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01Feb2022
LIVING STONES (LITHOPS)

LIVING STONES (LITHOPS)

Botanical NameLithops spp.
Common NamesLiving stones, pebble plants
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size0.5–2 in. tall and wide
Sun ExposureFull
Soil Type Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline
Bloom TimeFall
Flower ColorWhite, yellow, orange
Hardiness Zones10–11 (USDA)
Native AreaAfrica

 

Living Stones Care

Living stones are quite interesting plants to grow, thanks to their unique appearance. They are also very low-maintenance plants. But they have some specific environmental needs that you must abide by to have success with their growth. 

These plants need as much light as possible. That means if you’re growing them indoors and don’t have a bright window, you might need to invest in a supplemental artificial grow light for them. Moreover, proper watering is probably the most crucial part of living stones' care. These plants are highly tolerant to drought, and too much water can easily kill them—especially if it promotes rot or fungal growth. Fortunately, living stones aren’t prone to many diseases or pests. So they should thrive if you take a largely hands-off approach to their care. In fact, for around half of the year, you likely won't have to do anything for your plants besides monitor them to make sure they're staying healthy.
 

Light

Living stones prefer full sun year-round, meaning at least six hours of sunlight on most days. When growing them indoors, place them by your brightest window, with a southern or eastern exposure being preferable. Insufficient light can cause elongated leaves and poor leaf coloring.

Soil

These plants like sandy soil with sharp drainage. A potting mix that is specially formulated for cacti is ideal for them. 

Water

Living stones must be watered on a seasonal schedule that mimics the rainfall they would get in their natural habitat. Don’t water over the winter when the plant is dormant. Then, once the new leaves begin forming in the spring, water whenever the soil dries out just enough that the soil becomes slightly moist. Pause watering again in the summer during the other dormant period. But resume watering in the fall just before the plant is ready to flower. If the leaves start to completely shrivel up while the plant is dormant, you can give it a very small amount of water to plump them up again.

Temperature and Humidity

Living stones can tolerate heat well and can survive temperatures down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They do fine in typical room temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity usually isn’t an issue as long as the soil doesn’t remain moist for long periods and there is good air flow around the plants.

 

 

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