A New Seedling Generation of LithopsI grew my first lithops from seed a number of years ago. Each year I would sow a few more seeds, and sell or give away a few of the older plants, trying to maintain a sensible sized collection of between 70 and 100 plants. There was no greenhouse involved, and winter brought below freezing outdoor temperatures. That meant that although all my lithops could be outside from May through October, once the first frost threatened, they all had to come back inside to their windowsill winter home. In any house, there is only so much available windowsill space. For me, that meant room for about 100 lithops. Any more than that had to go to the basement and under fluorescent lights.
One year, I believe it was 2005, I just stopped growing lithops from seed. I was always over the 100 limit. The end of growing lithops from seed also coincided, or maybe caused, a general waning in interest in my older plants. I had a brief revival in 2010, when I collected a seed capsule from one of my nicer Lithops fulviceps plants and grew about a dozen seedlings. But the thrill of growing from seed wasn't there anymore. Actually, lithops don't require a lot of care, but when all you do is maintain what you have, you really aren't enjoying your plants.
This year is proving to be different. I met someone, who also grew lithops, and their enthusiasm and excitement in growing their plants once again aroused my love of these strange little plants. It also encouraged me to again grow lithops from seed. This time I didn't have to buy seeds, my older plants always produce seed and I collected and few fruits (capsules) and sowed a mixture (which is often not a very good idea) of species.
That new sowing of lithops seed was three months ago and the resulting seedlings are shown below. I had forgotten how much I missed watching the seeds sprout and the seedlings grow. I've had a lot of fun the last three months with lithops again, and although I will still have to deal with too many plants this coming fall, maybe I can find someone to give plants to and create a new lithops enthusiast. :)