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How to Grow Your Own Lithops

More commonly known as a ‘living stone plant’ for its rock-like appearance, lithops are small and easy to care for.

| Spring 2016

  • Generally October, November, and December see the most consecutive blooming times. They can even bloom as early as September in the right conditions. Here brushes are used to pollinate the plants because they are not self-pollinating.
    Photo courtesy www.RareSeeds.com
  • When pollinating, you want the pollen from the same species only. An interesting thing to keep in mind, too, is that the sooner the flowers are pollinated, the sooner they will begin to power down.
    Photo courtesy of www.RareSeeds.com

Doug Dawson has a quick and easy method to grow lithops using red plastic cups. The instructions are as follows:

1. Poke 7 to 8 holes in the bottom of a red plastic cup (a sturdy leather needle will do it).

2. Pour in about 1 inch of sand into the cup.

3. Next, partly fill with normal, slightly moist soil mix. Often I use 2 parts gravel-sand, 1 part desert dirt (not clay!), and 2 parts pumice. Leave about a 3/4-inch space at the top. Carefully wash down the interior upper sides with a spray bottle so that no dust is present (see footnote below).



4. Fill top with about 1/2-inch of sterilized, finer soil mix. I usually wet the sterile mix a bit before I add it since it may not wet well in the water bath (see #7 below). You can sterilize soil in a toaster oven.

5. Distribute the seeds; methods vary slightly depending on size, shape and type.



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