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Thread: Lithops from seed?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Lithops from seed?

    I'm interested in starting some Lithops and other Mesembs from seed (to try and find the "coolest" genetics of the batch) but I was wondering how fast these guys grow? I have read one website which says the first true Lithops "leaves" come out of the seedling leaves after 3-4 months and that the adult colors / patterns / textures are discernible then - they're just very small. Is that true in your experineces or must they have several seasons on them before they show striking differences?

    Another thing I was thinking about is that they need a dry dormancy of at least 2 months with reduced light (8 hrs) to initiate new seasons leaves. What I was thinking was that this could be simulated by growing with artificial lights and then reup the lights over the course of a week or two back to 16 hrs and see if the new years growth will happen faster... Maybe I could have a chance of pulling 2 - 2 1/2 seasons a year. Anyone ever try this "short seasoning" on Lithops?

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    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    I'd like to know as well. I just planted some lithops seeds yesterday so I guess I'll just find out as I go along...

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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    swords
    Maybe *Barracuda_45* will see this and answer, if not you could try to PM her.
    I think she started some from seed several months ago.


    My Grow List Updated 8/24/17

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, what species did you sow Allegedhuman?

    I received a Lithops leslei var. albinica (lime green with snowflake transparent window patterns) by mail today that appears to have a developing seed pod on it but I have no idea what will come out of the pod as the seller is a variety greenhouse. So it could likely be ?who knows? x leslei v albinica. It will be fun to sow them and see what appears.

    My LIthops from various sources all seem to be in various stages of life, is this normal to encounter when one acquires new plants of this type? Some are absorbing their old bodies, some look as if they've just put up the current body and that one I mentioned is making a seed pod. Will they all "even out" after a year or so in one place and start to grow in the same "season"? Like all of them making new bodies, all will be blooming, etc. ?

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    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    I haven't a clue what kind. They were just an assorted mix so I've got extra mystery when and if anything should germinate.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Here's a pretty nice site all about Lithops. This link is direct to the cultivation page (scroll down for seed sowing) but the site is pretty well put together. interactive locality maps of species on a map of S. Africa... We need someone to do a site like this for Neps!

    http://www.lithops.co.za/cultivation/cultivation.html

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    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    This is insanely awesome but I was adjusting pots today and making sure the plastic cover was not drooping on the soil of my lithops pot and what a surprise, but I have 3 seedlings germinated already and several other seeds looking like they are cracking out and starting to stand up. Already on the 4th day after sowing...awesome.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Less than a week is cool indeed! What size pot did you use or just a big Jiffy tray? What sort of temps/soil have you got them germinating in?

    I've been emailing a German guy who wrote an article on growing Lithops in tropical countries (he runs a nursery selling Lithops, Conophytums and other Mesembs - unfortunately not to the US). He keeps his plants at intermediate/highland Nepenthes temps of 25-30*C days and 10-15*C nights, just no high RH%. He says the plants may burn out in 2-3 years if they stay too warm and do not have a seasonal light cycle. 8 hrs winter - 16 hrs summer, instead of the tropical 12/12. He claims temps between 15-20*C are best for Lithops germination.

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