My Lithops shedding
http://i.imgur.com/qt1cE.jpg - Full size
Anybody able to identify this one? No big deal, I just wanted to share this picture.
hey what do you mean shedding ?
is that where the divide and the new growth appears. or am i not seeing something
Be sure you do not water your Lithops from now until those outer bodies completely shrivel up otherwise it will keep the old ones full, the plant will "stack" several years bodies together and eventually strangle the plant. If you already know about that then never mind!
yep that all I meant
Originally Posted by uphwiz
- I did not know that! Thank you for the info -- I wasn't "scheduled" to water them for another couple weeks anyways... ( I water on the 15th -- usually)
Originally Posted by swords
Glad I could help then!
You may not need to water again until maybe March or April - depending on how long it takes to shrivel those old bodies up. Once the outer bodies look like dried autumn leaves you'll be able to tug them off and then give the plant a little bit of water in the soil to "wake up" the roots then in another week or two give a nice deep pot flush. If you feel like you simply must put water on them while waiting for those old bodies to shrivel up use a mister and spray them but not too often. You will often see Lithops in stores with 4 or more puffed up bodies standing tall on one plant, this is bad because it constricts too tightly between the fresh new ones in the crown and the roots and gets too tight, eventually cutting the "head" off from the roots circulation system and eventually it will keel over and that's it.
Lithops and all the other "Mesembs" (basically any succulent with a dandelion or daisy shaped flower) are all quite tricky until you learn their growth and dormancy patterns. Luckily all the different Mesmbs have their own crazy growth patterns to learn about!
Awesome info - thank you so much. So am I correct in assuming the inner leaves will draw the moisture they require from the outer leaves? I really never have a problem over watering so waiting shouldn't b a problem... I routinely (and intentionally) make nearly all of my plants beg for water before I give in -- even in the garden. Thanks for all the advice, truly, thank you.
Yes, the new bodies will absorb the moisture and starches from the old bodies until they are withered husks.
When I had a huge mesemb collection I did not water my Lithops until their tops were almost level with the surface of the soil, they will adjust their height out of the soil due to how much water is in them. Yours look completely turgid (full of water and standing far from the soil surface) but it looks like you have peat or bark as your potting mix? They may not be able to be "mobile" in a dense potting medium. It also might be too moisture retentive for them - how quickly does the center of the pot dry out? I used either turface (baked clay bits) or Napa Oil Dry material (baked diatomaceous earth) as my succulent potting medium so that the "soil" dried out completely within 2-3 days after watering. That gave them enough time to absorb water from the moist potting material but dried out fast enough they couldn't suck up so much water they would split open from too much water (which can happen). That makes a real mess when your succulents split open and green goo runs everywhere! LOL
Man you should write a book, lol ... actually is there a book you'd recommend for me? You’re just blowing me away with each post, and teaching me how much I really didn't know! ...
The soil is a premade cactus mix my local nursery sells.. - do you think I should repot it now, or wait until it dries out and replant? I'm thinking even if the soil were correct, the pot may still be too small for it to be able to mobilize...
HA thanks! I just picked most of it up hanging out on cactiguide forum so spend some time reading & asking questions there, those people are walking encyclopedias of succulent knowledge! I only ever found one book on growing the Mesembs, it was an old imported book from the UK printed in the 1950s, I recently sold it on ebay. I don't know why there isn't some new volumes on these plants.
You can repot them anytime, just don't water after re-potting at this time of year. It's ok to re-pot into dry media and leave it that way. You can mist after re-potting to remove dust, etc if you'd like but don't flood the pot. Loose gravelly soil is good so they can move up and down as they see fit. I would add only enough peat or coco-coir to the media so it wouldn't fall out of the pot holes. You could not actually see the amount of peat I added when looking at the media but you could tell it was there simply because the media didn't pour out of the bottom whenever you lifted the pot up. Without a tiny bit of peat the pot levels got lower and lower! LOL
Last edited by swords; 01-02-2013 at 12:21 AM.
Awesome! ... one more thing, should I bury them a little more below grade when re-potting, or just keep them at the same level they're at and let them fix themselves? --again, Thank you.