Meet the Lithops. A very unusual plant, which is in a familiar environment is not easy to see, because it completely merges with the landscape. People gave the name of these plants, “living stones” because of the unusual appearance. Incredibly, stone Lithops are able to bloom. Then a miracle happens – because the leaves are shown flowers.
Lithops in the environment do not occur often, but at home it is often diluted. Native plants are the place – South and South-West Africa. Researchers attribute lithops family mezembriantemovye or aizoaceae. The number of species, about 40, but there are also many subspecies and hybrids, which are difficult to distinguish from one another.
Weather conditions in which lithops grow in the natural environment is very harsh: dry, rocky soil, lack of rain and unbearable heat made it virtually invulnerable plant. The deserts are very large changes in temperature during the day and night, but lithops feel great on the slopes of stone, clay or sand.
“Living Stones” have learned to adapt to the weather and soil, so plants color depends on the place of residence. Round, like stones, leaves can be very different colors: bright, green, yellow, purple or dark brown. The pattern on the leaves and diverse. Blooming lithops effectively. In the middle there is a large pebble flowers of different colors. It holds more than a week.
Care is not complicated and is almost identical to the cacti:
- plenty of sunshine;
- plenty of fresh air;
- infrequent watering;
- group planting.
Lithops how to grow, care at home
Hardened tough weather conditions the plant needs in constant sunlight, so it is advisable to choose the most light and warm rooms. It is best to keep them on the balcony or windowsill. lithops guided in its growth for the sun and the flowers is on the sunny side, so it is important to keep the pot in one direction only.
The bigger the pot, the more will be able to penetrate the roots, so the plant can survive higher temperatures. On average, the most comfortable temperature for development is 23-25 degrees in summer and 15 degrees in winter. The minimum temperature that can be transferred lithops – 5 degrees above zero.
The abundant stone watering the plants do not need. In warmer periods when the plant is growing should be watered no more than 1 time for 2 weeks. We must spare no water and abundantly watered, so that the water leaked out to the good by the roots. In winter when the growth stops, and at the time of flowering, Lithops watering is not necessary at all. If you do not adhere to these simple rules, it is the worse thing that can happen, because this plant is simply rots from frequent watering. Dryness of the soil has little effect on the development.
The plant does not suffer from adverse weather conditions: wind, fog, sun, rain. The only thing that can happen to lithops – it burns. This happens as a result of irrigation. It is important that water droplets do not fall on the leaves, or when the sun they can burn and darken.
Lithops plant need soil that is easy to pass water and air. This soil is generally very poor and practically unsuitable for other plants. Small pieces of bricks, pebbles, granite grit, sand and a little leafy land on the bottom of the pot need to put a layer of small stones – it will serve as an additional drainage. Also, the stones can be laid out on the surface, it will look good and will allow the plant to breathe a lot.
This allows the soil to grow and develop normally “live stones”, but, like all other plants for a more active growth need to make occasional fertilizing. When the plant is still young (under 1 year) to implement the fertilizer is not necessary, and then you can use a fertilizer for cacti, diluted in half dose. Total 1 time per month and lithops will feel better.
In winter, the plant stops growing completely. So it does not require watering and fertilizer. It is best at this time to give him rest all winter in a sunny and dry place. In the spring begin to show signs of recovery – the old leaves begin to fall, and grow in their place new and fleshy leaves. This process takes place entirely on their own, so do not need to get rid of dry leaves.
The plant starts up very many small roots, so over time, have to carry out the transplant in a large pot. Pot important to select deep (about 10 cm) and narrow. It is best to transplant to engage in the warm season, but the most important thing in any case not to damage the roots or shoots. In this case the plant may get sick or not settle down at all.
The easiest way to dissolve lithops at home – buy or order their seeds. But it is also possible to wait until the plant bud, and for the newly formed transplanted into another pot. A more complex process – is the separation of the young shoots of mature lithops.
The most vulnerable to pests “living stones” in the winter. The plant may damage the mealybug, so you need to take care of it and treat lithops before the winter period.