Living stones with their unusual appearance beautify any home. Planting and care of succulents, moreover, is not difficult.
The living stones – with botanical name Lithops – belong to the succulents and come mostly from South Africa. They owe their name to their appearance: Among the stones in their native country, they hardly stand out.
Important: Conventional cactus soil is not suitable for living stones, as it contains too many organic components. If you are unsure, it is best to ask for advice on the right substrate at a specialist shop.
Planting living stones
You can propagate the Living Stones either by division or by planting seeds. The division is quite complicated, because the plantlets usually grow close to each other.
This is how planting with seeds works:
It is best to get organic seeds for your desired variety. You can get this in specialized stores or online.
Sow the seeds in the fall or spring. Fill your planting containers with suitable growing soil and moisten it slightly.
Gently press the seeds into the soil, but do not cover them with it. Live stones are so-called light germinators and need light to germinate.
Place the planter in a bowl filled with water and place it in a bright location out of direct midday sun. Temperatures should be slightly above 20 degrees Celsius, but not too hot. To increase the humidity, you can also place the pot under a glass bell. Then you should ventilate once a day, so that mold does not form.
You do not need to water, the moisture comes from below.
As soon as you discover something green on the surface of the soil, remove the water bowl.
Good to know: If you grow Living Stones from seed, it will take a few years for them to bloom for the first time.
The right care
Care succulents is quite unpretentious – even those of the living stones. They don’t require much attention. There are a few things you should keep in mind, though:
- Living stones require very little watering because they store water in their thick-fleshed leaves. Succulents are much more likely to survive dry periods than waterlogged ones. The substrate should therefore be slightly moist at most – but between watering you should always allow the top centimeters of soil to dry out well. Important: In winter, living stones are not watered at all. During this time, they completely consume their own water supply.
- Fertilize only from June to October. A little liquid fertilizer or organic fertilizer for succulents every six weeks is sufficient. You can also make your own natural fertilizer for plants!
- When old leaves die and dry out, you can remove them by simply plucking them off.
- Repotting is only necessary when the pot becomes too small. But that usually takes about three to four years. More information: Repotting plants: general instructions and tips.
Tip: If you have a balcony, you can also place living stones outside in the summer. However, they should be protected from the hot midday sun and too much moisture, for example, from rain.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
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