Lithops comptonii L.Bolus
Lithops comptonii var. comptonii
Lithops comptonii is a beautiful dwarf succulent composed of two leaves fused in a kidney-shaped body. It usually grows solitary or sometimes a few together. The top surface of the leaves is with open or somewhat occluded windows with pinkish-beige, light grey, or pale greenish-grey markings. The flower is yellow with a white center and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Flowering and annual replacement of the leaves happen over the summer.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
These plants develop a new set of leaves every year, with new leaves emerging in the fall and growing through the winter and into the summer. Lithops will go dormant in late summer, and water should be severely restricted to prevent bursting leaves. The flowers appear near the end of summer or fall, first showing up as a small bud forcing its way between the leaves, and growth will begin again. It's safe to water during this period. In winter, the leaves will still be growing, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel up and encase the new growth. In spring, it is safe to begin lightly watering again as the plant begins to grow again, heading toward its summer dormancy period and the emergence of new leaves in the fall.
Lithops are very slow-growing, small plants, making them ideal as houseplants (once you get the hang of their watering schedule). Older plants form attractive clumps of "pebbles" in their pots, which are highly prized. In general, plants should only be repotted if there are cultural problems (soggy soil) or the plant has outgrown its dish container, which will only happen every several years.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.
This species is endemic to South Africa.
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