Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Summer Lithops Home

The Summer Home for my Lithops

I grow my lithops outside during the frost free part of the year.  They receive approximately 6 to 8 hours of direct sun daily.  To manage the amount of water they receive, I place them on a small platform (shown) that is covered with clear plastic.
The plastic only covers the top and back of the frame, thus allowing good air circulation.  

The cover is easily removed when I want to examine or water the plants.   Space is limited to 60 to 80 pots depending on the size of the pots.  The surface area of the platform equals the space I have inside the house where the lithops will spend the winter. On average I move the plants outside in late April and back inside in late October.

The photo to the right was taken today, October 2, 2013.  I've moved the plastic cover back off the platform to show the plants in flower. Almost all the plants shown were grown from seed.   I have done a little pollinating but I'm not sure why; maybe just to enjoy watching the seed capsules develop.  I really don't have room for a lot more plants.  I sold, or gave away, 18 adult lithops this summer at our (Washington, D.C. C&S Society) local society show and sale.  While my C&S collection is a general mix of many types of cacti and other succulents, I have more lithops than any other genera, although the numbers of  astrophytum cacti in the collection is growing rapidly.  :)

Lithops are neat plants and I really enjoy growing them. 


  1. When I first started growing succulents I kept them on a windowsill but after about 6 plants I got a greenhouse so it seems odd to me not to keep the plants in a greenhouse. Your plants look great so your arrangements work well but I am still not sure I could deal with all the moving.

  2. Hi Alain, I understand, and I have thought about putting up a greenhouse. My biggest argument against a GH over the years was that it would result in my having too many plants, but of course, that happened anyway. :)

  3. Your collection looks wonderful! What zone are you in? I'm Zone 9b and none of my Lithops (indoors and out) are currently flowering. Isn't that weird?

  4. Hi Marla! Thank you. I'm in zone 7b in eastern Charles County, Maryland. We usually have a winter minimum temperature of approx. 10 degrees F. but only for a few nights. We do however, have stretches in winter where it will stay below freezing for five or more straight days. Yes, at least some of your lithops (L. bromfieldii for example) should have flowered. There's still a lot of the fall season to go, so your plants may still flower. Right now, it's my L. lesliei group that are in flower with L. dorotheae showing their buds. No white flowers yet.

    1. Our fall hasn't started yet, it's still the Crazy Hot Season. So if changes in sunlight duration triggers blooming, then I've got a problem. But if it's ambient temperature, they are merely confused, hopefully for not much longer!