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Trying once again...

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Trying once again...

Postby sundanz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:32 pm

Saw this Plei. Nelii (sp?) at Home Depot and reluctantly bought it, mainly due to it's color. It's a Royal Flush, per label. Last year I had one and it finally died due to my inexperience with Lithops. This year I'm trying again because I have read alot about taking care of it. That of course doesn't mean I know what I'm doing! Is it true they are summer growers and I shouldn't give it any water at this time? My Greenhouse gets warm during the day because the sun keeps it warm. Any other hints I should know so it won't die again? I have a feeling this little plant is going to stress me out!! #-o

Karin

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Re: Trying once again...

Postby iann » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:34 pm

They're not summer growers. However, they're not really winter growers either. They are pretty opportunistic and pretty much prepared to grow year round, whenever it isn't too cold, isn't too hot, etc.

Your's looks well stacked up, and what is it doing down the side? Making a pup? Or just very old leaves. Nothing for a week or two, then water lightly every now and then. Try to keep the new leaves fat, but the old leaves thirsty. The old leaves should dry out over the summer until you just have that nice red pair left by autumn. Then another set will grow.

They're tough and tolerant of sun and heat, but don't want to be soaking wet in high heat. Through the summer, just water lightly enough that the soil is dry in a day or so, but do it often enough that the newest leaves don't shrivel up. This is called "spraying" in mesemb parlance. You can spray or squirt or splash or whatever you like, but don't soak it in a bucket when its 110F! The danger time seems to be when night temperatures stay above 15C, give or take.
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Re: Trying once again...

Postby sundanz » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:51 pm

Thank you so much Ian!!!!
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Re: Trying once again...

Postby Saxicola » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:44 pm

Ian gave you good advice. I just want to mention that you call it a Lithops in your post (you said the correct genus but then called it a Lithops too). It is important not to lump these different genera together in your mind when talking about cultivation. I suspect a lot of people have killed their "living stone" type Aizoaceae by treating them all the same since too much water during the dormant period is the best way to do them in. As a rough guide, Lithops are summer growers, Pleiospilos is opportunistic, and Conophytum (which REALLY look like Lithops) are winter growers.
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