These amazing plants look just like little stones. Each has its own special, ornamental pattern and colour and they thrive on neglect. Lithops need very little to survive and you are more likely to kill them with kindness than anything. They are endemic to dry, rocky areas of South Africa where they have adapted to survive and thrive on virtually nothing.
These hybrids produce large yellow or white flowers as big as the plants, appearing in autumn (around March/April) for 1-2 weeks. It may take a season for them to settle in and bloom.
After flowering, the plant splits and dries out, the old foliage wrinkles and a new plant emerges from within. These plants undergo this fantastic transformation over winter, in a constant process of renewal with an all new skin (ahh if only we could do this). Depending on where you live, they plant is likely to go dormant for a while at this time, then ‘coming back to life’ summer/autumn with a new bloom.
Lithops are extremely slow growing, taking around two years to reach 1cm across (this is the average of their current size).
SIZE (HxW): 2-3cm x 2-3cm
I SEE THE LIGHT: Bright, indirect light is ideal. Keep out of the hot afternoon sun lest their leaves be sunburned or roots damaged. To be overly specific, they need 3-5 hours of direct bright light and more of indirect if possible. Protect from the hot afternoon sun and excessive moisture.
I NEED A DRINK: They don’t need much water – really barely any. Water the potting mix lightly October to March, allowing the soil to dry out completely in between. Over winter is a rest period for them where they may form a new plant, don’t water at this time. It is always better to under do it, observing when the leaves begin to shrivel and only then watering.
I WILL SURVIVE: Plant into pots, ensuring you choose a cactus/succulent potting mix for best results as it offers the sharp drainage they need. If you have some Dolomite lime lying around or rock dust add it to the mix for some trace elements. Choose a pot with drainage holes to ensure they don’t end up sitting in water, or promise to be restrained in watering. Best grown in a deep container (10cm) to allow their roots a space to grow.
Use a diluted, liquid fertiliser to just a quarter strength in spring to keep them happy and healthy. They aren’t heavy feeders so will forgive you if you forget. Repot every two to three years in spring, once the new plant is formed.
Supplied as: Pots