Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring is here! (28 pics)

It has been some time since I last updated and I must say it was mostly due to my disappointment with my inability to get rid of mites. No one likes to admit defeat. I am even losing my beautiful Anacampseros seedlings. Although I have so many it is not quite that dramatic. Lithops are unaffected which leads me to the conclusion that I might wanna go back to the roots and grow more lithops again, while reducing the amount of other, mite-friendlier plants. Speaking of "reducing", I am down 7 kilos and have reached my goal. Now I can fill myself up with chocolate again! :D
In other news, Mila has developed some food intolerances and gets super healthy hypoallergenic food these days. Unfortunately that's the food she finds rather yucky. She does not understand meat and meaty smells (where are those predator instincts?) so that I have to trick her into eating it with "fastfood" smells on top. Luckily there are grain-free treats and tasty liver cremes around to help me.

Back to the plants. Now that spring is here and the sun is shining almost all lithops have regenerated. Hopefully we will have a warmer and sunnier year. The plants are a bit too small and I think I need to fertilize. I normally don't do that. The conditions do not allow the plants to get bigger without losing their shape. I need to time it right or I'll have cucumbers instead of lithops in no time. Also, I really need to continue transplanting and putting things in order on the windowsill. Lots to do. But not today.

Let me first focus on positive things. I really need some motivation. Rather then whining about mites all the time here are the pretty pretty lithops plants that are doing great and show their fresh new faces. No claw marks yet this year! Forgive me the dust and cat hair on the plants. Pretend it is the "natural" look ;)

And by the way, if you click on a picture you will not only see it xxl size but also see the name of the plant in the file title.

And here are my own seedlings. Some of the youngest have grown 2 heads this winter.


  1. Beautiful plants and great photos. You really have a wonderful collection for a window grower. Your lithops rival any plants grown in a greenhouse. I understand your flowering may be a bit less, but the shape and color of your plants are excellent.

    I have been thinking about what you said in your lithops experiment about the importance of plants being in good condition when they go through regeneration. I think many growers, myself included, don't water enough during and perhaps immediately after flowering. Or water enough in early fall for those plants not flower yet. I have some plants that were rather neglected at the end of summer and they are now struggling to get through their regeneration. I am going to try and do a better job of watering my lithops this year. Your photos have made me realize that I can do better.

    Hope your Spring is starting off well and your are not being bossed around too much by Mila. Of course all pretty young ladies need a bit of pampering, and four legged ones are no exception. Great blog post Rika.

    1. Thank you so much Bob! :) I'm very happy you like and approve my plants. I have been upset about other plants and their mite problem for such a long time that I was completely ignoring how well my lithops are doing. I have some of the above plants since 9 years and they look great and never disappoint.
      You are right, flowers are rather rare. But, with lithops, shapes and colors of their bodies are just as pleasing to the eye when grown well. I'm doing my best and am very proud of the lesliei on the first pic of my own seedlings and bromfieldii farther below. Need to grow more from seed.

      I do water for the last time of the season right after flowering (or presumed flowering) but the problem you describe seems to be more related to greenhouse plants or plants in sunnier conditions in general. In fact I am always afraid to water too much too late in the fall. You say that they need more boost in the fall to regenerate well. Under my conditions it is actually best when they start the fall already slightly wrinkled. The smaller or thirstier they are when winter comes the easier they change leaves. Mainly because they won't have that much to digest. Of course in a sunnier climate they won't have problems digesting bugger leaves and will come out of it stronger but here in gloomy Germany it is better they go into winter not bloated. At least that's my experience. Then by April-May they will be done with the change and won't choke on the big old leaves.

      Mila needs some tough love for her own good :D After 2 weeks I think she started to accept her fate and enjoys the healthier food more. She bosses me around about play time though. She only has two modes: sleep and play. If she is not sleeping she expects entertainment XD If not provided she will walk around saying "mrrrrm?" until it is.

  2. Hi Rika,

    I just wanted to say, I'm really excited to see you post again! Lithops looking good as usual. :)
    What happened to these lithops? Any update? :D

    Also, what kinds of substrate are you using? I have pumice, but the size seems a bit too large.

    1. Hi Christina! Thanks for reading :)

      Only one out of 3 survived and it is so ugly I doubt it will live much longer (I need to take pictures). The conclusion of the experiment is basically "don't buy those plants". There is nothing to rescue...

      I use pure pumice of 0-2mm size. It's what is being sold at

    2. Aww. I was hoping they would start to look better. Nonetheless, looking forward to pictures of this ugly one lol!

  3. Hi Rika. I'm korean gardener (just begenner)
    nice lithops~ :)

    I read your post about pure pumice~
    and I have some questions.
    so I send e-mail to you.
    plz check that e-mail.
    Have a nice day :)

    1. Thank you very much! :)

      I got your email and will write to you soon~

  4. How do you prevent the pumice from falling through the drainage holes?

    1. A piece of paper towel ;)

      It lasts 2-3 years and once the pimice starts to come through it is a good reminder to transplant, which is normally done every 3 years or so.