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Lithops, cultivation and careto be dedicated tostone plants. Useful tips and where to find the seeds to germinate.
There cultivation in pots gods Lithops can give you great satisfaction. THE Lithops they are plants belonging to the succulent family but their appearance differs strongly from the classic succulent plants. THE Lithops are small plants, just think that the species "giants " they reach 3 cm in height.
Lithops, recommended species
The nameLithopscomes from the Greeklithos(stone) e opsis (appearance). The name connotes the similarity of plants to stones. It is no coincidence that the common name of these plants isliving stonesorliving stones.
There are about 90 species oflithopseven if thoseofficially acceptedand included in botanical anthologies are only about twenty. All the species are native to the semi-desert areas of Southern Africa, in particular Namibia and South Africa.
All thespecies of lithopsI'mperennials, almost acaule (without stem) and very small in size. The stem, in fact, is very short and remains below the surface of the ground. Some species of lithops they develop almost entirely underground, exposing only the upper part of the leaves.
Among the most popular species is theLithops salicola(recognized at the taxonomic level). Therelithops salicolareaches a maximum height of 3 cm and each"stone"it is about 1.5cm wide. Thesestone plantsare coloredoliveand over time they could spontaneously multiply and even reach "colonies" of 20 or more specimens.
A small pot with a diameter of 6 cm is enough for two plants of the Lithops salicola species. The dimensions indicated are valid for the purchase of a vase useful for the cultivation of two specimens of any species of lithops.
In particular, the lithops salicola species produces a very large flower with a pure white color.
Lithops bromfieldii species produces a yellow flower. The lithops species pseudotruncatella groendrayensis is very similar to the already described lithops salicola. The difference between the lithops pseudotruncatella species and the salicola lies in the color. If in the salicola it is aspotted olive in yellow, in the lithops pseudotruncatella the color is uniform (always olive green). The Lithops lesliei albinica species has a more vibrant green color. The flower is like the one described for the pseudotruncatella and the salicola (white and large) but here the stone is light green.
Lithops, care ecultivation in pots
Thecareto be allocated tostone plantsthey are identical, regardless of species. Here's how to grow lithops and what care to give to these beautiful plants with an unusual appearance.
Where to grow lithops, location of the pot
The pot must be placed in full sun exposure. Lithops are very resistant to drought, being native to Africa, they hate rains and continuous irrigation.
THE lithops they must be exposed to direct sun for at least 3-4 hours a day.
There cultivation should be kept at moderate temperatures: 17-23 °. The jar or the terrarium containing the cultivation of Lithops should be placed on the windowsill to the southeast of the house.
Irrigate the lithops
Being accustomed to dry and arid habitats, i lithops they must not be “irrigated” in a classical way but by means of nebulizers.
They must be irrigated with nebulization and following the vegetative phases. From December to March the plants must be kept dry. In these months they must never be irrigated and only at the end of winter, if you notice that the flower has difficulty in developing, you can operate with a single spray.
In the months from April to August, if the leaves show wrinkling, irrigate every 20 days. From September to December they will have to be bathed every 15 days. In short, here's another reason to love these plants: in a year the Lithops they will have to be irrigated about 10 times which, for a plant, means the apotheosis of water saving!
THE lithops they can stay in the same jar for several years. A possible repotting should be done in spring. Also take advantage of the division of the tufts and obtain new pots with plants. The lithops, in fact, multiply easily spontaneously.
Soil and fertilizer
The soil of the cultivation must be rich in minerals and low in organic matter. You can use a soil for succulents. If you don't have any at home, it can be easily found at any garden center or by taking advantage of online sales. The ideal soil for lithops is blond peat and black peat. To get an idea, I refer you to the Amazon page ofsoil for succulent plants of fondolfa,as you can see it does not contain any compost (so it has no little organic matter) but it is rich in mineral substances. The product in question is offered on Amazon at a price of € 16.90 with free shipping costs. For all the info, read theproduct details.
Lithops do not need fertilizing.
Lithops seeds and plants
Theresaleof these plants is now very common. They can be found in agricultural consortia and in the most well-stocked garden centers. Those who prefer can buy plants and seeds directly online.
Beware of the seeds!
The seeds are very small and, as happens with most succulents, they do not have a high germinability. Buy excess seeds for good results. Furthermore, the seeds should not be buried but only placed on a "seed bed "to be sprayed only at the moment of sowing.
There are many proposals on Amazon. Among the many, we point out a mix of lithops seeds that contains all the species mentioned in this article. A sachet can be bought for € 3.90 and free shipping.
For all the info:sachet mix of seeds.
We recommend that you sow in excess to carry on the cultivation of a good number of plants.
If you want to be on the safe side, there is no shortage of plants already developed. There are many. Among the many we point out the speciesLithops salicola(described above). A single plant can be bought for 7.45 euros and shipping costs included in the price.