These particular succulent plants, which are also called “living stones” or “living stones”, constitute a genus formed by a
fifty species, mainly
from South Africa. These succulents have a rather unusual shape, cylindrical tending to conical, have two leaves
anchored to a trunk that is usually partially buried, and therefore not easily noticeable.
The fleshy leaves are united for almost all their length, have a split at the apex that divides them in half, usually in this slit nesting buds that, depending on the period will give life to new leaves or flowers.
The flowers usually develop in autumn, have a circular shape with many petals, similar to small daisies, yellow, orange or white in color. Usually the flowers of the Lithops open in the late afternoon.
The varieties of Lithops differ both in the color of the leaves and in the shape and color of the flower, some plants have windows (have transparent areas and lack of chlorophyll), this feature allows you to receive light even in the lower parts of the plant. It is surely a plant which does not need great care, prefers exposition in full sun and temperatures not inferior to 12-14 °C.
Watering: the plant suffers greatly from excess moisture and water, during the summer period is recommended to carry out sparse but abundant watering, after the appearance of the flower is recommended to stop wetting completely.
Multiplication: the propagation can be either from seed in spring, or from cutting in summer, in the latter case the propagation occurs by dividing the leaves, this method of reproduction is difficult to perform, because the leaves dry up very easily if damaged.
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Living stones – Lithops schwantesii: Soil and diseases
Soil: they are cultivated in loose and very well drained soil, formed mainly by peat and sand; every 2-3 years they are repotted, keeping them always in little capacious containers. When repotting, let’s be very careful when handling the delicate root system.
Parasites and diseases: they are particularly afraid of cochineal, which can also be nested between the roots. Lithops are often quickly damaged by scratches on the surface of the foliage.