Cutest Succulents: Living Stones (Lithops)

A touch of character with an element of surprise is what you can expect from living stones. These little succulents known as Lithops plants are small and absolutely adorable. Lithops is both a singular and a plural, so don’t go searching for a Lithop if you want one.

Typically, they grow to about an inch above the surface of the soil. The rest of the plant is underground. They appear unassuming, often split into a cloven shape. In fact, if you do not know what to look for, they will be easy to miss. Living stones have two leaves that are thick and padded. They are the masters of camouflage which is how they have earned their name. Numerous colors, spots, and little stripes can be found on the upper surface of the leaves. There are at least 145 different types to choose from. Their resemblance to stones is uncanny.

These cute succulents originate from South African deserts, where they can easily grow amidst sand and rocks. They do best in areas where the weather is exceptionally hot and needs very little water.

Cutest Succulents Living Stones Lithops
Surprising Item @maceplants

Unique Features of The Living Stones

It would be a challenge for anyone to kill this plant, even if one does not have a green thumb. It all comes down to nutrients and water, which this plant barely requires. Very little is lost from the surface area of this succulent as most of it is underground. Having only two leaves also minimizes the surface area of the plant. In fact, some Lithops can grow and stay alive with fog or mist being the primary source of moisture.

The Lithops have no stem, and the leaves are like storage tanks for the plant. It is the leaves that ensure that the plant can stay without water for months. When experiencing a drought, these plants are able to stay alive by shriveling and shrinking below the soil level. When the succulent seeds, these seeds can remain viable for months since they need minimal moisture.

Cutest Succulents Living Stones Lithops
Unique Characteristics of Living Stones @idrenpeachpoo

Growing Your Cute Succulents

The sandier the soil, the better if you want your Lithops to thrive. These plants are light lovers. Bright sunlight is ideal. Full-on exposure won’t damage them, though a little shade in the afternoon is advised. If you want to keep them indoors, you should make sure they are close to a south-facing window so that they can get the most light. Four to five hours of direct sunlight is what they need each day.

If you start out with your Living Stone succulent indoors, you should not transplant it to grow outdoors later. This is because being indoors makes them lose resistance to bright light. If you move them outdoors, the leaves of these cute succulents will burn, and they will die. During the winter, ensuring that these plants have adequate access to light should be a priority.

Check out this guide on “How to Successfully Grow Indoor Succulents” for a guide on growing your Living Stones indoors.

The most surprising and endearing feature of this plant is its flower. Flowering happens in autumn or in early winter. The flowers are in various colors including pale orange, yellow and white. They resemble daisies, looking like small clusters of perfect bouquets on the ground. The unique feature of these flowers, they are only open in the afternoon when it is sunny and hot. When it gets cooler, towards the late afternoon going into the evening, the flowers close up. With some varieties of these cute succulents, the flowers are scented. They come out from the space between the two leaves.

Once flowering has completed, a new phase of life begins for these succulents. They go through dormancy, where the old leaves are reabsorbed, and new leaves develop. In some cases, a new cluster will appear.

Enjoying learning about the Living Stones succulent? Be sure to also check out “7 Succulent Bouquets You Wish You Knew About” for a look at succulents you can use at your wedding! Check it out!

Cutest Succulents Living Stones Lithops
Grow Your Living Stones @succulents.ireland

Keeping Living Stones

When keeping them, ensuring that the conditions are as close as possible to their natural environment is what you should aim for.

Succulents typically require minimal watering, and only when their soil has dried out. These succulents require even less water. Between the fall and spring, they should not be watered at all as this is when they are dormant. They have a yearly cycle of growth.

This is one succulent that can stay within a family for generations, living up to 50 years if they are grown outdoors in ideal conditions. When indoors, they can be grown in the same pot for up to 20 years.

Thinking of using grow lights for your succulents? Be sure to check out “Are Grow Lights Bad for My Succulents” and see if it’s safe to continue using these lights.

Cutest Succulents Living Stones Lithops
The Natural Surroundings @im.juyoung

Some Interesting Facts On the Living Stones Succulent

Here are a few interesting facts about this plant.

  • When looking to purchase these plants, there are several names they go by. Look for flowering stones, mimicry plants or even pebble plants too.
  • There is a theory that they look like stones to protect themselves from being eaten by grazing animals in the wild.
  • They grow best in groups and surrounded by small pebbles.
  • Roots need room for growth, so pots should be at least five inches deep.
  • These plants are non-toxic, ideal to have around children and pets.
  • It can grow well without any fertilizer.
Cutest Succulents Living Stones Lithops
Lithops @nannileslie

Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below which kind of succulents you have laying around the house. Do you have the Living Stones succulent yet?

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

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