Lithops species mix
Lithops, also known as living stones, can add an interesting accent to your home or garden. The succulent plants, which resemble stones and grow a daisy-like flower, come in various shapes, textures and colors. Originally from southern Africa, lithops can withstand temperatures up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. They're hardy to USDA zones 9 and higher. Even though lithops can be grown by division of the adult plant, growing them from seed is economical and can be a rewarding experience.
Seeds Lithops species mix (Stone plants). A mix of many varieties, including: Lithop aucampiae, bromfieldii, dinteri, divergens, dorotheae, fulviceps, hallii, hookeri, optica and several others.
How to Germinate Lithops.
Things You Will Need
- Potting soil
- Lithops seed
- Fine sand or crushed rock
- Spray bottle
- Plastic wrap or glass pane
Mix equal parts of potting mix and perlite. Moisten the mix with water, and fill it into a pot with drainage holes, up to about 1/2 inch from the top.
Sprouting Lithop Seeds
- The best time of year to sow Lithops depends on your climate and the conditions where you are growing them. The most important factor is that they get enough warmth. If it is too cold they will not germinate and if it is too hot the young seedlings might overheat. They can also be sown under lights at any time of year, but must be sown in a well-ventilated environment.
- Plastic pots measuring 10 cm in diameter work well for sowing batches of individual species and can easily accommodate 20-80 seedlings. It is advisable to sow each species in its own pot.
- The ideal medium to sow Lithops in is mainly mineral-based and contains very little organic matter. The mixture suggested for adult plants can be used, but should be sieved through a wire mesh with 2mm holes. Your mixture should be sterilized by placing it in an oven for a few minutes, and allowing it to cool for a while afterwards before you sow the seeds. The soil should be lightly compacted.
- Place a very thin layer of coarse sand of up to 3mm in thickness on top of the soil, just enough to cover the surface. This anchors the seeds and reduces the chances of any algae forming on top of the soil. Sprinkle the seeds evenly on top of this. For an even spread, a salt shaker is a fine tool to use.
- Once the seeds have been sown, you can again sprinkle a bit of fine sand very lightly over the top, just enough to cover them. If the seeds are sown to deeply below the surface, they can end up rotting.
- The pot can now be placed in a shallow tray of water with some fungicide in it. The water will be soaked up by the soil and when it reaches the surface, you can remove the pot.
- Your pot should receive a good amount of light, but some amount of shade during the day. Ventilation is also key. For the first few days the pot can be covered with clear plastic or a sheet of glass to keep the moisture from escaping too rapidly.
- Within a week or so the seedlings should start to emerge, and once they do, you can remove the cover. For the first three or four weeks you must keep the soil fairly damp, but not soggy. Mist them at least twice a day during the morning and afternoon.
- After about three to four weeks your seedlings should be fairly well developed. Healthy seedlings tend to be have a slight red tinge and should not be too green and tall.
- You can now slowly start to reduce the frequency of watering. After three to four months the cotyledons should be quite fat, and they will start their first leaf renewal.
- The seedlings must be left in their pots for as long as possible, up to two years unless they get overcrowded.
- When the young plants are ready for re-potting, you can gently tip the contents of their pots out and separate the plants. They can now be given the same treatment as adult Lithops.
- Avoid overwatering the seedlings as they grow. Water them once the top 1/4-inch layer of soil is dry. After about three months, allow the soil to dry completely between watering .
- Provide lithops with about five hours of sunlight per day.
- Don't expect all the seed to germinate at the same time.