Lithops helmutii - 20 seeds
Lithops helmutii - 20 seeds
Lithops helmuti is one of the few naturally occurring green Lithops species with a large semi transparent to transparent window. It has a pair of plump leaves, which are bright green marked with grey and with an oblique upper surface.
1. Sterilize substrate (3+ minutes in microwave or 50 mins in oven- (350°F) and let it cool)
2. Mesembs (Lithops, Conophytums...) require a well draining soil, which means it dries out quickly. Soil should contain a lot of pumice, perlite or sand. Sand should consist of many sizes of particles, from dust to 1/8”. The basic soil mix is 1 soil mix to 3 pumice and sand. Remove any big chunks (peat) from the potting soil.
3. Planters should be about 1-1.5 inches deep. Fill a container with good draining soil. Leave 1/2 inches to the top free. Press the substrate, equally.
4. Disperse pebbles granulated up to 0.2 inches
5. You can sow 50 -100 seeds into one planter 3x3 inches. Mesemb seeds are very tiny.
6. Equally Water the substrate with water (boil and then let it cool) - place a piece of a napkin on top of the substrate and slowly pour the water over it.
7. Let the container soak up water for 5 minutes. Leave the container to drain out the water surplus.
8. Mix some fine sand to the bag with seeds, and sprinkle contents of the bag onto the substrate and pebbles. Do not cover with too much soil or the seeds may not germinate.
9. Put the whole container into a zip bag to keep humidity.
10. Avoid exposing to direct sunlight, but provide them light on some bright place, temperature should be about 77°F.
11. The germination process usually starts within 4-7 days but some seeds can germinate after month or two. Don't expect all the seed to germinate at the same time.
12. Start opening the container gradually so that the seedlings can get used to the new air conditions. Remove bag completely after a month.
13. Seedlings need some moisture, substrate shouldn’t be dry, but don’t overwater. and they need an ample amount of light – but not direct sunlight! you need to take care of them constantly next 3-5 months.
14. Repot them when you notice that seedlings are space-limited, which is usually in a year.
15. Buy only seeds from reputable sources like www.rareplant.me. That way you will avoid scams, fake or bad seeds, and you will always get fresh ones.
The Lithops (a.k.a. Living Stones) are some of the world's most fascinating plants and are sought by the collector of succulent plants. Paying attention to the particular growing requirement of Lithops is especially important. If you provide the Lithops with the right conditions, they will reward you with their unique shape, size, colour and a proliferation of blooms in autumn. However, Lithops are tricky plants that are very particular about their growing conditions and require the right maintenance in order to keep happy. But don't be afraid even the best growers have plants that mysteriously dry up, or leave during the night. While Lithops are picky about their care, if you are patient and remember the basics, your efforts will be rewarded. Being small plants, a representative collection can be grown on a patio table, a sunny windowsill or a shelf in the greenhouse.
Growing rate: Slow growing for a mesemb.
Soil: They grow best in an open mineral, sandy-gritty soil and requires good drainage as they are prone to root rot. They can grow outdoor in sunny, dry, rock crevices (protection against winter wet is required) They can also be cultivated in alpine house, in poor, drained soil.
Repotting: They may stay in the same pot for many years. Plants grown in larger containers have frequently relatively poor flowers. Flowers might improve when the plants are given their own, small individual pots.
Watering They Require little water otherwise the epidermis breaks (resulting in unsightly scars). The basic cultivation routine is: Stop watering after flowering. Start watering after the old leaves are completely dry (usually late March or Early April). Water freely during the growing season, soak the compost fully but allow it to dry out between waterings. In the winter season the plant doesn’t need watering, the plant in this time extracts water from the outer succulent leaves, allowing them to shrivel away, relocating water to the rest of the plant and to the new leaves that form during this period. If grown in a container, bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended. Water sparingly only when warm, no water when cold. Nearly all problems occur as a result of overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid. They must have very dry atmosphere.
Fertilization: Feed them once during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (high potash fertilizer with a dilute low nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. They thrive in poor soils and need a limited supplies of fertilizer to avoid the plants developing excess vegetation, which is easily attacked by fungal diseases. Some growers fertilize frequently, some hardly ever. However, for the highly succulent mesembs, (Lithops, Conophytums, etc.) fertilization is not really necessary.
Light: They prefer a very bright situation and in winter they need the maximum amount of light you are able to give them, but keep more cool and partially shaded in summer. The only exception to this is seedlings in their first year that enjoy a shades place. Such tiny plants can easily get scorched or broiled and their appearance spoiled (this may not matter in the wild, where the Lithops have probably shrunk into the ground and becomes covered with sands). Outdoor (Lithops prefer full sun, with some shade in the hottest summer months. High levels of light are needed in autumn to flower and for good plant development. The low intensity of sun light during the growing season of this species generally prevents the white flower flowers from opening.