Lithops - Living stones
Lithops seeds and plants are a wonderful and fascinating plant that can be grown from seed or are available for sale as plants from specialist nurseries and in Australia.
Lithops are from the dry plains of Southern Africa and because of their look, Lithops are often called 'living stones'. Lithops do look like stones and require very little water at all.
Growing lithops is fairly easy to grow and they make a great indoor plant.
Lithops Care : Plant profile and growing notes.
Lithops grow in areas of very low rainfall, so a free draining growing medium is required. Away from their natural environment lithops are best grown in pots. Try an indoors or covered position with 5-6 hours sunlight a day. Water well at the begining of Autumn but let the soil dry out completely between waterings. (one good soaking every two weeks for 8 weeks). Lithops are actually dormant during the hotter summer months and do not require much water at all, an occassional very light watering, perhaps once evry 6 weeksduring this period is all that is required, do not deep water during summer.
The main attraction of growing Lithops is the fantastic patterns and 'stone like' appearance of these interesting plants, Lithops do flower, and the flowers are very pretty, however it may take Lithops 4-5 years to reach flowering size, so be patient. Try growing lithops in a 30cm deep pot, a free draining potting mix designed for succulents, set in stone chips, very course sand,gravel or surrounded by small stones.These flowering succulents have become very fashionable as house plants, indeed they seem to be 'collectable'.
Species and Varieties
Part of the Aizaceae family and this groiup,of plants include a number of succulents differing in form greatly. Lithops include.
Lithops hookeri,Lithops julii reticulata, Lithops lesliei and Lithops pseudotruncatella and Lithops dorethea (pictured top right) are all worth seeking. Lithops optica 'Rubra' is a lovely bright red species, rare worth looking for.
Lithops seeds and plants are available for sale from the following nurseries and growers