Lithops, also known as “living stones” or “flowering stones”, are beautiful succulent plants that have evolved to prevent grazing animals from eating them by mixing with the stones in their natural environment.
In the wild, lithops are the easiest to find in Namibia and South Africa. It has also become a popular houseplant. With close to 150 different varieties, there are plenty of options to choose from. The good news is that they are relatively easy to care for.
As long as they get sunlight, but not direct, and are planted in a well-drained spot, they will have no trouble thriving. They actually only need to be watered once every two weeks as they store a good amount of water, so they are also perfect for people who are not into gardening.
Lithops plants can be grown by propagation or seed. The seeds will take a little longer to germinate, but they are a good option if you buy them online. On Etsy, there are many reputable sellers like EEGCO and The Cactus Kingdom that ship mixed bags of seeds. With a little patience and care, you’ll have your own living stones in no time.
Lithops are a type of South African “living stone”, a mainly subterranean plant that lives in extremely dry conditions. This subterranean life makes it difficult to get enough sun to photosynthesize while conserving as much water as possible. Lithops have many adaptations to help it do just this, including a top surface with “windows” of translucent pockets that allow light to penetrate photosynthetic tissues deep within the leaf below. Cleverly, these windows also have sunscreen properties to block out harmful ultraviolet light.
- They are known as “living stones” or “stone plants”.
- It Is The World’s Most Camouflaged Plant.
- They Survive With Little Or No Water.
- Lithops Were Discovered In 1811
- Each year, its bulbous leaves split and die back to allow a new pair of fused leaves to appear.
- They also give white or yellow flowers.
- Their unusual appearance and easy care make them popular houseplants.
- Many sellers offer lithop seeds online so you can grow your own living stones.
Lithops flower in late fall or early winter generally, although some species flower in spring or early summer. A single flower will emerge from the crack between the pair of leaves. However, only plants older than three years (and sometimes five years) will produce flowers. The lithops flower looks similar to a daisy and, depending on the species, can be between one and a half centimetres and almost four centimetres in diameter. It can be orange, white or pale yellow.
Lithops are popular and novel houseplants. Because they thrive in low humidity conditions, need infrequent watering and care, and are relatively easy to grow, Lithops are popular novelty houseplants. With their small size and slow, compact growth, these plants don’t take up much space. Lithops have a long life, up to 40 or 50 years.
|Common Name||Lithops plants, living stones, living stone plant, split rocks, split rock plant, pebble plant, flowering stones|
|Scientific Name||Lithops aucampiae, Lithops dorotheae, Lithops fulviceps, Lithops hookeri, Lithops karasmontana, Lithops lesliei, Lithops localis, Lithops optica, Lithops pseudotruncatella, Lithops ruschiorum, Lithops salicola, Lithops verruculosa, Lithops viridis and other lithops species|
|Light||Full sun to partial shade|
|Water||Extremely light to none at all|
|Temperature||65-80 degrees optimal, can take heat to 90-100, do not go below 50 degrees|
|Humidity||Tolerant of short bursts of humidity|
|Soil||Gritty or rocky, sandy soils; extremely well draining soil preferred|
|Fertilizer||None to extremely light high-phosphorous|
|Pests||Spider mites most common. Can also attract thrips, scale insects, mealybugs, aphids, snails, slugs, and root knot nematodes. Mice and other small animals may eat it for its water content.|
|Diseases||Almost none, but can develop rot if overwatered, exposed to cold conditions, or damaged|
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