Lithops are wonderful ornamental plants that are called "living stones" because they resemble pebbles in color and shape, but they are living plants.
About 37 species of this plant are known in nature. We can say that lithops is a succulent, consisting of two dissected, modified fleshy leaves, connected at the bottom.
The depth of such a dissection depends on the type of lithops, and can be either very small or reaching almost to the level of the soil. With good care, lithops blooms with white or yellow flowers up to 5 cm in diameter.
When is a flower transplanted?
It is possible to transplant succulents only after wintering, before their active growth. Young plants up to 5 years old are transplanted every 2 years, adults - every 3-4 years.
The transplant must be carried out no more than once every 3 years. Lithops should be transplanted only when the roots fill the entire pot. In order to determine the need for this procedure, one should observe the growth rate of the roots of Lithops.
After purchase, the plant also requires a transplant. This condition is an additional plus for the excellent development of the succulent in an unnatural environment.
After a few years, when the plant grows strongly, it needs to be transplanted at the end of spring. You need to use a regular, standard-sized pot, because lithops during this period forms a fairly branched and deep root system.
What is needed for the procedure?
To carry out a Lithops transplant, we may need:
- Plain plastic or clay flower pots (always with drainage holes).
- Soil (except for peat). You can use a standard mixture, which is characterized by low moisture content, high permeability, lack of humus and low nitrogen content: 9 parts of coarse sand, 1 part of loamy soil.
- Top dressing: you can take fertilizers for cacti or other mixtures: 1 part of fine brick chips, coarse sand and ordinary earth, or 1 part of coarse sand and pumice for 2 parts of clay soil.
Pot and soil requirements
For lithops, you should select a pot in such a way that the roots can easily fit into it, and also leave some free space. The aboveground part of the turf should not fall out of the pot too much.
Younger representatives of this plant are best planted in small pots, and larger ones in larger pots. If the plant is transplanted into a new pot, then it should be 1 cm wider than the previous one. It is necessary to transplant lithops in pots of such a height that the straightened roots fit completely.
How to plant lithops correctly? Best of all - at a distance of no more than 2 cm between plants, with no more than 3-5 plants in one pot.
It is advisable not to plant one copy at a time, since they take root rather poorly and gradually die. It is imperative to put a layer of pebbles on the surface and at the bottom of the pot so that excess water does not leak out and high-quality ventilation is provided, which protects the root collar from decay.
You can take deciduous soil, and add granite chips, sand, broken brick (red) and small pebbles for looseness. The prepared soil should be disinfectedto get rid of parasites and other diseases. To do this, you need to steam the soil on the stove for several hours. Then it must be cooled and kept for a period of time. By the time of planting, the soil should have a moisture content of about 5-15%.
The composition of the mixture for lithops consists of several parts: inert (50% or slightly more), organic (about 50% or slightly less) and expanded clay (drainage).
The inert part includes:
- perlite, vermiculite;
- river sand without a broken shell.
The organic part includes deciduous humus. Such soil must be sifted, it should not contain any non-rotten leaves.
As for the third ingredient, the drainage (expanded clay) should be of a certain size, depending on the size of the plant and the pot.
Lithops do not need careful and obligatory feeding, it will be enough to water them with melt water. It is necessary to start applying fertilizers with the beginning of vegetative growth (in spring). It is advisable to fertilize once a month, and it must be finished before flowering - in the fall.
A succulent can be fed with fertilizers for cacti, but you can use no more than half of the recommended dose for use on the package. The most common remedies are Agricola, Life Force, Zdraven, Reasil, Master.
Transplant of "living stones": detailed instructions
To transplant lithops, you need to take soil, expanded clay (for drainage), a pot, and decorative powder. It is necessary to dry the soil before transplanting, that is, do not water for a couple of days to dry out the earth in a pot.
The transplant process takes place in this way:
- It is necessary to carefully shake it out of the container without damaging the integrity of the lithops.
- Shake off the roots from excess soil, remove rotten and stunted parts.
- Check the succulent plant for various harmful parasites.
- Pour expanded clay (drainage) on the bottom of the container so that the holes on the bottom of the pot are closed.
- A layer of soil must be poured onto the drainage so that it completely covers the drainage.
- Lower the roots of the plant into the pot, and then carefully cover it with earth in a circle, tapping on the pot so that it spreads evenly. Lithops should be planted to the level of the neck, sometimes a little deeper.
- Sprinkle on top with powder - special decorative sand and stones.
- Do not water the plant immediately after transplanting.
After transplanting, the plant must be shaded so that the bright rays of the sun do not fall on it for up to a week. After a period of adaptation, you can gradually bring the plant to light and resume the usual watering regime.
Due to improper planting of the succulent, rot of the root collar can occur. It is necessary to pay attention in this process to the fact that only the roots are in the ground, and the neck itself is on top.
You can sprinkle the lithops on the sides with coarse sand to give them stability. The siliceous layer on the surface prevents rotting, creates conditions close to the natural habitat of the plant. It is undesirable to water "living stones" before and after planting. It is only necessary to sprinkle the soil with water a little before transplanting to free the roots from the old substrate.
The transplanted plants should be sent to the greenhouse for 2-3 weeks. Then carefully observe the soil moisture in the pot and the lighting. Do not allow drafts under any circumstances, otherwise the lithops may die.
Reference! If you put several lithops in one container, then this will only benefit them. Such a union increases the development of the plant and maintains its vitality throughout the year.
The main rules for grooming lithops are as follows:
- regular ventilation;
- easily passable, rocky ground;
- sunny side of the location of the plant;
- rare watering.
We offer you to watch a video about Lithops transplant:
Lithops in their maintenance and care do not require too much effort and attention. You just need to fully study their features of transplanting, watering, feeding and the appearance of any diseases.