Sunday, February 28, 2016

New year, new life for lithops - part 1 (12 pics)

These past several days it was sunny at last and lithops are known to react to that. They're not wasting time. All of a sudden new shiny faces started popping up here and there. What was taking months to prepare progresses very quickly when spring comes. Some still have lots of resources to recycle, others have regenerated completely and are just sitting there, waiting for their first watering to start growing. Most of the plants below are my good friends since years and it's always a relief to see them go through their annual cycle timely and in a proper manner. The shapes and colors are all I can wish for, too. It really is absolutely possible to grow short and flat plants on a sunny windowsill in Europe, don't get discouraged! The trick is in watering timing, substrate and maybe in the small size of the pots, too. But it IS possible to grow them well year after year without artificial light, and if you like these plants you should try it ;)

C363 L. fulviceps 'Aurea' and C384 L. pseudotruncatella v. dendritica sharing a container. I should probably separate them but they're such good neighbors. 

Aureas are very pretty indeed.

So are their milky relatives C222 L. fulviceps v. lactinea.

This one is a bit shy but will spread its wings once watered.

C006 L. lesliei ssp. lesliei v. minor are from the bunch of my very first seedlings, sown in 2008. New leaves are glistening in the sun. Love them!

These C382 L. bromfieldii v. glaudinae hatched in 2010 and are always a beautiful, natural sight during leaf change.

C362 L. bromfieldii v. insularis 'Sulphurea' are supposed to get new heads every year. Mine doesn't go beyond four.

C392 L. aucampiae 'Storm's Snowcap' are changing nicely but only when they are kept small. In my experience any fat aucampiae (normally one from a hardware store) will choke on its old leaves. 

L. dorotheae have accumulated a lot over the year, as always, even though I barely water them and never fertilize. Nevertheless they regenerate without a problem every year (good metabolism? :D ) so I don't mind.

C300 L. dorotheae

L. dorotheae de Boer (photobombed by a Braunsia)

I'll post more photos soon!


  1. Always nice to see the actual coloring when they show their faces for the first time!

    1. Absolutely. After months of having to see withering leaves the new bright and fresh ones are a very welcome sight :)

  2. Start colors and shapes are so nice !

    Is that a real/established fact about sulphurea ? Mine only got two headed in 4 years and remains quite small.

    1. Love them all!

      I guess in a greenhouse the environment is different and L. bromfieldii grow new heads eagerly. Bob Stewart ( has a beautiful plant with, what looks to me like, at least 30 heads and it keeps multiplying every year :D
      Mine are grown naturally on a windowsill, with limited light and no food (because food in combination with limited light results in dead plant). I am practically forced to keep them small and with little resources, I think, they don't spend any strength on growing more than 2 heads. My largest plant is the one on the photo (4 heads) and I have several 3-headed. But mostly they eagerly grow 2 heads and then stop at that :) Under windowsill conditions it's perfectly fine.

    2. Also, keeping lithops small is our goal! ;)

    3. Yep, for sure but smaller than all the others, even with two heads, but I don't car as long as it thrives :)

      I have almost the same growing conditions as yours I think, except southern windowshill maybe, water rarely, south of Belgium. For now, I have none with more than 2 heads except one bought 3 headed. After some years I'd think they get bigger. Maybe more water and fertilizer but they don't look like they want that at all. I like how they are but I'd like to see them grow one day :D

  3. Absolutely :)

    If your conditions are same as mine watering more and feeding would only result in growing in hight, I'm afraid, not in adding heads. Better giving them water when they ask for it and look how they develop on their own what you already do :)

    The only practical advantage of, say, two-headed plants is that sometimes one head withers or starts to rot and, after it's cut off, the other head will live and thrive and divide later on. Plants with more than 2-3 heads are more touchy on the other hand.

  4. Красотульки! Доротейки с бромфильдиями Мои любимые!

    1. Да, в этом году очень радует смена листьев. Хорошо, правильно линяют :)

      Ах бромфилдии тоже очень лю!