Monday, March 19, 2007

Lithops dorotheae seedlings

Since I first noticed Lithops, dorotheae are definitely among my favorites. The first Lithops seeds (maybe even the first plant seeds) I have ever sown were dorotheaes.
I must admit that I didn't have a clue what to do with them and so I did everything wrong. I covered them with soil (which is wrong as they need light to germinate), put them in the rather cold kitchen and used pure cactus soil. Nothing happened, of course.

Then I found, a german forum where I already learned so many things about plants and so my second try (seedlings under a energy saving lamp, in cactus soil mixed with sand and in a warmer place) was successful.
In February 2007 my first Lithops germinated.

Shortly after, as I was just helping my Lithops seedlings get used to fresh and cooler air (without the plastic wrap covering the pots), I got to know the "wonderful" dark-winged fungus gnats that find Lithops seedling roots to be delikatessen.

I found many chemical ways to get rid of them including Neudorffs Neudomück, but I didn't want to shock my babies with that stuff. So I devised my own way of keeping them at bay.

So I covered the top of the soil with sand (which I sterilized in the oven before use: bake it for 30 min. at 150°C) and I surrounded the little seedlings with the sand so they wouldn't dry out too fast.

Lithops dorotheae seedlings on March 19, 2007

The picture shows the dorotheae seedlings after repotting. I gave them a little more space and added the sand to keep them safe.

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