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 Lithops cultivation help needed

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hornet



Number of posts : 112
Location : brisbane
Registration date : 2008-04-26

PostSubject: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:56 pm

I have seed of about 15 different varieties. How do i go about sowing them? I did it once years ago from a pack of mixed seed but dont wanna take chances with these.
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calycium
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Location : Adelaide, SA
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:21 pm

I've had a bit of a hit and miss with Lithops for a while until I did this:

1 - put a layer of fine sand over the top of my pot containing the cacti mix. Make it at least 5mm deep.

2 - sprinkle the lithops seed over the top of the fine sand.

3 - soak the pot in water (bottom fed) until the sand becomes wet, then remove the pot from water and place in a small plastic baggie.

4 - leave it to sit in a window sill (northerly aspect) for a week. Make sure that it doesn't get too hot, so I'm talking about warm filtered light. You know what I mean, hot enough to germinate your usual species of cacti - if you can do that, then the spot is fine. Don't do it and ruin these Lithops with too much heat.

5 - In about a week, they should have germinated. I find that what happens is that they grow out of the sand, fall over onto the sand and eventually rot. I also found that if you open up the bag and let them get air, that they die because they dry out. So, get a small probe and poke a hole next to the fury white roots and insert them deeper into the soil, so that the roots are now below soil AND they lithops are upright.

6 - gently mist water them so that they settle back into the sand, then reseal the bag for a couple more weeks. Monitor them, and at some point, open up the top of the bag, wider each couple of days until they have air and remember to keep them lightly misted, so they don't dry out.

7 - all going well it won't be long before you see that they develop that all too obvious split in the middle and colour up - even after about a month.
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hornet



Number of posts : 112
Location : brisbane
Registration date : 2008-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:49 pm

so whats one of the easyer types to grow, i'll see if i have it and give it a shot first
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calycium
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:03 pm

I'd say that the schwantesii are pretty easy, don't try the opticas until you've got the spot right.

cheers,
Calycium
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hornet



Number of posts : 112
Location : brisbane
Registration date : 2008-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:09 pm

calycium wrote:
I'd say that the schwantesii are pretty easy, don't try the opticas until you've got the spot right.

cheers,
Calycium

optica var rubra, was lucky to get them so will wait till i get it right
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calycium
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:14 pm

Yeah,
as luck would have it I have 5 var rubras that germinated a few days ago out of a batch of 15 that I planted a week ago.

I tried the same with another batch of 15 earlier and had them all come up, but then they all keeled over and died after week 2. Very fickle, but lovely plants.


Last edited by calycium on Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hornet



Number of posts : 112
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:15 pm

keep under cover i take it to stop too much water gettin to them?
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hornet



Number of posts : 112
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Registration date : 2008-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:33 pm

i have one of those small plastic greenhouse from bunnings, should i use that to prevent over watering from rain?
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calycium
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:44 pm

Lithops and rain dont mix! ONLY water your lithops when they start to look alike a prune otherwise they will keel over with rot.
They also like about 70% shade cloth down here, or they burn. Not too much moisture - so up in qld, I'd say shade cloth and water every two months or so - not at all in winter (or your dry season)
I give mine a weekly misting, just as if it is desert dew in the morning.

For seeds, put them in a glad sandwich bag and seal it. Keep them inside on a window ledge, in semi shade (NOT full sun). Don't let rain, or water get to them except in very controlled conditions.
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:50 pm

ok so i could put them in my greenhouse(shadecloth) with my orchids and then have plastic over them to stop rain getting to them and the weekly watering of the orchids? Something i only need to water 2-3times a year, i like
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calycium
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:05 pm

A window sill would be better, AND in a glad bag - if we are talking seedlings.

After they are all grown up - inside on a window ledge is still good - a sunny, not too bright (to burn them) position would be fine.

Outside - plastic cover to stop rain AND some shade cloth (50 - 70%) to reduce the suns burning rays. Green house with no regular watering would be good.

I used to sit mine on the outside window ledge facing east for morning sun only. They did well until I put them in the cacti home - now they love it even more.
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:36 pm

yea germinating indoors, for outdoors i was meaning the plants when larger but i can use my windowsill
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Thu May 01, 2008 6:29 pm

i think i let it soak up too much water so just lettin it dry out a little. Should still be ok?
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calycium
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Thu May 01, 2008 6:52 pm

When they are wrinkled - water them. DON'T water them otherwise, they WILL keel over with rot.
a light misting in the morning every week or so is also good.

In your case - Water and then leave to dry out and go wrinkly again (then water)
good luck with them
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Fri May 02, 2008 9:20 am

nah they havent germinated yet but i think the sub was a little too moist so i just opened to bag for a few mins to let some moisture out
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Brettix

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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Fri May 02, 2008 5:12 pm

I find these very tricky to get right.
I had 4 rubra's inside on the window ledge doing great.
I came home from work and my wife had put them out in full sun.
As they were not use to full sun they just melted away Sad .

I germinate them in small pots with fly mesh over the top.
I keep them in a well lit area and mist them every day.
Have always had good germination this way,also have used chinese containers
with lids on.
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Lachy
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sun May 04, 2008 5:40 pm

I really want to try growing lithops from seed. I guess they're a bit like some of the "living stone" cacti like Ariocarpus and Lophophora that I find so fascinating.

As an aside, they've got some Lithops at the Frankston Bunnings that I might have to rescue before they keel over from overwatering...
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 10:09 am

woot, just checked on my lithops seeds, the first lot i sowed failed but i sowed a few other batches over a week ago and a few have seedlings popping up, i'm stoked, i thought i was doing something wrong, then i thought it was old seed but now seems like i'm still doing something right.
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parrotsheaven
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 12:46 pm

Hey good one, sometimes seeds fail and who knows why, good luck with raising them Smile

What type did you sow or was it a mix?
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hornet



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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 1:19 pm

i sowed
C174 Lithops hallii v. hallii
C023 Lithops hookeri v. hookeri
C007 Lithops lesliei ssp. lesliei v. lesliei
C044 Lithops bromfieldii v. mennellii
C039 Lithops hallii v. ochracea
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parrotsheaven
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 1:55 pm

Wow bounce your sure picked the good ones. If you ever have any spares down the track please remember me as I would be willing to pay for some Wink

I actually found some lithops in Bunnings today for the first time ever Smile
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hornet



Number of posts : 112
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 2:02 pm

yea no worries, i still have
C056 Lithops julii ssp. fulleri v. fulleri
C002 Lithops aucampiae ssp. aucampiae v. aucampiae
C300 Lithops dorotheae
C172 Lithops aucampiae ssp. aucampiae v. aucampiae
C038 Lithops hookeri v. lutea
C085 Lithops hookeri v. dabneri
C118 Lithops hookeri v. hookeri
C013 Lithops hookeri v. dabneri

and optica var rubra to sow so will let you know once they get going, i only need a couple of each type
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parrotsheaven
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Sat May 31, 2008 2:25 pm

Great thanks, rubra I have been chasing for a long time, as with dorotheae Smile

That's what happens when you live so far away from anywhere lol
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prier

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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:48 pm

Also be careful what time of year you're watering them. Lithops are spring/autumn growers, they should be watered very sparingly during summer.
Personally I'm not a fan of misting my succulents, when needed I water thouroughly then wait for the soil to be completely dry before doing it again.
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parrotsheaven
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PostSubject: Re: Lithops cultivation help needed   Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:03 pm

[quote="prier"]Also be careful what time of year you're watering them. Lithops are spring/autumn growers, they should be watered very sparingly during summer.
quote]

Lithops are not to be watered at any stage in winter. They are only to be watered once the old leaves have completely shrivelled in spring. I water mine all summer here where we get very hot dry summers.
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