Friday, July 12, 2013

Troubled L. julii & Avonia update (2 pics)

What would you do with them? Without water since Oktober and still not done with the leaf change. I have no idea how to help them. I can see that the ones in the front grew two heads, the third one isn't even trying. The old leaves are still too meaty to try anything surgical, too. I guess I'll just wait...

At least Avonia's flowers develop nicely. Can't wait!


  1. Hi Rika,

    The avonia is going to be super when those flowers pop out. Of course it's a beautiful little plant already.

    Now the L. julii problem.
    Tardy, or faulty, regeneration of leaves in lithops is a very common problem for anyone growing these plants. Neither of us has enough problem plants to properly set up a significant research study, but we can try a few things, keep track of the end result, and learn. Option one is doing nothing. Option two is watering as if the regeneration had occurred as usual. Option three is to physically (surgically) remove the old leaves. Are there other options? Possible outcomes: (1) New leaves resume normal growth, plant goes into fall in same condition as non problem plants (this would be the best outcome). (2) Plants die (this would not be so good). (3) Plants remain the same and go into fall with two sets of leaves (obviously this won't be the result if the old leaves are physically removed). Are there other possible outcomes?

    Of course if we plan a nice experiment, next year all our lithops will regenerate normally and we will have no plants to work with. Believe me, a lot of horticultural research has that problem. :)

    Don't miss those avonia flowers, once they open they don't hang around for a long time. Bob

    1. I'm looking forward to the Avonia flowers just as badly as I'm afraid to miss them! I remember last year with white flowers it was a business for the whole day! Luckily I could tell in the morning that something's changing and could make plans around the "happening" :)

      Yes, looks like those are the 3 options we have.. Hmmm, it would be great if we could figure out how to make the old leaves shrink "at our will", stimulate them somehow, like poking holes in them, or smear something on them. It doesn't have to be pretty if it helps to save the plant. It would take some courage to try it though... Any ideas? Maybe smear something on them that attracts "sunburn"? It all sounds so brutal..
      With the julii it looks like they were too slow regenerating and went into summer stagnation without finishing.

  2. My karasmontana top red doesn´t want to change either.

  3. A few of mine had the same problem as yours, Rika. And their neighbors, given the same water and light, are fine, with new leaves. Why the slackers? Are they lazy? Are they sick? I don't know. I actually did what Bob suggested (this was about 2 months ago). I tried watering one stuck Lithops. It did start up again, and the new leaves are OK, the old leaves almost shrunk away. I left another one alone. No change. It's in a coma! The third, I opened the old leaf pair with a knife, then eventually, cut them away. The new leaves are alive and healthy, but much smaller than they should be. Since watering seemed the best option, I watered a stuck L. dorotheae, and it died after 2 weeks! So now I am back at square one. Fortunately, only a few got stuck in the first place. Maybe I'll blog about this issue today, we can all have posts on it, since it is a common problem.

  4. I have the same problem and emailed Steven Hammer about this. His solution for this is to give the plants a little bit of water and little more the follwing week. According to him, this will sort of stimulate/wake up the plants into doing what it suppose to do in the first place.

    I tried this, and it worked, but still managed to kill some as I over watered. Lesson learned: water lightly on week one and little more on week 2 or 3 (make sure it is sunny). Seems to worked on my BBs.


  5. Marla, JL, had your lithops old leaves just as fat as mine?
    I tried watering once but it only led to the old leaves getting bigger, not shrinking : /

  6. Hallo Rika,

    I have almost the same Problem with one of my oldest Lithops lesliei. It stands in a mixed tray whith many other species. The old leaves just wrinkle a little bit at the edges, but the rest is still turgid. The other plants did well as expected. Last year I cut the old leaves of, the lithops survived but didn´t flower and is now a little bit smaler. This year I decided to do nothing specal. They are placed in full sun under a rain shelter and get as much water as the others.
    If they don´t want to change and in other aspects feel well, why should I force them to do so? They don´t have to have two leves, as long as they are not badly treated.
    There are some mor options: give them more or less light and/or heat.
    To give them am little bit of water seems to be the best method for me, I´m not afraid, that they will be killed.

    Jürgen, Berlin

    1. Hallo Jürgen :)

      It's okay if some plants keep their bodies for two years in a row, they wouldn't need any special treatment. But with these... I see the leaves inside, so it means to me "no water until they're wholly digested". Also it means they don't need extra water. They have their resources after all. I'll wait until the end of the summer stagnation. Most of my lithops are now "sleeping" (It's been really hot here in Trier for the last few weeks) so I don't water them anyway. Maybe after they wake up the plants start to grow new leaves again, without any intervention. If not I'll try to experiment with light and temperature :)

  7. I hope you´ll have pics of the OPEN Avonia quinaria flowers. =O)


    1. I'm really worried I might miss them XD
      They are not allowed to open until Thursday!!