Sunday, January 24, 2016

L. schwantesii's new faces (6 pics)

I really don't like taking pictures in this cold, dark winter light but all of the L. schwantesii are showing their beautiful new faces these days and I just had to take a couple of close-ups. L. schwantesii are not easy to capture because their surface is blurry by nature and the camera refuses to focus. But they are oh so pretty! So here you go, first lithops portraits of the year :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Titanopsis calcarea: First flower (2 pics)

So, looks like I've raised this one to adulthood :)
There was a flower on another seedling of this bunch but I either missed it or it never opened so I'll consider this one as the first. It seems like a miracle! I've grown it from a seed collected from my own plant and now it's flowering!

You can see these Titanopsis calcarea plants as newborns, nearly newborns, 2-month-olds, 3-month-olds, 15-month-olds here in the blog. They hatched in May 2013.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Carefree seedlings (3 pics)

Recently I feel like I lost my touch with seedlings and I think that's because I don't have time to care for them these days as I had before (also, I've been trying to use up all old seeds I have and viability is low). I kinda expect them to grow on their own without any support (mostly psychological anyway) from the grower. And when they actually do that it's worth a blog post. Anacampseros vanthielii seedlings have turned out to be very low maintenance. They just grow as they grow, in their cozy big group, green and hairy and fresh. No help from my side at all. Can only recommend them to all of you. There will surely be seeds again next year so make sure to get a free pocket ;)

When they grow up they should look like their mother.

In other news... no news. The windowsill is a bit boring these days. Waiting for the days to get longer. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Beautiful ugliness (2 pics)

This is what I want to see when I look at my lithops in winter and L. bromfieldii never disappoint :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Lithops experiment part 5 (4 pics)

Continuing the series about three overgrown lithops and an attempt to save them and get them into proper shape, here is the most recent development.

The lithops were shrinking as expected, however I fear I noticed way too late, that the tallest one had grown the new leaves inside to a size that is definitely too long for them! Actually, I wanted to cut it open before this happens, even though I understand that the'd be immature at that time, so it might have been bad either way. Now that I noticed, I've ripped the old leaves open to get some light upon the new ones and prevent them from growing even longer. I'm pretty sure I was too late but we'll see. I was afraid to miss the "point of no return" with the other plants so I've ripped another one as well. The third one doesn't show any signs of new leaves though, which is even more worrisome. Oh well, it is an experiment so we'll just have to wait and see. I guess, if they survive, it will be another year until they look normal.

For your future reference, if you buy cucumber shaped lithops, prepare to spend 2 years correcting them - in a best case scenario! It's really not worth it. In 2 years you can grow your own perfect little lithops kids from seed ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thirsty lithops (6 pics)

I'm posting some pictures of thirsty lithops on demand :)

I have just taken them so these are examples of thirsty lithops that do NOT need to be watered. It's November and this is how they should look like this time of the year. No need to feel sorry for them.

However, if you see them like this in the time period from April to September (October, if still sunny), and the surface is soft to the touch, it's a clear sign that the plant needs and should get some water. There is an exception when it's very very hot in Summer and the plants get wrinkly but the surface stays hard as stone - this means they went into a heat induced sleep and should not be bothered. They can be watered when in doubt but they most likely will not react until the heatwave is over so they better be left alone.

Here are the typical signs of a thirsty plant:

1. The sides get wrinkly. Easy to see on those that grow in a longer shape naturally (olivacea or dorotheae or julii)

2. The plant tries to bury itself. This you can see on short-bodies plants (lesliei or bromfieldii). They look like pies with a crust from above. You'll see the wrinkles on the sides if you dig them up a bit.

Of course in Summer you don't need to wait for this level of dehydration and can water much sooner if it's sunny. However, a grown up plant can take it and you can go on a 3 week vacation no problem. Once watered they will return to their normal shape in a day or two.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Lithops don't waste time (5 pics)

Winter has started very early this year. It's gloomy and cold. The plants feel it and react to it: winter growers waking up, seeds germinating eagerly, and lithops are already recycling their resources. I've stopped watering most of them a month ago. They will get water again once they regenerate and it's warm and sunny again outside the window. April maybe. Yes, this means even if they fully regenerate earlier they still won't get water if there's not enough sunlight. No need to wake the roots if the light is not sufficient, unless absolutely necessary (young or small plants that grow visibly thirsty).
In my experience, it will take them a long time anyway :)