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Lithops - mix of in a cactus bowl

Posted by rcharles 7b (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 23, 12 at 10:41

I have a number of Lithops and was wondering if it works having a number of different forms all in a cactus bowl?
If so, would you do this in the summer when they are dormant or which would be the optimum time for transplanting them?
They need a certain depth bowl?
Any suggestions welcome.


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RE: Lithops - mix of in a cactus bowl

What is a cactus bowl? I hope it isn't one of those ceramic bowls without a hole in the bottom. If that is a cactus bowl, please refrain from thinking of that as an abode for any succulent. To prevent eventual drowning of a cactus in them, you have to calculate the transpiration rate of the plant, consider the season, subtract the amount of water you lose to the air (a wet/dry thermometer will help) and predict the weather for the next week.

If you mean by cactus bowl, one of those shallow decorative ceramic bowls with a hole in the bottom, then you can indeed grow Lithops. They are only fit for a couple of small cacti for a year or so, but for Lithops for years.

Make sure the soil is mineral and well draining. If you buy your plants from a big box store, they will likely be potted in some kind of peat. This will eventually kill your plant. Get it off by soaking the plant in water, and then gently shaking it while the roots are immersed. You don't have to get every mote of "soil" off the roots, but 75% is easy to achieve.

Then gently plant them in your pot. Do not water them in. Let it dry thoroughly for a couple of weeks. Then if you notice shrinking of the plant, give it a good soaking.

The best way to insure success is to learn the name of the plant. If you buy a winter grower, this is a good time to repot. If you get a spring or summer grower, it might not change for several months. As long as it isn't rotting, it can be saved.

I have found that the first month is critical with small Mesembryanthemuns (Mesembs). Lithops are Mesembs. You are taking a plant from an environment that is more alien to them than the surface of Mars. Then you are replacing the soil, changing the temps and lighting (it is hoped for the better), all this to an organism the size of your thumbnail. That is why you should let them settle in for a while before expecting change for the better. If you keep them sunny and warm, you can hope for success.


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RE: Lithops - mix of in a cactus bowl

Dzitmoidomc,
When I speak of a cactus bowl. I mean one with a drain hole.
Thanks for your info. I will have to look and check on growing time with name.
These are new to me and came from a grower of cactus and succulents.
I a very gritty mix.
Thanks so much


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