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Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Posted by BoulderGrower none (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 17:47

I rode over to Home Depot and bought these four plants for $3.48 each...always wanted to try them as house plants. They were growing in the typical peat moss/perlite mix that was dry as a bone. I just put them in the Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm and Citrus potting soil I had on hand and will see how they grow.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

I don't want to burst your bubble (I love your collection), but Lithops require watering at specific times of the year and can die if watered at the wrong times. I am not sure if this will be an issue for you, I just thought you might like to know.

Planto


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

I have this in my Houseplant folder:
"Lithops Culture
Gradually place in full sun - protect from rain - in summer mist - but do not water (approximately June-September) In September when weather turns cooler, begin to water once every 2-3 weeks. Fill to brim. Plants will not begin to blossom. Continue watering until blossoms are fading then stop watering (approximately December-January).
Plants are cold hardy. After flowering, the leaves will split and new ones from inside will grow. Old leaves will shrivel completely. During this period NO WATER (approximately January to March).
When new leaves are grown and old leaves completely shriveled, begin to water again. Continue watering from March until June." but it sounds like it is for plants grown outside.

If It doesn't survive I am only out $3.48.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

The information is the same for indoors as well. Watering indoors or outdoors at the wrong time of year will kill them (rot). At least you are not out of much money if they don't make it.

Even some experts on this forum have killed a few trying to get their watering schedule just right.

I hope they survive for you though, they are interesting little plants.

Planto


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

These plant tags are interesting.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

They are... I wouldn't water a Lithops every time it dried out unless I wanted to kill it. ;)

Certain Haworthia species go dormant in the summer and their roots can rot if watered during the summer's hottest time of the year (they go dormant when it gets too hot and watering them while they're "asleep," well, they don't absorb any of that water and their roots end up rotting). They're better known to be winter growers. That being said, I don't know about your specific Haworthia, I believe most are summer dormant, but that would be something someone else would have to chime in on and tell you for sure if that specific one you have is a summer dormant/winter grower.

I will agree about the 'Baby Toes,' they hate wet feet (no pun intended lol). They can look nice and plump one day and collapse on you the next. I gave up on those, I don't need something so... "special." :P I'm more of a water when dry kinda gal.

Planto


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Here's my prediction:

Fenestraria will be the first to go, and it will likely etiolate noticeably. +/- 12 months.

Lithops will probably be the next, but since it is a leslei variant it may tolerate poor conditions longer than other species. +/- 18 months

Pleiospilos will hang on for dear life and slowly wither away. Needs a deep pot. +/- 18 months

Haworthia stands the best chance since it is the only plant there not requiring good light, and can tolerate year-round watering...but it too will rot "unexpectedly" +/- 24 months because it needs a deep pot too.

FYI - Lithops, Fenestraria and Pleiospilos are absolutely NOT houseplants. They will not do well long term. Home Depot could be sued for false advertising. These plants will tolerate crappy conditions indoors for a while and if that's OK with you then by all means enjoy them.

If you want an objective way to determine if your plants are doing well, then see if they will bloom for you. Your Lithops should bloom in August/ September. The Fenestraria later in the fall along with the Pleiospilos (these can bloom late summer too). If you can get them to flower then the conditions are adequate.

x


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Definitely pot them separately because they all have different requirements. I disagree with the above assessment as say the baby toes will be your best bet as they are the easiest to grow since they give the same signs of needing eater that haworthia, echeveria and crassula do. Once they,are wrinkly... Water. Start with wetting the aoil, wait a day... If they need more, hit again. The others are harder to understand. I kinda get lithops now but pleiospilos I have given up on completely. If I can manage to get then to do well, stupid birds like to eat them anyway and will remove massive chunks when I'm not looking.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Last night I dug up the Lithops, cleaned off as much wet potting soil as I could, and replaced it in the 2.5 inch pot it came in with dry potting mix. It had a small, fine root system. With the rim of the little pot trimmed off, it is now back in the big pot so it can be removed if the other plants need watering and it doesn't.

As far as Home Depot is concerned, I suspect 90 percent of their "houseplants" from orchids to cacti last a year or less in the homes of their customers. Maintaining healthy house plants outside a greenhouse is a chore. They are cheap and easy to replace.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Will agree that the Haworthia as being most forgiven I think it will be in it's own pot and the only plant left after all others have been counted as a waste of YOUR money.

Now that you have a make shift idea or ability to remove the lithop from the pot to water the others it's safe to think your Lithops will now be the first.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

If you want to be technical, there are no such things as 'houseplants,' are there? So does that mean we should not grow what pleases us in our houses or apartments?

If you have a sunny window at least, read up on the plant you want to grow, give it the best environment you are able to, and if the plant pleases you, that is all that matters.

Christopher


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Here is my HOUSEPLANT Haworthia, by the way.

Christopher


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

I am growing all my succulents indoors this year in a South window. The cacti will be outdoors on the South side patio.

In the right window, with the right soil, and the right watering, I believe it's possible to have a happy succulents indoors. In the end, I would like to hope the advice of people on here is meant to help ensure the successful growing of Cacti & Succulents. Not everyone has the luxury of growing outdoors. That being said, some cacti & succulents are more difficult to grow than others.

I just was warning the OP of watering Lithops at the wrong time of year as I wanted to help him/her ensure that they won't water it at the wrong time and end up with a dead plant. :)

Planto


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

My Pleiospilos spends 8 months of the year inside as a houseplant and the only thing that "withers away" are the old leaves as they are absorbed. ;-)

tj


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Anybody can enjoy any plant inside the place called home and enjoy them year round as well.

Myself I enjoy cool air blasting from the AC during the heat of summer many (every) of the not really house plants called succulents inside during six -seven months of bone chiling winter wont like what I like during summer.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

My lithops houseplant flowered last fall. It was very pretty. I keep it in a south window and try to forget about it. Good luck with your plants :) they look nice now. I was in Home Depot today and saw some terrible plants.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

This interesting little pleiospilos nelii flower opens late afternoon.

The old lithops leaves are gone so I guess there is no reason not to water everything once the potting mix is dry.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

These have been growing outside and get half a day of full, intense Colorado sun at 5000 ft elev. I worried about over watering and lost one lithop because of that. Now I drench the pot once a month.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Hey, most of your plants are still doing well! I think in this case that you leave all these plants together, just make sure you follow the "when in doubt, don't" motto and give them minimal watering. Sad that you lost a lithops, hopefully the other one can survive. Nice flowers!


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Beautiful! I'm so glad you're succeeding with these. You have beautiful blooms! They all look really great.

I wish we had a Home Depot here. I'd just kill to get my hands on some of those species. I don't have anything to trade for them here on Garden Web, and they're too expensive to buy online. Sad for me. :-( But I'm glad you found them, and you're doing so fantastically with them! Hooray!


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

The Fenestraria had five flowers and now seems to have finally stopped blooming. It keeps spreading out and the Hawthoria seems to be developing quite a few offsets. I am going to repot these plants when I find a suitable rectangular container.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Wow, glad to see them doing so well! Give me a bit more faith in my baby's toes now xD. The split rock looks super healthy too. In fact, all the plants look like they're having a great time.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

xerophyte_nyc Close but no cigar


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New Pot

I found a bonsai training pot on eBay that was just perfect.


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Roots

I guess to post multiple images they have to be in a Link.

Anyway, the potting medium was just barely moist and there were lots of fine roots showing.


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Roots 2

They all look healthy.


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Roots 3

The Hawthoria has fairly thick succulent roots.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Someone else who knows more will likely post, but... I fear your lithops isn't going to do well in a shallow pot. I keep reading that their long taps roots don't do well curled up.

It might also be helpful to you to know Kalanchoe is a summer dormant genus; lithops is winter dormant, and I don't know about the other two. Google the genera and "dormancy," and you might find them.

Here is some information about the lithops life cycle and watering:

http://lithopsandthings.blogspot.com/2012/07/watering-lithops.html?m=1

And below is a page about how lithops grow:

Here is a link that might be useful: cultivating lithops


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Pot

This bonsai pot is 3.5 inches deep. That is deeper than the nursery pot the lithop came in. The only tap root I saw was that of the hawthoria.

From what I have read since purchasing these plants in April, the lithop may or may not survive long anyway.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Nice repotting job. I also thought of putting my lithops in bonsai pots and were told not to here, but yours sound a bit deeper than the one I have. Anyways, all your plants look healthy right now so that's good, but I would say that none of them need any water for quite a while - like at least 2 weeks - especially when it seems like you gave them a drink after repotting. Could you post a picture of the new pot from the side, so I can see how deep the pot is?


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

The longest root of all your plants is the Pleiospilos nelii. They need a 10cm pot.


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Bonsai training pot

Here is a photo of the training pot. As you can see, it is not the shallow ceramic pot most people would think of as a bonsai pot. It has twelve drain holes in the bottom and I think it would be suitable for any small succulents.

I always water after repotting and the potting soil was nearly dry. Normally, I water these plants once a month but when we have 90+ deg days I frequently give them a couple squirts from a spray bottle in the morning.

As far as advice from forum members is concerned, I search the internet for cultural information and judge the quality of that information based on the source. I would never ask for advice in any forum...but my wife says I am opinionated.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Very nice! Yeah the pot is possibly deeper than some of my terracotta pots even, so I think you're good to go!


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 12:13

I keep wondering if the best culture on these mixed plantings would be individual pots nested INTO the bonsai pot with gravel "mulch" hiding that it's distinct pots ? Lol, a complex solution I know.


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Tried separate pot for lithop

I originally tried a separate pot for the lithop but gave up on that after one of the two died from what I assume was being too dry for too long.

Anyway, I decided to see what happens treating them all alike. If any die, I can replace them next year when Home Depot gets them in the spring. The blooms are cute and the grandsons like to see what they feel like.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

@dbarron that's a very neat idea!


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

@nomen_nudum "close but no cigar"...

Take a look at my post, I gave Fenestraria 12 months as the first one to suffer...it has been a little more than 3 months since then. Still too early. These plants are tough little buggers, takes time for them to decline.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

It's all good xero... In order you had mentioned ( your opinon) lithops (In this case more than one lithops) to last 6 months longer than fenestaria. The pics had indicated Three months one lithops gone.

Hence I add close but no cigar, no one person could ever accuratly preidict what plant would last longer than the other.

In the mixed pot selctions that peps make it just comes down to 1) survival of the speices a 2)A willingness of the individuale species to adapt/.

An opinon I added that can lead to fact

In a nut shell I read public forums for valid, well formed formed opinions that lead to fact over advice. At times when I read forums I ofted read and understand " advice " to arouse either conflict or go off into some off topic personal aggenda involving one or more persons to anouther person.

No discredits to anyone Have fun with it, pot em as you may, treat them as you will.When plants are involved ultimatly it's up to the plant. I know many who are able to prolong it but it's not a race.



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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Inside for the year. The night temperatures are close to 50 deg so I put a new shelf in an upstairs window facing due south. We have had frequent afternoon showers and more wet weather is expected.


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RE: Lithops, Hawthoria, Fenestraria, and Pleiospilos

Here is a better picture.


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