Lithops, commonly known as Living Stones, can add an interesting accent to your home or garden. These succulent plants, which resemble stones and grow a daisy-like flower, come in various shapes, textures, and colors. Originally from southern Africa, Lithops can withstand temperatures up to 120 °F (49 °C). They are hardy to USDA zones 9 and higher. Even though Lithops can be grown by division of the adult plant, growing them from seed is economical and can be a rewarding experience.
1. Mix equal parts of potting soil and perlite. Moisten the mix with water and fill it into a pot with drainage holes to about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) from the top.
2. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil. Cover them with a 1/8-inch (0.3 cm) layer of fine sand or crushed rock.
3. Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the soil with it. Try to keep the soil moist throughout the germination period. Cover the pot with plastic wrap or a glass pane to help promote soil moisture retention.
4. Place the pot in a warm sunlit area. Aim for a temperature of approximately 65 to 80 °F (18 to 27 °C). Place a heating mat underneath the pot, if needed. Expect the seeds to germinate within about 2 to 12 weeks.
5. Remove the plastic wrap or glass pane once the seeds germinate. Transplant the seedlings to individual pots when the plants start to the crowd and are big enough to handle. Place the pots on a sunny windowsill.
Avoid overwatering the seedlings as they grow. Water them once the top 1/4-inch (6 mm) layer of soil is dry. After about three months, allow the soil to dry completely between watering. Provide Lithops with about five hours of sunlight per day.
Do not expect all the seeds to germinate at the same time. Some seeds may take as long as a year to germinate.
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