Can I grow Lithops under fluorescent lights?
You can start Lithops seeds under fluorescent lights but it is not practical to actually grow them permanently under these conditions. To start Lithops under fluorescent lights, it is best to use "tri-phosphor" fluorescent tubes as these have the best light spectrum however they are more expensive than regular "white" fluorescent tubes. You can still use standard white fluorescent tubes and these will still work. You will need to have the lights on a timer that keeps them on for about 13 hours of the day.
How long do Lithops live?
Lithops have a very long life and can easily surpass 50 years lifetime. Older plants tend to get a little untidy and it is better to break them up into smaller clumps so that you can give plants away to friends and family. Removing "heads" without roots and placing them partially buried into course river sand will soon see new roots develop. Be sure to leave the very base of the "head" intact as this is where the 'meristem' is located.
Which Lithops are expensive?
The most expensive Lithops (seed or plant) is always the one that is the most popular! Usually, it is the cultivars that get the most attention however, some of the species produce very little seed, are not in cultivation in great numbers or have desirable markings that put them in this category. Some examples are: L. aucampiae 'Betty's Beryl', L. aucampiae 'Bella Ketty', L. aucampiae 'Storm's Snowcap', L. aucampiae 'Jackson's Jade', L. coleorum, L. dinteri 'Dintergreen', L. dorotheae 'Zorro', L. gracilidelineata 'Fritz's White Lady', L. gracilidelineata ssp. brandbergensis (both C383 and C394), L hallii 'Green Soapstone', L. karasmontana 'Avocado Cream', L. lesliei v. rubrobrunnea, L. meyeri 'Hammeruby', L. otzeniana 'Czesky Granat', L. ruschiorum v. lineata, L. salicola 'Malachite', L. terricolor 'Silver Spurs', L. vallismariae (all), L. viridis (all), L. salicola 'Sato's Violet' (was L. salicola 'Baccus') and of course, L. optica 'Rubra' of which there are at least 3 different "C" numbers or cultivars (C287, C081A, F3 cross and one from around Uitsig...)
What potting mix should I use for potting Lithops?
This depends on many things like the type of pot you use, where you are growing your Lithops (shade/hot house, outdoors) and the general weather in your area. We have used many different materials for our own collection and after a lot of experimenting, we now use a mix that we feel best suits our growing conditions. The easiest answer to this question is to use commercial potting mix made for cactus and succulents but sift all the larger pieces out with a 5mm screen (use "mouse mesh"). Then, add to this some coarse material at a 1:1 ratio. We use crushed scoria which we screen to 5 different grades and then use a part of each grade to make up an amount equal to the amount of potting mix. Any coarse, inert, material will be OK and you could use pea gravel, pumice, lava rock (which is what scoria is anyway!) and perlite. Some materials are better than others and we have found scoria to be superior to most others.
I've done a search on your web site for a Lithops shop. Can you tell me where I can buy Lithops?
Uh, this might sound a bit silly but, here would be a good place to start! Yes, we have had a few people ask this question and also search the web site for "buy" and "Australia". Just to clear this up, we are located in country South Australia, we sell both seeds and plants of Lithops and we can post seeds to anywhere in the world but we only sell plants in Australia. Please note that our plants and seed is from known material and usually include collector numbers (Cole, Hammer, Brack etc). We DO NOT produce wild "hybrids" to our own liking. You can be assured that seed is produced from true to type plants, even though there is some variation as occurs in the wild.
Are Lithops seeds really small?
Yes, and no. Lithops seed varies in size with the species but overall, they are quite small. According to the attention given by Dr. H.W. de Boer to the size of seeds, they vary from as few as 1500 seeds per cubic centimetre to 15,000 or more per cubic centimetre. In comparison, the seeds from common Petunia's, when not coated as they usually are when purchased in commercial packets, would average around 400 seeds per cubic centimetre. As small as Lithops seeds are, Orchids are the clear winner in the "honey I shrunk the seeds" race where seed numbers per cubic centimetre would easily start at 50,000!
What colour are Lithops optica 'Rubra' seedlings?
ALL Lithops seedlings, no matter what the species, cultivar or form, are either green, dull pink/brown or slightly grey. It isn't until they have their first set of true leaves that the real colour becomes evident and often you have to wait until the second or third set of leaves to see how well patterned or coloured they are. It is reasonable to expect that a seedling that should be red as an adult, like L. optica 'Rubra', should also be pink or slightly red as a seedling. As a side note here, around 10% of L. optica 'Rubra' seeds will actually grow to be plants that are green and not red. Only if a seedling looks to be 'white' should you be concerned as this usually indicates that the seedling will die.
Do you have "xxx" Lithops seeds?
Our stock is listed on this website so, generally, if what you are looking for is not listed then we either don't have it or have sold out for this season. You are welcome to email us and ask though, if you are looking for something in particular.
Check out our catalogue to see what is available to buy. Our plants are available to Australian customers only. Please ensure you are aware of any quarantine restrictions applicable to your State as we cannot provide any certification. Thank You.