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Two Lithops Questions

Posted by kwie2011 8a w. OR (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 20:03

I rescued these little guys a few days ago from a dying succulent display at Walgreens. Everything appeared to be suffering from lack of sunshine, and from alternating over- and under-watering in their tiny, 1-inch pots.

My questions are:

#1. Are the wrinkles/indentations on the shorter one typical of shrivelling from lack of water, or might I have done that with the rough lava stone I'd been using for top dressing? When I removed it today, I saw the wrinkles. I hadn't noticed it intimately then. Their roots are not rotted. The soil they were in was absolutely dry, and I haven't watered them, but now I think maybe I should?

#2. Are they the same, or two different species? They have different patterns in their "windows," and they are different colors.

BTW, I already know I need to move them into a deeper pot, but any tips on size, type, etc. would be welcome.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Hm I'm no expert as I'm quite new at growing Lithops too, but the short one's 'wrinkle' I don't think it is caused by under-watering, but it looks more like it had split from over-watering before you rescued it, and it looks like it might have rot issues.. The taller one seems okay so far, only a bit wrinkle but it's still quite turgid, so I wouldn't water these poor guys at this point.

They are definitely two different species. I'm unsure which kind the short one is, but the taller one is most likely a Lithops optica


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Lithops is a genus of succulent plants in the ice plant family. They are both different lihops just as two different cats are two different cats, different but the same.

Yes they are a tad thirsty
Water them by driping water drops at the edge of pot to casual misting bringing water near the heads over the course of a few days.
Provide casual watering over a few days with constant air flow as they swell into shape. During day time the brightness may be increased to intence gradually over a couple weeks but high heat should be avoided from brighter sun and or lamps by placement of pot and providing constant moving air.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Thanks for the I'D again, David! And for your watering instructions, nomen.

Your insights into the odd condition of thee little guys has encouraged me to do even more research. I also think this doesn't look like typical wrinkles from dehydration, which from what I've seen, are more commonly lines rather than indentations.

I also think that the rest of the plant looks pretty turgid, and the larger one feels firm, but the smaller one feels a wee bit softer. I think I inadvertently bruised them and caused the indentations with the lava stones I used for top dressing.

Things are more complicated than that though. They were in a 1" pot of bone-dry peat. The roots were completely around the pot, but totally dry. I'm thinking the roots are probably dead. Definitely all or most of the root hairs are dead.

So, I'm wondering whether these little guys will grow more roots to replace the dried roots, or if completely dry roots can somehow recover. I know they're desert-adapted, but would all the roots ever become completely dehydrated in nature?

I don't want to stress them too much if they're already ill, but I'd like to pull apart the little peat block and roots to see if there's anything viable in there. I'm afraid doing so might damage any living roots though, if there are any. If they were yours, what would you do?

This post was edited by kwie2011 on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 17:10


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

I was too inpatient to wait for your opinions, guys, so I dug them out and ran the root ball under water. Most of the roots just washed away. The roots at the very center held together well enough that I didn't want to try too hard to wash the soil out so I left those. It's about a thumbnail sized root ball for both together.

I moved them to the very bottom of a clear dish and filled in around then with pumice so I can see if roots grow without depotting them. We'll see what happens.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Awsum I be oddly proud of you even if they don't make it. Kudos to you kwie even if they fail you learnt what not to do

Certainly hope you dont rush them out in to that heat to soon after your root examination By all means search away Glad to have helped and encouraged

Here is a link that might be useful: more reading for you


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Hehehe...thanks, nomen. I have them in bright shade. It was 95 out today, but 95 probably never hurt Lithops.

I will let you know what happens. :-)


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

With the help of the tray, a cicrulating fan blowing the heat right back at them inside of a roofed open air porch the temps at the pot tops can reach 115 F at times Avg 109 F. With days like these easy to understand why they enjoy the cooler nights.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Too hot for me, but your little brains there look content in their pots. What species? Haven't seen orange Lithops. They really doook like little brains.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Kwie I think the one you're referring to is a Lithops dorotheae, one of my favourite Lithops species.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Braines ? LOL Spoken like a true genus

Lihops dorotheae the solo head
If memeory seves me correct the duel headed ones are Lithops gracilidelineata


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

On my mobile, all 3 look a little brainy. Very cool.

Thanks guys.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

TOAST!!!! Or rather, OATMEAL!

Both lithops are rapidly turning to mush. I haven't had them long enough to have under- or over-watered them. I'm certain now that I bruised them with the lava stone. Hard to believe they are SO fragile. Maybe I happened to buy them just as they were about to turn to goo anyway. Dunno. Sad. If I ever find more, I'll handle them like ripe ripe strawberries. Meanwhile, I'll leaves these as they are just in case bruising doesn't kill lithops.

Hmmm...might be sunburn, I guess. I did put them outside for a few hours of direct sun, but the sun is never very high here. None of the other new acquisitions got burned.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Another angle


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Aw that's too bad... not sure if they'll make it. I would just leave them be and put them at a bright location but no direct sun.. See what happens. Yeah it seems like they were already having trouble when you rescued them


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

I don't think I've even had them a week, so it's hard to believe anything I did could've caused this, except bruising or sunburn. Seems like sunburn would've appeared on top first, not the part protected by the top dressing.

It seems strange that they'd damage this easily, but the cheap little pot my Aloe came in sliced off the tips of its leaves where they laid on the edge, and the pot my E. runyonii was in likewise damaged the undersides of its leaves.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

I don't think it's sunburn for sure. They should be quite tough, at least when they're turgid. I potted up my Lithops when they're looking quite turgid and healthy and had no problem being not extremely careful with them.. I also put top dressing for mine but they were rounder river rocks


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

  • Posted by rina_ 5a Ont (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 22:03

I don't think it's rocks - I keep mine top dressed with chicken grit, sharp edges don't do any damage. I think they were 'too far gone' from the store. Sometimes it's not worth - meaning it's too late - to try to rescue them.

I keep these in full sun, obviously after acclimatizing first in spring. I just make sure they don't get rained on much.

Rina

This post was edited by rina_ on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 22:05


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

@rina, what are your Lithops doing at the moment? Mine seems to be stalled and not doing much, except for the one that flowered, now the flower withered so I'm afraid that it will start regenerating early.. Wanted to know from you since you're in the same zone.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

David

I think they are like yours. They seem to be very slow growers for me. I don't have recent photo, will try to snap one during daylight.
Mine didn't flower this year, year before it did, I believe it was in June..
I think they have schedule all mixed up - and they have been very slow in absorbing the old leaves.
I am just glad they are still alive - victory for me, however small...lol


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Rina, chicken grit is small though. The lava rock I used to fill in around my Lithops had some large stones - like the last knuckle of a thumb. I was surprised when I found stones wedged tightly between the Lithops and pot wall. They are so irregularly shaped and rough that they almost lock together. I had to work some of the larger ones out of the pot to replace with smaller ones. At the time I wondered if they'd leave marks. The same stones left scratch marks and broken leaf tips on my Sansevieria pups. If I use lava rock for top dressing again, it'll just be the very small stones.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

It happens kwie if nothing looks better in two days or less no need to waste your time, when they fail they fail it's okay to try anouther.

Will admit some of the pumice you used is a bit chunky big for a lithops pot , a bit technical but at any size because of it's pourus surface area pumice can ( and usually will) bond to a moisture surface, heat helps it bond, it can bond into a very wide range of moister surfaces. Kind of like a magnet positive heat from air bonds to the negative parts in moisture

Looking good Rina a few days of rain predicted accuratly here in the forcast, mine in for the meesly heat and lighting of silly lamps.



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RE: Two Lithops Questions

So, Nomen, what does that mean in practical terms for pumice as a substrate? Holds too much water, not enough, or something else?

Rina, what's going on with the the center one in the pot of three? Looks like it has 3 leaves. Is it reabsorbing them different?

Any of you - what happens if just one Lithops leaf is damaged badly? Does the plant survive like any "normal" plant with multiple leaves, or does it croak? Surely Lithops get crushed & damaged often in nature.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

  • Posted by rina_ 5a Ont (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 15:41

The chicken grit is smaller for sure, so maybe your pumice didn't help; but I still think they were 'too far gone' to begin with. They are much more sensitive to overwatering & you are right - under/overwatering cycles don't help at all.
It's probably one of those not worth rescuing when in such bad shape.
Rina


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

  • Posted by rina_ 5a Ont (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 15:58

kwie

yup, you see it right. If interested, here is thread I posted about it recently:

3-leaved lithop

And sorry, I don't have answer to your last question-I am lithop newbie too.

Rina


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

I see, that's good to know! Yeah I think some of mine were grown in bad conditions before I acquired them, so their clock is kind of all over the place too. Hopefully it can be correct over a year or two. I found a nice Canadian Lithops blog, check it out after the break!

Here is a link that might be useful: Life n' Lithops


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

Hmmm...learning more & more about lithops, and possibly thinking they grow too !@#$% slow for my taste. You're 3-leaved lithops post, Rina, that's all they grew in two years, really? That will make me insane. Maybe another mesemb might be a better choice for me.


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RE: Two Lithops Questions

David
Thank you for that link.

kwie
It is probably less growth than some other get - I don't know for sure, but mesembs are slow growers and not huge plants.
If you want faster growth, get jades, or maybe opuntia, lol...But I agree, some are painfully slow.
Rina


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