Lithops, or living stones, are small, stemless succulent plants that resemble stones to avoid being grazed by animals in their native habitat. They’re from some of the driest regions in South Africa and therefore need very little water – some of them rely only on mist and fog for moisture.
Each lithops plant comprises just two thick, fleshy, fused leaves, designed to hold the water the plant needs to survive. The leaves have a slit, or fissure, at the top, from which new leaves and flowers emerge. Because lithops requires so little water, they make excellent house plants. Yellow or white, daisy-like flowers sometimes appear in summer.
Grow lithops in a very free-draining compost such as a cactus compost in a bright, sunny, dry spot such as a south- or east-facing windowsill. Water very sparingly – much less than other succulents. Don’t water at all from October until after the old pair of leaves has completely withered away, often not until the following May. Then avoid watering again during the dormant period in summer.
Lithops need a sunny spot – aim for around five hours of direct sun per day, so a south- or east-facing windowsill is ideal. Bear in mind that you may need to remove your lithops from your windowsill in winter if temperatures drop significantly.
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