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.


9 comments:

  1. Thanks Rika, that was very helpful. My hookeri seem to look like this right now, but following your advice, I simply ignored the look and didn't water them. The delosperma are growing a little taller by the day. Is it time to let them get some sunlight?
    Thanks in advance for your guidance,
    Cheers
    KM

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    Replies
    1. I don't know, I never bother with artificial light. All my plants germinate and grow on the windowsill, subjected to whatever light there is.. If the sunlight is not too strong (doubtful this time of the year) and the upper layer of the substrate is kept moist I don't see any harm in growing them under sunlight.

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    2. By sunlight, I meant taking them out of the closed humidity container and exposing them to fresh air. So far, they have remained closed under the lid, on the windowsill, getting light through frosted glass. Having read, your post above, tomorrow, during the daytime, I shall move them to a windowsill without frosted glass and without a lid on their container.
      Thanks for that,
      Cheers
      KM
      PS: I tried to send you some photos of the delosperma, don't know if you got them.

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    3. I wouldn't remove the lid yet. It is important to ventilate (for instance at night) but the substrate might dry out too quickly... Just watch them closely and you will know.

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  2. OK, thanks for that!! Shall keep the lid on, then, except at night and check the soil for moisture every morning.
    Cheers
    KM

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  3. I seem to have Lithops at different stages at the moment. Some I can see the new heads, others are just producing buds. Lithops optica [ and rubra ] can often flower as late as February for me. These late ones and Conophytums etc are still getting some water although it has been very dull.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like it all is going according to plan for you :) All my lithops have long flowered and I only water the winter growers a little. They are eager to grow. I still have to figure out how much watering is ok for them though.

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  4. This is very helpful to all Lithops gardeners, as our most typical question is, 'When should we water these little guys?"

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Marla :) You can have much experience but one wrong watering and the plant might be gone..

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