Today I went to a hardware store in Luxembourg and did something I would not normally do - I bought three Lithops plants that are in such a bad shape I very much doubt they'll survive. The reason behind this is an idea I got from my previous post and the question if it is possible to not only save but also correct a plant that has been treated very badly for a long time. I will try this and document it here in the blog. I'm pretty sure the next entry will be "they all died" but this will at least tell you to avoid this kind of purchases ;)
So this is how they look like. All three are L. pseudotruncatella. They are bloated and cucumber-shaped.
This one has grown so long that the only solution I can see for it is that, if it survives until fall, the new leaves will break through at the root and the old ones can be cut off. No water until then.
The other two look slightly better and I'd say there is at least a chance of survival. They will not receive any water
ever again until the new leaves come out. My plan is to make them shrivel to the half their present size. All three have good root system which means they are ready to fight but actually it doesn't matter much since they won't use them anyway. One of the plants was wrapped in old dried leaves and will be sensitive to the sunlight, I imagine. I will have to let them all get accustomed to it gradually.
Now they are washed and will dry until tomorrow when I'll put them into dry pumice and the experiment can begin. The goal is to keep them alive and if successful to get them as close as possible to their normal shape (white Lithops in the square pot to the left). Also, when planting cucumber-shaped Lithops the worst thing to do is to bury them. It won't make things better. You only bury them as far as you wish them to be - if the plant should later be 1 cm high it should be planted 1 cm deep into the ground. With the cucumbers it will look ridiculous but better ridiculous now than dead later.
Wish me luck!