Plants: Lithops - Living Stone

Posted by 06.06. 2007 09:10:10 (13646 readers)

Lithops - Living Stone

Lithops,(commonly called "flowering stones" or "living stones") are true mimicry plants: their shape, size and color causes them to resemble small stones in their natural surroundings. The plants blend in among the stones as a means of protection. Grazing animals which would otherwise eat them during periods of drought to obtain moisture usually overlook them. Even experts in the field sometimes have difficulty locating plants for study because of this unusual deceptive camouflage.

Lithops do well if they receive about 4 or 5 hours of direct (or only slightly filtered) sunlight during the early part of the day, and partial shade during the afternoon. Usually a southern window is the best location, unless it exposes the plants to full sunlight most of the day, which should be prevented. An unobstructed eastern exposure is a good alternative. A window facing west may be suitable, although not ideal, and of course a north facing window offers no direct sunlight at all. Watering is another important consideration that must be taken into account. Lithops have a definite yearly cycle of growth. While it is important to water at only certain stages of the cycle, it is just as important to keep the soil dry at other stages of their growth. Do not become discouraged if the suggestions for watering seem lengthy and confusing at first. As you became aware of how the growth cycle operates, you will find that knowing when and how to water the plants is actually a simple procedure. For the beginner only water when the plant is dry and never allow the pot to stand in water.

Publisher: Hirt's Gardens
Amazon.com
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