Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lithops helmutii seedlings

These are Lithops helmutii C271 (sowed on January 26, 2010) and I must admit that I don't really know why I got seeds of these. In my opinion they're not that pretty... But it's probably because they are different.
And don't think bad of me: I love all my babies!

Lithops helmutii seedlings on July 23, 2010


  1. i think each and every one of the lithops species has it's very own beauty :)
    have you seen helmutii C271A albiflora? they look much like julii, haha

  2. Hm... I don't know C271A... The webpage I always use as a referece doesn't have it listed. Not even with the cultivars.
    Do you have a link for me? I'd like to see that one!

  3. sure http://users.skynet.be/fhoes/rsasucculents/lithops_plantlist.htm
    Francois Hoes has very interesting lithops species (cultivars and varietions) :)

  4. Huh... then it's the picture I've linked in my post that looks funny. In Francois Hoes' pics they really are beautiful - even the regular C271. But especially the albiflos look great!

    By the way... dangerous webpage!!! Very dangerous... especially for the already addicted mind... ;-)

  5. there are many variations within even species with one cole-number so that every plant might surprise you at the end :) but, i think all of them are beautiful if they're healthy, aren't they? i'm addicted to perfectly shaped plants :)

    oh yes indeed!! first you're looking through his pictures and then (you don't even notice!) you go and order seeds like a maniac, haha :D

  6. the shop, by the way: http://users.skynet.be/fhoes/rsasucculents/ *evil*

  7. Ha! Absolutely. I just impulsively ordered seeds - however at conos-paradise. But I couldn't resist.
    Here's the List of what I ordered.
    I'm not giving up on the otzenianas...

  8. yes, now that they have this 5 euro minimum order, everytime i order some pumice i think "ok just a couple of seeds to get to 5 euro" and then i order like 10, haha. clever marketing~

    my cono's otzeniana from last year weren't germinating that well either... maybe i should try another seller just for them, don't know.... but not in the near future! i've got seeds for the next 10 years to sow!

  9. The last otzeniana seeds I have sowed came from Kakteen Haage and they didn't geminate well, either. Some of them actually did germinate but maybe 5 out of 100. And the other package of otzenianas (also 60 or so) didn't germinate at all.
    I know that they are difficult and that makes me want to have them (from seeds) even more!

    I had one (!) seedling for a few years but it simply dried out and died last year...

    I will sow them as soon as they arrive from conos and then I will only concentrate on them... some of them must germinate and survive!

  10. hm, you know steven hammer writes that if they don't germinate you just let the pot dry out and repeat a year later..
    i wish you good luck with your otzenianas! they are absolutely worth the effort :)
    are you going to try sowing into pomice? i really want to try it next time..

  11. Well, I don't really have the room or (to be honest) the nerve to simply put a pot with not yet germinated Lithops seeds aside till next year... It's sad to loose the seeds, but I simply can't wait that long.

    I tried to sow Lithops on pumice (that's where the one set of otzeniana seeds went to...) but it didn't work. For one thing the pumice dried out way too quick (much quicker than soil) and then the seeds seem to have fallen between the stones and there they didn't germinate.
    The otzeniana may have been the wrong species to try this with, but I'm not really convinced of pure pumice for sowing.
    Instead I cheated a little and covered the pumice with aquarium sand and sowed the seeds onto that. I knew that would work fine, of course, as I have already sowed Lithops on pure sand once.
    I hope that the little ones will profit from the pumice underneath and that they will start out nice and strong.

  12. strange.. i would think that aquarium sand will dry out much quicker than pumice since it doesn't store water like pumice does. how quick does it dry out? does pumice dry out within a day even under the cover? i could live with misting once a day. actually i was thinking of beating pumice into pumice sand for this purpose... another possibility would be mixing it with cactus soil: i've tried this one before on older (2 months) seedlings and this stuff won't dry out no matter what (and without cover)! i even got worried and transplanted the seedling to pure pumice after a while. hm, such a mix might be good for germinating, but i'd be worried to leave the seedling there for long (same with cactus soil). i'm kinda looking for a substrate they can live in for a year without transplanting, you know? but i'll see about that... cacti soil is probably best after all :)

    reading here in steven hammer's book, he also uses a mix of cactus soil with lava/pumice. i think i'll try out different approaches this year :) i'm too curious, haha.. have some aucampiae and lesliei seeds here: they won't mind some experimenting :)

  13. My (rough) pumice dried out in about a day even with a cover. Since I am often away for two days in a row this was impractical.
    Aquarium sand indeed does not store the water really, but since the grain is that fine, the little pieces keep much water between them. Pumice is rougher and has more space for air between the stones and thus they dry out quicker (that's my theory anyway).
    I can't tell you yet if the "pumice covered with aquarium sand" approach is any good... but for what it's worth: until now the seedlings haven't complained. ;-)

    Usually I use cactus soil mixed with a lot of sand and covered with sand. So the seeds stay on the sand for germination, the seedlings are then surrounded with a little more sand, since the roots can't really get into the soil in the beginning and finally they will grow into the cactus soil after a while.
    I was able to leave my seedlings in that soil for at least a year.
    But as you know I, too, am still experimenting.