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Look after your Lithops

HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR LITHOPS

Lithops fascinate me, as you can see by the pictures, they look like stones hence the name they are called by sometimes, LIVING STONES. And what beautiful flowers they get.
 I am addicted !!!!!!!
I have only grown Lithops over the last 5 years, and have found myself they are very much like cacti, for their soil, feeding and watering. But they go to sleep in spring through the warm weather, and wake up about the end of August, beginning of September.
 Same rule really, do not over water, or let stand in water, or they will rot and die.
 
Lithops are perennial plants which develop a new pair of leaves each year.  And no two plants have markings exactly alike. Lithops begin growing during the autumn season, and continue throughout the winter and into the spring.

In late spring, or early summer, the plants will begin to go dormant. In their natural habitat, it is necessary for their survival to rest during the long period of intense heat, and little or no rainfall, using what water they have stored previously to last the summer. With the approach of cooler and shorter days of the autumn, Lithops will start to grow again
.

 
During the summer months, Lithops become dormant, resting as they do in the wild, although as a house plant the conditions are not so severe. The plants require little or no water when they are dormant. Regular watering during this period would almost surely cause them to suddenly rot and turn into mush.
But if a prominent shrivelling occurs during the summer, it is safe to give just enough water to restore the firm appearance of the plant. Water lightly, so that about only the top one-half inch or so of the soil is moistened. Never water deeply when the plants are dormant
.


 In August or September, the plants will begin growing. The first sign of growth is noticed when the fissure between the leaves begins to separate. In the days to follow, a bud will force its way up through the fissure, and shortly thereafter a white or yellow flower will unfold. The flowers of many of the Lithops species have a spicy-sweet scent. As the fissure separates further, a new pair of leaves can be seen starting to develop inside.

As the plant becomes older, it increases in size by division. This will begin by one plant producing two pairs of new leaves. The plant will then have two "bodies" attached to one root system. Some plants in Lithops collections have as many as ten or more bodies per plant, but it takes many years to develop a plant of this size. It varies at what age Lithops start flowering, I myself have had 2 year old plants flower and the Lithops is so small the flower is bigger than the parent plant.

 
 Personally, this 'HOW TO', is just a guide of how to look after your plants, and if you remember, it is better to under water than over water. I do not think you can go far wrong.You soon learn when to water your plants and where they like to grow in your home, and where they do not.
 
 And lastly, like Cacti you can neglect them a little, so while away on holiday etc you can leave them without worrying about them. BONUS!!!!!!!!     And enjoying them while you are there.

 

 

lithops1                 lithops2

 

 

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