Lithops

 In Category Cactus

Gender: Lithops
Family: Aizoaceae
Habitat: Semi-desert regions of Namibia and South Africa.
Cultivation: In a greenhouse, cultivate in standard soil for cactus with leaves, in the light. Outdoors cultivate in moderately fertile, very drained soil, in the sun. For good flowering, it is necessary to treat the plant well and keep it in full light even during vegetative rest periods.
Curiosity: They are also known as “living stones”, since their name comes from lithos (stone) and opsis, which means appearance.

LITHOPS KEY FEATURES

The Lithops genus includes plants of African origins, particularly in the semi-desert territory between Namibia and South Africa. This type of succulent can be found at different altitudes, a few meters above sea level up to over 2000 meters. The Lithops are part of those particular plants that are so loved by lovers: in fact their name means “living stones”. Those that look like rocks are, in fact, corpulent leaves.

They have soft rhizomes producing bodies with  inverted cones with a pair of very fleshy leaves, with a slit that runs along almost all of their length. From there the flowering occurs in the period between the end of summer and autumn, with solitary flowers of yellow or white color. Plants of this genus are very small (maximum height 3 cm) and have a larger root system than the plant on the surface. Their curious shape fascinates fans much more than the flower they produce.

VARIETIES AND TYPES

The Lithops genus consists of a large number of species. About 40 are currently being cataloged. The main thing we can remember is listed below.

  • Lithops aucampiae ssp. Aucampiae
  • dorotheae
  • Fulviceps
  • francisci
  • hallii
  • julii subsp. Julii
  • meyeri
  • naureeniae
  • olivacea
  • optica ssp. Rubra
  • otzeniana
  • salicola
  • terricolor

TIPS FOR CULTIVATION

Here are our cultivation tips for the kind of Lithops:

  • EXPOSURE: The ideal place in the greenhouse is in the sunlight, outdoors in the sun.
  • TEMPERATURE: It is afraid of the cold. It is recommended to grow it in a warm greenhouse if the temperatures fall below 10 ° C.
  • WATERING: Mid-spring to autumn moderate water. With the fall of the temperatures, it is necessary to reduce the watering until it is fully suspended, allowing the plant to have the right vegetative rest.
  • SOIL: In greenhouse cultivate in standard soil for cactus with leaves. Outdoors cultivate in moderately fertile, very drained soil.
  • REPOTTING: Repot the Lithops every three years at the end of the rest period. Knowing that the roots are larger than the surface of the plant, we recommend using a 8/10 cm deep vase. Choosing a plastic material can reduce the evaporation of water and the number of watering.
  • REPRODUCTION: Sow in late spring or early summer, at a temperature around 20 ° C. Take the shoots in late summer and repot them into their final home.
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