Lithops helmutii L. Bolus
Lithops helmutii is a dwarf succulent with heart-shaped bodies composed of a pair of fleshy, widely gaping leaves. The bodies are elliptic from above and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) tall. The upper surface is convex and usually camel-humped, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide, and has windows with mottling in various shades of greenish-grey.
The flowers are yellow with a white center and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter and appear from the fissure between the leaves in mid-fall.
Lithops helmutii is native to South Africa. It grows on quartzite gravel patches northeast of Steinkopf in the Northern Cape province.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Lithops develop a new set of leaves every year, with new leaves emerging in the fall and growing through the winter and into the summer. The plant 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 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 grow, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel and encase the new growth. In the spring, it's safe to begin lightly watering as the plant grows 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.
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