Lithops ID and question

eclipse3August 2, 2006

I just got these lithops today, and I am wondering if anyone can tell me what type they are? Also, what do you think is up with the one that looks like it has been chewed on? Maybe split from overwatering? It still has it's old leaves, which are still plump, and in the middle of the new leaves is somthing sticking out which is brown and dissicated. I put a square around that part to dhow what I am talking about. Maybe a dead flower? It has been indoors only in a greenhouse for at least a month. I finally broke down and bought them today, but I have been eyeballing them for quite awhile. OH, and another thing, the pinkish one in with it isn't split all the way down the middle. It just has a small hole in the center instead. Is that normal? In all the pics I have seen, they are split all the way. Well, any help is appreciated! Thanks. I will post my other pic in another post, since I don't know how to do more than one per post.

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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

The one at the top (the pinkish one) is Lithops pseudotruncatella. It is normal for it to just have a hole in the centre when it is immature. It will grow into a full fissure next year or the year after and then it is likely to flower.

The brown one on the right is L. lesliei. Probably. Might just be large enough to flower this year, but often they aren't treated well enough in the box stores to set a flower.

The other one is so badly scarred I can't tell what it is. Does that single leaf between the three plants belong to the scarred one? Might be Lithops karasmontana. It looks like it has burst from too much water. The leaf on the right has burst so spectacularly that there might be other problems. The thing in the middle does look like a flower but it shouldn't look like that at this time of year.

Here's what you do. Split them up and remove all the soil. These three species don't want to be in the same pot really and they are too crowded now. The soil is probably all wrong anyway. Check for pests on the roots. Then repot in something at least half grit/perlite/pumice. Don't water for at least a couple of weeks. The one that has old leaves, don't water until they are completely dried up. You'll be able to water during the autumn and they will hopefully grow, then leave them completely dry over the winter. Keep them in full sun but somewhere that has some ventilation in summer. No rain, no frost.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:44AM
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Thanks for the help. I am going to repot them tomorrow. Can they be in the same pot if I get one large enough to give each of them lots of space around them or do they have different requirements?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:56PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

The requirements are basically the same. Lots of sun. Not very much water, none at all at certain times. You can certainly plant Lithops in group containers, but it can be easier to manage different species in their own pots. For example, if one plant has completely replaced its old leaves and is starting to wrinkle from lack of water while another is just starting to show new leaves, what do you do? You can try just dripping water onto one plant but the other will inevitably suck some of it. I do have some multiple plantings but I try to group species with similar requirements, or even all the same species in a pot.

If you use a larger container, make sure that drainage is particularly sharp. All that soil and not very much plant can mean the soil stays wet for too long. Think about using an unglazed clay container when you are deliberately overpotting. Clay pots dry out fairly quickly in the sun even when the plant can't use all the water.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 2:34PM
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