What Is A Lithop? How To Care For Lithops

Lithops image

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.

  • Sunlight: need between 4 and 5 hours of bright, direct sunlight per day.
  • Watering: minimum water use.
  • Temperature: can tolerate hot environment.
  • Propagation: propagated from seeds
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.

What Is A Lithop? – 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. The leaves ensure that the plant can stay without water for months. When experiencing a drought, these plants can stay alive by shriveling and shrinking below the soil level. When succulent seeds, these seeds can remain viable for months since they need minimal moisture.

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How To Plant Lithop Seeds

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.

Flowering

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 been 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!

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Keeping Your ‘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.

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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 are surrounded by small pebbles.
  • Roots need room for growth, so pots should be at least five inches deep.
  • These plants are non-toxic, and ideal to have around children and pets.
  • It can grow well without any fertilizer.

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

If you are looking for more posts to enjoy your stay in SucculentCity, here are a few suggestions:

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ABOUT ME

Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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