Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finally some action

Two months later and one of the two biggest dorotheae has grown completely out of his seed leaves. The seed leaves are no longer visible and I didn't even help. They dried out all by themselves.
This big one is also quite stable now... no more shrinking horribly and then almost exploding when being watered. This gives me hope!
The second one, however, will take some more time... It shows almost no change.

Dorotheae seedlings on May 13, 2008


  1. Hi Petra,

    I've got a question regarding the watering of Lithops in this age. I bought several one year old plants from Cono's Paradise and I've pretty much no idea when they need water. Dealing with the bigger ones is no problem, but the one year olds are just to tiny to see if they start to wrinkle.
    I bought a 1ml pipette but with which it's easy to dose the water but I 'm afraid I'm going to drown them :/
    How do you deal with this topic?

    Best regards


    1. Hi Max,

      oh, that is very hard to answer. They will not die on you if you water them a day later than you could have.
      In general I found it to be good advice to say: when in doubt, don't water them yet. You can kill them easier by drowning them than by leaving them too dry.

      I water my freshly germinated Lithops with an aerosol can roughly once a week. I spray them enough so that the whole top layer of soil gets wet.
      The one year olds I either spray, maybe every two weeks, or I take the whole (small) pot and push it down into a bowl of water and let the water soak its way up to the surface through the holes in the bottom of the pot (don't let it wash over the top though!). But this gets the soil a lot wetter than the spraying, so after that I wait more than two weeks.

      When in doubt with the one year olds I usually just feel them to see if they're still firm and filled with water or if they're starting to get soft.
      I think that might be the best policy to find out if they need water. At that age they should be big enough to survive a careful touch by human hand now and again.

      I hope I could help you with this.
      I'm really just feeling and experimenting my way through Lithops life, too. But if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!

      All the best,

    2. Thanks for your answer. I'll try it with a sprayer every two weeks as a rough rule. The problem with feeling is, that the smallest ones are only about 4mm diameter (don't know if for example my C229A is extremly small or if those are tinier in general)- so feeling if they're still firm would be quite a risk :/

      Unfortunately watering them by putting the pot into water won't work, I planted them in pure aquarium gravel, which won't soak the water at all :/

      (Yeah, aquarium gravel was probably a suboptimal idea for the tiny ones but I was impatient.. and in a few months they'll have hopefully developed some roots which are long enough to get the water even from the bottom, problem solved :P)

      Thanks again,