.
- Cover with glass on top, place in a well-lit place, but not under direct sunlight.
- When you see that the shoots have reached 1-2 mm in diameter, they need to be strengthened with coarse sand, so that the flowers grow evenly and not fall down on their side.
- Sprouts are sprayed only after complete drying of the soil. Gradually, as the “living stone” grows, it is necessary to introduce the most abundant watering. Water every three or four days. You can spray on the night.
But you need to remember about the danger of rotting, so be sure to wait until the soil is completely dry! Perhaps, in your climate is high humidity, and watering will have to be carried out not every three days, for example, every five days. Correct this data for yourself.
Flowering Lithops, why does not bloom
For successful flowering of Lithops, it is necessary to follow the rules not only of irrigation, but also of temperature. Ideally, if the temperature in the warm season does not exceed 27 degrees. Flowers can be taken out into the street, they love fresh air, but they will have to be protected from drafts and direct sunlight.
In winter, however, the flower is resting, and the temperature may be about 10 degrees with a plus sign. It is possible and lower, but not below 8 degrees. Again, watch out for humidity. In winter, it should be even less than on summer days.
It is better to transplant flowers once every two years. You can every year, but you should use the same composition of the soil, so that once again not to experiment.
Lithops bloom at the age of about three years. The flowers are usually yellow or white, appear between the leaves. There are other color options, but this is rare.
The flowering of these plants occurs in August-October, each flower lives from 5 to 10 days and blooms closer to the dinner time.
Most often, Lithops form whole thickets similar to glades. And they are characterized by weak growth, development and lack of flowering, if they are seated in separate pots. Therefore, if you want to see flowering lithops, then it is more logical to plant them in one common pot - so they will feel much better.
"Living stones" can be mixed and combined with other succulent species that are similar in content. This will make the pot even more interesting and attractive.
Popular Lithops: Species and Varieties
There are about 40 types of Lithops, among which some of the most popular are:
- Lithops false truncated. Plants of this species are distinguished by a grayish or slightly brownish tinge. The surface is stained and has a flat sheet. The flowers are bright yellow.
- Lithops Leslie. The most popular of all type, as the most simple to care and "forgives" errors in irrigation. The plant has yellow or white flowers. The leaves are dark brown, covered with "freckles" of a lighter shade.
- Lithops Aukampi. Large view, reaching 4 cm in height and width. The leaves are purple-brown, and the flowers are yellow.
- Литопс Оптика. Это растение является одним из самых узнаваемых видов, так как листья глубоко вырезанные и окрашены в темно-серо-зеленый цвет. Бывают разновидности с листом фиолетового оттенка. Цветки белого цвета.
Помимо этих сортов, есть еще масса видов литопсов и каждый из них по-своему красив. Уход и содержание литопсов зависит от сорта, поэтому желательно выбирать цветы не только по внешнему виду.
Проблемы и болезни
Lithops, like any other plants, are exposed to diseases, and you need to be alert all the time.
The most common problem is a mealybug, which feeds on plant sap. Usually he settles on a plant where it is difficult to notice. For example, on roots, in a cleft, after the flower bud was opened or in the intervals between old and new leaves.
The mealybug prefers warm, humid conditions, and this makes plants grown in greenhouses particularly vulnerable. It sticks to the plant, and later releases a powdery layer of wax type, which acts as a defense against other parasites. This waxy substance also repels water, so insecticidal sprays, as a rule, do not give effect. There are some types of insecticides that can penetrate this plaque, but they are usually quite poisonous.
A less harmful way to combat the parasite is to use medical alcohol, which with a brush, cotton wool, or other applicator should be plentifully applied to the lesion. Alcohol dissolves their wax coating and destroys the pest. However, you must immediately clean the plant with water after treatment. If the pest is planted on the root system, the plant will have to be dug out of the pot.
Other parasites that attack Lithops are much easier to spot. It can be caterpillars and crickets, of course, provided that the plant is kept outside. However, if you put the flowers not on the ground itself, but on some elevation, the problem will be solved by itself.
Lithops can also be subject to bacterial and fungal infections. However, this happens only because of improperly selected soil, as well as due to excessive watering.
As can be seen from the article, there is nothing supernatural in the care of Lithops. Yes, this plant is not the easiest to care for and very fastidious in places, but very unusual and beautiful. With proper care, it will live from 5 to 15 years, and all this time will delight you with its exotic look.
Therefore, if you have enough sun and not very high climatic humidity, you can try to grow this interesting flower
Living stones Lithops characterizes a huge variety of petal colors during flowering - from carmine and lilac to white, cream, yellow. Flowers look a little different from ordinary daisies and are comparable in size or exceed the leaves. And when a massive flowering of living stones begins at their habitat, this sight is one of the most amazing in nature.
Lithops Lithops is a genus of succulent plants of the family of the Aizos, with more than 30 species. Such "stones" from sandy and stony deserts of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa and Botswana come from. Living in natural conditions, they adapted to the most severe conditions of existence in the arid desert climate. And in order not to become prey for wild animals, which sometimes have nothing to eat in these harsh places, they are disguised as stony ground with such care that it is possible to distinguish them from real stones only if you touch them.
Lithops form extensive colonies, settling in the dewatered places of the planet, on the most impossible soil - quartz, limestone, granite. The ground part of the lithope consists of two thick leaves that are fused together and contain a reserve of moisture, consuming it during the most severe drought. The gap between them is shallow or can reach the ground itself, cutting the "stone" into two halves. From this incision, new leaflets and inflorescence appear.
A young lithops share a common root with the mother plant until it is dead. The color and pattern of the leaves repeats the pattern and color of the stones of the surrounding terrain. The underground part of the lithops consists of a short stem and a long root extending deep into the sand in search of life-giving moisture. When a drought occurs, the roots pull the entire plant into the depth so that it practically disappears from the surface. Lithops flower is like a daisy - in young plants they close at night. So they save moisture.
How to care for Lithops
Live stones Lithops how to care for succulents at home Reproduction of seeds Photo of flowers
In order to prevent mistakes in the maintenance of Lithops, one should understand the cyclical nature and conditions of its growth in the motherland. Living stones often go on sale, and the only reason for the low prevalence of these interesting plants is poor knowledge of their biology and, as a result, improper care, which leads to their death.
It is very decorative, but also extremely sensitive plant. They look out from under the sandy ground to get their share of the sunlight. These small succulents are painted extremely varied. The top of the leaves is spotty and may be dark red-brown or yellowish, orange, blueberry, dark purple.
Spots, lines and streaks on the surface are a kind of windows through which a plant filled with sand absorbs weak light. With the onset of the spring period, a pair of new leaves emerge from the gap, which replaces the old leaves, which have given their strength to resume growth.
- Lithops perfectly feels on light window-sills, positively reacts to airing.
- Every day for 4 hours he needs direct sunlight or artificial lighting for 12 hours.
- In low light, the plant may die.
- In winter, it is worth maintaining a temperature of 10-15 degrees. Since December, watering is completely stopped, resuming it in March. You can only sometimes spray lithops. Its life cycle ends - it consumes moisture from dying leaves.
- Watering begins in the spring, when a new life cycle begins, as a result of which new leaves appear.
The best way to water is to pour water into the pan and after 10 minutes, pour out the residue. Or place the container in a bowl with wet peat, which is periodically moistened. At the end of our summer, Lithops life is again suspended - watering should be suspended. In September, the Lithops bloom, after which watering is again reduced. For the period of growth, you can put a container with "pebbles" on the street under a shed to prevent rain drops from entering.
Leaving for a period of rest, he ceases to develop, and his leaves grow dull. Noticing these signs, it is necessary to stop watering and place the pots in a bright, cool place.
Twice a year, you can apply additional fertilizer fertilizer, which should be added to the water for irrigation in minimal quantities. This should be done only for plants that have not been transplanted for more than 2 years.
Soil for Lithops
Growing Lithops How to Grow Lithops Reproduction and care of species photos
For living stones, pots of about 7 cm in height are selected. When selecting a container, the size of the root system is taken into account - too much soil will lead to souring, rotting and death of the root system. Be sure to arrange drainage at the bottom of the landing tank.
- The soil substrate can be prepared from the store soil for succulents, sand, perlite (1: 2: 2).
- Living stones can be planted in wide bowls in combination with other desert succulents.
- It is necessary to grow up live stones by groups - as they grow in nature, closely nestling to each other. Planted alone, grow poorly, do not bloom and may die.
- It is good to make mulching with small decorative stones: this will have a positive effect on the microclimate in the soil and will create additional decoration for the composition.
Most succulents are not picky about the composition of the soil - the main thing is that it allows water to flow well and does not contain much humus. To reduce the acidity in its composition include chopped wood ash or chalk.
Lithops from seeds at home
How to grow lithops from seeds Growing lithops from seeds Photo of seedlings
Reproduction of Lithops seeds is quite simple. It is better to immediately purchase a bag with a mixture - then you will get many different types at the same time.
- Sowing is carried out in a wide, shallow dish with a transparent lid and drainage holes.
- Soil mixture for planting is prepared from standard store earth, sand, perlite (1: 2: 2).
- The soil is thoroughly moistened and as rarely as possible spread the seeds over the surface. Top thinly sprinkled with sand, cover the container with a lid or glass, cling film.
- Seeds for a long time do not lose their qualities, so germination can be 100%. They germinate unevenly. The first may appear during the first week.
- To accustom small plants to the air and for ventilation, the lid on the container is lifted every day.
- Watering is carried out through the pan - water is poured into it and drained after a while.
- Pebbles grow very slowly. Sometimes they fall on their sides, since the roots are not yet sufficiently developed - in this case we help the toothpick to take them upright, pressing them a little into the ground.
- It is better if the container with the seedlings is located in a sunny place.
The first bloom under optimal conditions may occur 3 years after sowing.
Living stones grow very slowly - this can be used to create mini-compositions, which will be preserved in its original form for several years. Lithops literally emit positive energy that people in the room feel.
When properly seated, they require almost no care - you can forget about them for a few weeks. And the "pebbles" will be only grateful to you for this, because they do not like excessive attention. Such a composition is ideal for people who cannot devote a sufficient amount of their time to caring for indoor plants, but want to have a living corner of the house. Lithops perfectly cope with this task by creating a piece of the unique landscape of the sultry desert in the house.
Live stone Argyroderma Lithops Argyroderma
Lithops Argyroderma Lithops Argyroderma how to grow a photo
Mimics sharp chipped pebbles, its paired leaves are somewhat pointed at the top and loosely abut each other. The name of this species alludes to the silver color of the skin of the leaf.
Living Stone Fenestraria Lithops Fenestraria and Friia Lithops Frithia
Lithops Fenestraria Lithops Fenestraria Succulent Cultivation and Care Photo
Barrel-like leaves form solid thickets. They are slightly distant from each other, so that the round shape of each is not subjected to deformation.
Lithops false-chopped Lithops pseudotruncatella
Lithops false-chopped Lithops pseudotruncatella flowers photo
Differs in the presence of a shallow rift and pinkish-gray color of leaves with a pattern of a more intense shade. Golden yellow buds appear in the fall.
Lithops salt tolerant Lithops solicola
Lithops salt tolerant Lithops solicola photo How to care
Externally, it looks like a slingshot, which was stuck in the ground. The upper side is darker side. During flowering shoots chrysanthemum snow-white flower.
Description and Features of Lithops
Each copy of Lithops It is a pair of accrete volumetric fleshy leaves only 2-5 cm high, which are separated by a hollow. The upper surface of the leaves, depending on the species, may be flat, convex or conical.
As a rule, this succulent imitates not only the shape and size of the stone, but also repeats in detail the color range of the stony background of the area. therefore leaf color varies from gray-green to brown, and they themselves are usually dotted with spots and patterns. With time leaves shrink, dry out, becoming similar to the old peel, from under which sprouts a new pair of leaves.
Depth of hollow each species may be different - as a small depression, and reaching almost to the ground. By the end of summer - the beginning of autumn, a flower of white or yellow color, very similar to a daisy flower, grows from a hollow of Lithops older than three years.
Flower diameterwhich will please others 5-10 days with its appearance, sometimes can exceed the size of the plant.
Lithops grow very slowly, and depending on the species can grow alone or form groups. The long roots of the plant, designed to extract moisture from the deeper layers of the soil, have the ability to "pull" lithops into the ground to prevent moisture loss from the surface of the leaves during dry periods.
Lithops beautiful Lithops bella
Lithops beautiful Lithops bella photo Cultivation and care at home
There is a deep rift between the olive-gray leaves. Drawing on the surface is formed by thick broken lines, and flowering is accompanied by a pleasant aroma.
Lithops Fuller Lithops fuller
Lithops Fuller Lithops fuller maintenance and care Photos of succulents
The height does not exceed 1.5 cm. The leaves are blue-gray or brownish-yellow with a convex top surface covered with a brownish-green pattern and red-brown spots. The flower is white daisy.
Lithops Optics Lithops Optica
Lithops Optics Lithops Optica photo How to grow and care for a cactus Lithops photo
These pebbles are painted in a lilac-lilac tone, and the inner surface is slightly lighter and does not grow more than 3 cm. The white flower with yellow stamens is located deep in the crevice.
Lithops Olive Green Lithops Olivaceae
Lithops Olive Green Lithops Olivaceae how to look after photo
Its shape resembles a heart with cut tops. These are greenish-gray pebbles with whitish chaotically-located spots. Pale yellow buds are located on light green peduncles.
Lithops Marble Lithops Marmorata
Lithops Marble Lithops Marmorata growing and care in the home photo
Their upper gray-greenish surface, dotted with lots of gray lines, looks velvety. Chamomile flowers bloom after rain.
Lithops Leslie Lithops Lesliei
Lithops Leslie Lithops Lesliei how to grow in indoor conditions photo
Its fleshy leaves are strongly shortened, gray-blue in color with a shallow arc-shaped crack. Their flat part is dotted with a fine mesh pattern.
Lithops Brownish Lithops Fulviceps
Lithops Brownish Lithops Fulviceps growing and care in ambient conditions photo
Spots of irregular shape are scattered on the coffee-brown flat surface of these stones and creates the impression of an extruded uneven mesh. The diameter of the yellow flower reaches 3 cm.
Lithops Aukamp Lithops Aucampiae
Lithops Aukamp Lithops Aucampiae growing and care at home photo
Rich chocolate color with lighter patches of leaves resembles chocolate truffles.
This article will address the issue of care and maintenance of Lithops, in addition, it will be told about diseases and how to combat them. Lithops are plants that belong to succulents, they have two dense leaves, separated by a section of different depths. In the people, these plants are called "living stones." Such plants are very loved by growers, but they are of particular interest to collectors.
When to start growing "live stones"?
Vegetative reproduction of Lithops is possible, but they are mainly grown from seeds. In order to grow healthy Lithops, it is necessary to consider the life cycle of the flower. It is directly related to the duration of daylight hours.
Reference. When grown in an apartment, the life cycle of a plant may move slightly.
The resting period of the lithops plant falls in the summerwhen the longest light day. At home at this time comes the drought. But at the end of August the flower wakes up and blooms. After flowering, leaves begin to change. And only at the end of February old leaves completely give way to young shoots. It is at this time that sowing of young seeds is recommended.
Step-by-step instructions on how to grow at home
The germination of seeds Lithops is painstaking. However, observing certain rules, a novice gardener can handle it. The main thing is to properly prepare and take into account the peculiarities of this plant. It is possible to sow seeds from late autumn to late spring, however, the beginning of March is considered the most favorable period.
The first step is to prepare the ground. The usual peaty soil will not be suitable for sowing Lithops. It is necessary to prepare a special mixture that is as close as the desert soil to Lithops. For its preparation it is necessary to take:
- 1 part of crushed red brick (the size of the fragments should be about 2 mm),
- 2 pieces of turf land,
- 2 pieces of sand
- 1 piece of clay
- 1 part peat.
The components are mixed and calcined in the oven, then cool and well poryhlit. At the bottom of the pot you need to fill the drainage of small gravel, about 25-30% of the height, then the harvested soil and moisten it well. After that, the soil is ready for planting seeds.
Recommendation. Adding ash to the soil mixture will help prevent rotting.
For growing Lithops at home it is better to choose a pot that will not taper to the bottom. Well, if it is a wide bowl. The choice of such dishes will provide good ventilation and permeability to moisture.
When choosing a seed, you need to know their age. Lithops seeds remain viable for 10 years, but they are best sprung for the third year of storage. How to carry out planting and how to germinate their seeds?
- Before planting the seeds must be soaked. To do this, they are placed in a solution of manganese for 6 hours, but no more.
- How to plant? After that, they need to be dried, spread over the surface of the soil. После того, как их посадить присыпать сверху землей не нужно.
- Для создания комфортных условий посеянные семена накрываются пленкой или стеклом. Емкость должна быть хорошо освещена, однако она не должна находиться на палящем солнце.
Из видео узнаете, как посеять литопсы в домашних условиях:
Далее вы можете ознакомится с фото и увидеть, как выглядят литопсы выращенные из семян:
Can I plant in open ground?
In the period from May to September, Lithops can be introduced to fresh air. It will harden seedlings and contribute to flowering. However, planting them in open ground is not worth it.
Reference. In winter, they can simply freeze, frequent transplanting from a pot and back will not please him. In addition, rains can fall into the hollow between the leaves, which is harmful for lithops.
Why not grow?
For proper development of the plant you need to carefully monitor the soil moisture. Lithops comes from dry places and does not like moisture stagnation, therefore abundant watering is contraindicated for him. Sometimes it can be wiped with a damp cloth, but water on the surface of the plant should not remain.
Often precisely violation of the irrigation regime is the reason that the little lithops stop growing. If, nevertheless, the soil was overwetted, it is necessary to completely stop watering and wait until the soil dries out completely.
The same cause of stunting can be a disease. Lithops are fairly resistant to disease, especially in hot weather. However, as the temperature decreases, they become more susceptible. The most common pests for Lithops are:
- Aphid. She sucks the juice from the leaves. In the initial stages, an infusion of hot pepper or garlic will help fight it, but if more serious measures are needed, insecticides can be used (Actellic or Aktara).
- Spider mite. When white bloom appears, treat the plant with Actellic solution. Handle every 5-7 days.
- Mealybug. If the disease is seen in the early stages, you can wash the plant with soapy water. In a more advanced case, treatment with Aktar or Phosphamide will help. Process once a week.
- Root rot. To combat it, it is necessary to dig up the plant, inspect the roots and remove the areas damaged by the disease. The treated roots of the plant are immersed in a 2% solution of Bordeaux liquid for half an hour, after which the lithops can be planted in a new soil.
Lithops are amazing plants, striking in their appearance. They are quite unpretentious in care, however, with the created comfortable conditions they can grow into a whole colony capable of pleasing with bright blooms.
Lithops are very beautiful unique plants that look like stones, inside which a flower has settled. In nature, there are 37 types of these "living stones" from the family of aizovyh. Each species has its own color, making it invisible in the environment. Grow Lithops easy. Any florist who has had experience in succulent maintenance will cope with this. The most important rule for the care of “live stones” is moderate watering: they do not tolerate excessively high moisture.
The natural conditions in which the Lithops grow are rocky slopes and African deserts, so they are very fond of the heat. "Living stones" bravely tolerate temperature drops from +5 to +50 degrees, but they are very afraid of high humidity.
Watering these plants should be abundant, so that all the soil in the tank is wet, but at the same time all the moisture must drain very quickly through the drainage holes. Watering plants need every two to three weeks. In the period from January to March, Lithops hibernate, so they do not need to be watered at this time.
As a rule, these plants are propagated by cutting. But you can also grow a “living stone” from the seeds.
Existing seeds should be soaked in water for 4 hours. After that, it is necessary to scatter the wet seeds from the bag over the soil surface, and lay a layer of sand 1 mm thick on them. Cover the pot with glass or a thick plastic sheet. Every day, the seeds need to be sprayed, and then air the greenhouse for 5-10 minutes. Sowing can be done at any time of the year, but it is best for Lithops to emerge in mid-July, because their seeds love high temperatures - about + 25-28 degrees.
After two weeks sprouts appear, then the glass from the pot can be removed. A container with germinated seeds should be placed in a bright place; instead of watering, spray them every day. After about 5-6 months, the seedlings can dive. But the best time to transplant small Lithops into separate pots is the end of March.
Lithops are grown in very poor soil, the basis of which is sand. The main thing is that he is well missed the air and water. It is possible to purchase store cactus mixture for “live stones”, add river sand and drainage to it - crushed expanded clay, gravel, pebbles, broken bricks. At the bottom of the pot and on the surface of the soil should be sure to lay a layer of stones. Lithops in a bowl look very nice along with other succulents. Such a composition is not only beautiful, but also useful for Lithops: neighbors take away excess moisture from them.
In the first year of independent life, Lithops do not feed. If the Lithops are not transplanted into another soil, after a year they begin to be fertilized with a nutrient mixture for cacti half-diluted with water. Perform such feeding in each month of summer and in the first month of autumn.
Types of Lithops
In the cultural floriculture 37 species of Lithops are known, but most often the following can be found:
Lithops Aukamp (Lithops Aucampiae) - specimens of this species have a green, gray-blue, brownish color of leaves with darker, merging patterns. The flowers are yellow, about 4 cm in diameter.
Lithops Leslie (Lithops Lesliei) - miniature view. A pair of leaves, the shades of which vary widely, in diameter does not exceed 1-2 cm. It produces white flowers with a pleasant aroma.
Lithops Brownish (Lithops Fulviceps) - greenish or brown-brown leaves of this species are decorated with a pattern of green and brown specks. The flowers are yellow, small.
Lithops Marble (Lithops Marmorata) - a gray-green upper part of the leaves is decorated with a darker marble pattern. This species of lithope blooms with white fragrant flowers, the diameter of which is 5 cm.
Lithops Olive Green (Lithops Olivaceae) - the diameter of the succulent is 2 cm. The color of the leaves varies from olive green to brown. Individual specks and strokes in the pattern of the top of the leaves merge into a single, darker spot. It blooms yellow flowers.
Lithops Optics (Lithops Optica) - height and diameter of leaves - no more than 2 cm. Shades of leaves - from light green to gray-green. A species of Lithops Optica with pinkish raspberry leaves is known.
Selection and lighting
Lithops love very much the heat and the sun, so great will feel on the windowsills on the south side of the apartment. At the same time, “living stones” do not respond very well to changing places and even to turning the pot to the other side, therefore, choosing a suitable place for them, you should not change it.
For the care of a chefflera in a home garden environment, read this article.
Chlorophytum requires simple care. Take tips on a note and a friend will appear in your house who will take care of the purity of breath.
Stephanotis flower will reward you with jasmine fragrance http://sad-doma.net/houseplants/decorative-leaf/liany/stefanotis-uhod.html, if you care for them according to these rules.
Air temperature and humidity
Since in nature Lithops are inhabitants of desert regions, they well tolerated hot and dry air. Optimal temperature + 22 + 25 degrees. In winter, the permissible temperature values are not lower than + 12 + 15 degrees. There are no special requirements for air humidity, but minimum humidity is preferable.
Transplant and soil
Transplant Lithops are needed as needed, with the growth of the root system or in order to update the soil - no more than once every 4-5 years. Some of the lateral roots are removed. Transplant tanks are shallow, but wide, providing a good drainage layer.
The soil for planting Lithops fit the following:
- leaf ground - 1 part,
- sand - 1.5 parts,
- clay - 1 part,
- brick crumb - 1 part.
Purchased mixes for cacti and peat Lithops are not suitable. In order to avoid the appearance of root collar rot, it is necessary to equip the upper drainage from small gravel, filling the surface of the soil around the plant with pebbles.
In the wild, plants grow in the South African rocky desert. They can also be found in southwest Africa. They grow on rocky slopes or areas with clay soil. Often they have a gray tint and they are difficult to distinguish among the stones, where they hide from the heat.
Lithops have a good survival rate. They can grow even where there are no other plants. In the daytime, they are able to withstand up to fifty degrees of heat, and at night a significant decrease in temperature, so they are not afraid of temperature drops.
Even a beginner florist can grow these unique “living stones”. Therefore, if you decide to acquire Lithops, be sure to do it. They will decorate your flower collection and give it an exotic flavor.
Varieties and types of Lithops with photo and names
Lithops Leslie - is the most popular variety for home growing. It is a small type of Lithops with a pair of small fleshy leaf plates with a diameter of up to 2 centimeters. The plant may have a pinkish, reddish, gray and coffee shade. The upper part of the “living stone” is decorated with an elegant ornament resembling a star. Large inflorescences have a delicate, pleasant aroma and white or yellow petals.
Lithops Aukamp - A type of succulent named after South African biologist Juanita Aukamp. The lobes of sheet plates reach a width of up to 3 centimeters. Lithops has a rounded top. The leaves have a green, brown or blue-gray tint. The upper part of the leaf plates is covered with colored specks. The clearance between the lobes of the plant is deep. From it appear large yellow inflorescences with a faint aroma.
Lithops Optics - The leaf plates of this sort of Lithops in length reach 2 centimeters. They do not close completely and have a deep cleft. Succulents can have a light or gray-green shade. There are also varieties and crimson hue. Inflorescences are large, white with a light aroma.
Lithops Pseudotruncatella - The leaves of the plant have a diameter of up to 3 centimeters, the succulent itself grows up to 4 centimeters. Leaf plates can be pink, brown or gray. They are decorated with an elegant ornament of lines and points. Between the lobes of the plant there is a deep cleft, from which a large, yellow inflorescence emerges during flowering.
Lithops Olive Green - in height the plant reaches up to two centimeters, as well as in diameter. The leaves are dull, may have an olive or brown tint with specks or strokes. From a deep cleft located between the two halves of the succulent, large yellow blossoms appear, remotely resembling a daisy.
Leaf plates of this type are not like other Lithops, they are separated by a deep cleft. They have a green tint with specks of gray. The surface of the leaves is beveled. Plant height reaches 2.5 centimeters. In September, small yellow inflorescences appear on the lithopsa.
Lithops Soleros - The diameter of the sheet plates reaches 3 centimeters, and its height is 2.5 centimeters. The top of the succulent is flat and has an olive tint with dark specks. The inflorescences are white, large with a light pleasant aroma.
Lithops Mix - This is a composition of several Lithops variety. The group of succulents looks very impressive due to the variety of color sheet plates and patterns on them.
Lithops Bromfield - is a compact perennial virtually devoid of stem. Its leafy plates have a cone-shaped shape, flat tops and a green-brown, green, reddish or whitish tint. The tops of the leaves are covered with small specks. Inflorescences are bright yellow, large with a pleasant aroma.
Lithops Cole - in height the plant reaches up to 3 centimeters. Its dense leafy plates have a sandy shade with dark brown specks. Inflorescences are large, yellow with a light, pleasant aroma. Succulent blooms in September.
Lithops Compton - the half leaf plates have a green tint with light whitish divorces. Inflorescences are large with unusual petals that have yellow edges and a white middle.
The plant has fleshy leafy plates of a gray-green shade with a cleft in the middle. The surface of the leaves is covered with dark specks and thin lines. The inflorescences are large, golden hue.
Lithops Spread - This variety of succulents has leaves of different sizes and a height of 3 centimeters. The top of the sheet plates is beveled and covered with coarse gray-green specks. The inflorescences of the plant are large, golden hue with a pleasant aroma.
Lithops Dorothea - is a miniature variety of Lithops. Succulent reaches a height of 1 centimeter. Sheet plates are similar to feldspar or quartz, among which the plant grows. During flowering, large bright yellow flowers appear between the leaf plates.
Lithops Franz - The plant is 4 centimeters tall and has dense, fleshy olive-colored leaves with mustard specks on top. Succulent blooms in September with white or yellow large inflorescences with a pleasant aroma.
Lithops redhead - grows in the wild in the Namibian desert. It has greenish-brown cylindrical leaves, on the upper part of which has a convex pattern consisting of brown specks. Inflorescences are large white or yellow.
Lithops Fine - in height the plant reaches up to 3 centimeters. It has whitish-gray leaf plates with an unusual brown pattern on their top. From a small cleft between the leaves at the beginning of autumn, large, bright yellow inflorescences appear.
Lithops care at home
Lithops are unpretentious cultures, but in order for them to grow and develop, they should create the necessary microclimate. To do this, you need to know exactly where you can put a pot with a plant, how it should be watered, what kind of light and temperature prefers lithops and many other secrets for the care of this exotic succulent.
Perhaps the most important factor in the cultivation of "living stones" is the light and location of the pot. Since lithops grow in natural environments in sunny open areas, they should also have enough light at home. For succulents it is best to choose a place that will be lit about four hours a day.
Florists recommend putting pots with "live stones" on the south or west windows, closer to the glass, so that the rays do not refract. In winter, when the sun is less, you should use the phytolamp to organize additional lighting.
Lithops poorly tolerate humid air, so they do not need to be sprayed and put humidifiers next to them. However, fresh air is vital for them. Therefore, the room where the plants are located should be regularly aired.
Despite the fact that Lithops are drought-resistant plants, since they accumulate moisture in the leaf plates, excessive dryness of the soil can lead to the death of living stones, just like its waterlogging. For this reason, watering should be strictly observed.
From mid-spring to late fall, the plants should be watered once a week. If the leaf plates begin to shrink during the day, the succulent lacks moisture. With a similar problem, the frequency of watering should be increased.
During hot summer days it is necessary to carefully monitor the soil moisture and prevent it from drying out. During the change of leaf plates and budding, watering should be increased, bringing with them mineral supplements.
With the onset of the rest period, that is, throughout the winter, the plant does not need to be watered. Resume watering should be in mid-February, however, its regularity and volume should be reduced. It is enough to moisten the earth with a spray every two weeks.
The frequency of watering should be increased only if the cleft between the leaves does not open. When watering it is necessary to ensure that water does not get into the crevice and on the sides of the succulent, otherwise it will lead to sunburn and rotting.
With regular moderate watering, once a month should be poured Lithops, simulating the rainy season, which is characteristic of natural conditions. Such a regime has a beneficial effect on the development of roots.
Should take into account the fact that watering affects the appearance of the plant. If a lot of moisture, it begins to accumulate in the old sheet plates, which have already outlived their life. As a result, they will not die out and worsen the overall appearance of the plant.
Soil for Lithops
If you buy the substrate in the store, you should stay on the ground for succulents or cacti. When preparing it independently, it is necessary to mix in equal parts of the sheet and sod soil, add ½ part of clay and one part of large river sand.
At the bottom of the pot, it is imperative to equip the drainage, and above the ground around the plant it is necessary to fill it with fine expanded clay, which prevents rotting of the root system and the plant as a whole.
Pots for Lithops
Lithops should be planted in a pot with a large diameter and a small height. Better if it is a clay container.
Transplantation is carried out in groups, as plants grow weaker one by one and do not bloom.
Литопсы подкармливают удобрениями для кактусов. Однако цветовод должен учесть, что злоупотребление подкормками опасно, так как «живые камни» впитывают их очень медленно, избыток удобрений в почве может их погубить. По этой причине вносить подкормки следует строго в той дозе, которая указана на упаковке.
With the help of feeding you can save the plant in the case when the leaf plates begin to wilt and change shape. Without the need to fertilize the plant is not necessary.
The only exception is when the succulent grows for a long time in one place without a transplant. In this case, feeding will give him everything necessary for growth and development.
Lithops maintenance in winter
The Lithops rest period comes twice a year. The first begins when changing sheet plates. At this point, the plant slows down its growth and development, leaving reserves for growing new leaves.
The second comes after flowering. At this time, "live stones" are rebuilt to another power system. This period lasts for a month.
In these two periods, one of which falls on late autumn and winter, you need to take care of the lithops in a special way. It should completely abandon dressing and watering. This is necessary in order to remove the load from the root system, whose suction abilities during this period are minimized. And if you do not stop watering and fertilizing the plant will die either from rotting of the roots, or from an excess of fertilizer.
In order for the culture to rest properly, the pot with it must be transferred to a bright, ventilated and dry room, protected from drafts.
Lithops growing from seeds at home
Lithops are propagated in most cases with seeds, but if desired, the florist can separate the daughter's shoot from a large mother plant, transplanting it immediately to a permanent growth place.
In seed reproduction, Lithops are sown in March in ground mix consisting of brick chips, leaf soil, sod, quartz sand and clay. Most of all in the ground should be brick chips and sand, the other components are taken in equal parts.
After the substrate is prepared, it is poured boiling water, stirred and loosened. In the tank for seeding seed material make a drainage layer of fine expanded clay, then fall asleep ready substrate.
Sowing seeds Lithops
Before planting seeds in the ground, they should be soaked in water for 8 hours. Thanks to this, the seeds will germinate faster and grow better. Sow them must be wet, drying is not needed. If you refuse to soak, Lithops will not grow well.
Sow the seeds on the surface of the earth, not sprinkling them with a layer of soil. After the procedure, the container with lithops should be covered with foil and put away in a warm place.
The temperature regime for seedlings during the day should be from +25 to +30, and at night from +15 to +18. Every day, the tank with lithops should be ventilated for 10 minutes. Soil needs to be moistened with use of a spray only when it dries completely. Seeds begin to germinate 10 days after planting. After the sprouts appear, it will be necessary to air the plants for 15 minutes a day.
You should also avoid drafts and direct sunlight on the young. When the height of "living stones" reaches 1 centimeter, the surface of the earth must be mulched with small clay. To prevent mildew from developing, the soil should be treated from time to time with a weak solution of manganese.
After six months, the plants will begin to change the leaf plates. At this time it is necessary to completely stop watering. Transplantation can be carried out in a year, planting young plants in the same composition of the soil in which they were sown. The pot should be big and low. It is best to carry out the transplantation of Lithops groups, so they will grow faster and bloom more abundantly.