Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lithops experiment part 6 (2 pics)

Seeing that my last post about the troubled L. pseudotruncatella was back in December it's time to update you on their progress.

Yes, they are still quite ugly. My hopes of getting them into good shape within one regeneration cycle were too much but hey, no rush. Simple survival goes first. On the survival front I guess they are at 50%. The best looking plant out of three has perished - go figure! Another has lost one head. The balance is two plants, one and two heads.

It's almost May and they've been watered twice so far. They react well to water and, even though they are still way too long, they don't get any longer but bigger and more substantial instead. I intend to be very strict with them so they'll need their strength later. Long way ahead of them.

You can read up on the lithops experiment here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.


  1. Amazing story! Your post inspired me to do a little surgery on my lithop. I had one birthing its new leaves out of the side of the plant. So, I made a little slit up to the top and opened it up ever so gently......and wow! Two beautiful baby leaves waiting to be free! I hope it survives my handy work! Hehe. Now, off to read more of your blog!

    Ps I'd love to try from seed. Do you recommend any good sources?

    1. I'm sure it will be fine. Sometimes the old leaves are too big to be consumed by the plant inside and surgery is necessary to ensure the old leaves won't rot and/or the new leaves grow in an appropriate shape. If I see the plant is stuck during regeneration and the new leaves are big enough I remove the old leaves, too. No harm done.

      Thanks for visiting!

    2. PS: I use the following shops for seeds:

  2. Is it just my imagination or are they getting shorther?

    1. Yes, indeed! They are much shorter and the overall size is much better. However, even though they are smaller they are still too long in proportion. If they don't die on me I hope to correct them this year, i.e. during the next regeneration.

    2. (I hope to bring them to the substrate level)

  3. Thanks for the links! So far it is doing just fine and might need to remove the old leaves eventually like you mentioned! Ps hello from Canada!

  4. Hi Rika,
    First, I just want to say that I love your blog. I've been clicking around for months! I hope you don't stop posting! It's always so sad to see a long established blog grow silent... It's also great to have these blogs to turn to when none of your friends share in the excitement of growing succulents & cacti.
    I wanted to ask you about your watering regime for your lithops. I've killed a bunch already...and scared to water the rest of them :(. I've read so many conflicting and vague instructions on the internet so I'm thoroughly confused! Even more confusing is that my lithops (all bought from the stores) seem to be in all different stages. I even bought a few lithops home that were absolutely DRENCHED in their pots a few weeks back.
    Do you have a blog post about it? I couldn't find one. Or perhaps a link to a site you trust that details the watering regime?

    1. Hi Christina!

      Thanks so much for visiting and for you nice words. It means a lot to me :)
      I have been posting for 7 years now and not going to stop. It is my favorite hobby after all. Absolutely agree, it is wonderful to be able to interact with other plant enthusiasts. None of my friend are interested in them IRL.

      First rule of watering lithops: when in doubt - do not water. They will never die from under-watering, but over-watering will kill them eventually.
      The basic regime is:
      From April to October - water when the plant gets soft and wrinkled. Better not water in extremely hot weather (they like to "sleep" through it).
      From October to April - no water at all.

      The schedule for starting watering after the winter is not strict. You can only start watering when the old leaves are completely dry, which might happen in February or May just as well. If it happens in February you better wait until sunny weather gets stable before first watering.

      It is best to grow them in pure pumice on a southern or south-eastern window. They need lots of sun.

      Lithops bought in a store are normally in a bad shape and almost always die. Even if you do everything right. Try specialized nurseries or seeds for better results!

      Hope this helps :) Let me know if you have more questions~

  5. Hi there!
    I just wanted to say that this experiment was very interesting! Will there me an update soon on them?

    1. Thanks Silia :)

      I will write about it next but I have to say the result is not positive.