Sunday, April 30, 2017

Greenies on a windowsill (7 pics)

You know how we all try to grow lithops in a short flat shape with dense colors that are less watery-green and more defined and brownish-dark (depending on the species of course)? But what about the actual greenies, you'd say. Shouldn't those be of a real intense green color? 

Well, not if you grow them on a windowsill somewhere in Germany. There you have to decide between the healthy shape and the vivid green of the cultivars you've seen online and in books. In my experience, under such conditions, we can't have both.

The idea for this post belongs to Mila, by the way. My kitty shows great interest in gardening and sometimes waters my plants when I'm not at home (by overturning the water can on them). Thanks to her some of my Sulphureas were recently flooded. Luckily we have had several sunny (yet cold) weeks and the result is not quite that dramatic. It is enough to give you an idea of what happens though.

Lithops bromfieldii are not the flattest species to start with so the goal is to keep them as close to the ground as possible. This way they regenerate by the book every year. I haven't had problems with them yet and I believe it is mostly because I keep them small by very strict watering. And so, here is a typical specimen of Lithops bromfieldii v. insularis 'Sulphurea' (C362) in windowsill captivity.

The shape is nearly perfect, the head size is spot on. The color is yellow though, not vivid green. Strong sun and very little water will do that. I find it very attractive but it's not how this cultivar is described or how it appears in greenhouse environment.

Now check out this flooded plant. I got way too much water in the beginning of the growing season. And here's the typical green!

Unfortunately with the shiny green comes stretching. The plants shoot up in search of light that is just not sufficient for this kind of watering practice. Don't kid yourself, even several weeks of sunlight are not enough if it's only for half a day (that's the reality of a windowsill growing). And the affected plants would have completely turned into cucumbers if we had rainy weather all this time.

So those are the choices: yellow and compact or green and stretched. I know what I choose. The above plants will soon correct themselves, with a little diet. And the color will return to yellow.

Same thing applies to other greenies. Here is a yellow Lithops lesliei ssp. lesliei v. lesliei 'Albinica' (C036A) and I love it.


  1. so difficult we get two things~ T.T

  2. I do like the greenies. I think bellaketty is very nice and would like green ivory.

    1. Well, those are greenies I can't afford these days. Let me know if you have seeds to share ;)

    2. SUCCULENT SUNDAEMay 2, 2017 at 11:10 AM

      Working on bellaketty but cannot get green ivory.

  3. Hi Rika, i need help on my lithop. I have a fulviceps and it is halfway losing its old leaves. The new leaves are fully out with old leaves still attached but not drying up yet about 30% plump. However, the new leaves are wrinkly and soft. Theres no indication theres a new leaf forming inside as the fissure is not open. :( what should I do? I bought it as is.

    A second fulviceps is also losing the old leaf like the first one i mentioned but another pair of new leaf is forming out! Im contemplating in exposing the new leaf fully as in your experiment as this second fulvicep is slightly elingated. Thanks for your time

  4. Hello :)

    Regarding the first lithops you describe, the connection between old leaves and new leaves is probably too thin for the new leaves to get moisture from there. Just remove the old leaves (cut them off as close to the root as possible, wait a day or two, and then water the plant. It will start to plump up soon.

    For the second lithops fulviceps it's a bit hard to imagine how it looks like but I think I'd do the same. Expose the new leaves by ripping new leaves at the sides and when the new leaves are a bit bigger cut the old ones off.

    Btw, singular of lithops is lithops, like in "one lithops", "many lithops".


    1. :D thank you! I wasn't sure how to say one lithops haha!

      Thank you so much for the advice. I will do that tonight :)