Lithops Salicola – The Weird Living Stone & Its 4 Diseases

small succulents

Last updated on July 27th, 2022 at 12:31 am

Lithops salicola is a small succulent plant that has a body of two paired leaves divided by a fissure where the flowers show up. It grows and extends up to 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) tall. The body is cone-shaped or round with a flat surface and a kind of green-gray coloration. Flowers are white and approximately 2 inches (2 cm) in diameter.

This plant globs up promptly and develops matted teams with normally 2 to 50 heads (Desmond Cole recorded a plant with more than 350 heads), and they can get to be up to 25 cm across (takes years). This Lithops is one of the taller varieties, as well as its slate grey, leave heads, stand above the soil surface.

Bodies (combined leaves)

Lithops Salicola

Truncate in account with elliptic-reniform faces, flattened or (usually) somewhat convex, 17 to 35 mm tall, 11 to 26 mm wide. Crevice shallow. Surface area smooth, obscurely transparent broad jagged or finely netted with confluent areas to practically uniform. Sides grey. Windows transparent, huge, typically completely open, olive, greyish green, dark green, red, brown, or dark brown/violet.

Absent of island or small, a little raised nontransparent green, whitish, yellowish, pinkish, or lilac grey. Margins generally very unique and also normal, hardly ever dentate or sinuate.

Networks hardly ever-existing, in numerous shades of grey, green or blue-grey or greyish-green or lilac. Usually lacks rubrication, or if present, as dots and also dashboards in the marginal indentations.

Flowers: White 20 to 50 mm in diameter.

Fruits: 5 to 6 chambered.

Flowering period: Fall or Autumn.

Remarks: The plants explained under the name Lithops salicola var. reticulata are a hybrid populace in between Lithops salicola and Lithops hallii.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30°F (− 1.1°C) to 50°F (+10°C).

How to Grow and care for Lithops salicola

Lithops Salicola

These plants create a brand-new collection of leaves every year, with new leaves emerging in the fall and also growing with the winter season and right into the summer. Lithops will certainly become inactive in the late summer season, and water ought to be significantly restricted to stop rupturing leaves.

The flowers show up near the end of the summer season or fall, very first turning up as a little bud completing its way between the leaves, and development will start once again. It’s risk-free to water during this period. The leaves will certainly still be growing into the winter season, but you should quit watering, also as the older leaves shrivel up and also enclose the new growth.

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In the spring, it’s safe to start lightly watering once again as the plant starts to grow once again, heading toward its summer season dormancy period as well as the introduction of brand-new leaves in the fall.

Lithops are really slow-growing, small plants, making them perfect as houseplants (when you master their watering timetable). Older plants form eye-catching globs of “stones” in their pots, which are very prized.

Generally, plants ought to only be repotted if there are cultural conditions (soggy soil) or the plant has actually outgrown its dish container, which will only occur every numerous year.

Cultivation and Propagation of Lithops salicola

Lithops Salicola

Lithops salicola is among the most convenient species that will stand chilly winter conditions if dry. Some individuals consider it among one of the most tolerant of overwatering. It is not irregular that plants mature automatically in the potting container at the base of the mother plant.

In hot weather, it comes to be semi-dormant. Due to the fact that it is reasonably very easy to take care of like that where numerous other species would promptly kill themselves, this plant clumps up promptly, and also it is frequently seen in big piles at shows.

In general, the Lithops are several of the world’s most remarkable plants looked for by succulent plant collectors. Focusing on the certain growing requirement of Lithops is specifically essential.

If you provide the Lithops with the appropriate conditions, they will certainly reward you with their special form, size, color as well as the proliferation of flowers in autumn.

Lithops are tricky and difficult plants that are really particular about their growing conditions and also require the right upkeep in order to get satisfied.

Don’t be scared also, the ideal cultivators have plants that inexplicably dry out up, or leave during the night. While Lithops are particular about their care, if you are patient as well as bear in mind the fundamentals, your efforts will certainly be rewarded.

Being small plants, a depictive collection can be grown on an outdoor patio table, a bright windowsill, or a shelf in the greenhouse.

Growing rate: Slow growing for a mesemb.

Soil Requirement

They grow best in an open mineral, sandy-gritty soil as well as call for the great drain as they are vulnerable to root rot. They can grow outdoors in warm, dry, rock holes (protection against winter wet is needed) They can also be grown in alpine residence, in poor, drained soil.
Repotting: They may remain in the same pot for several years. Plants grown in larger containers have often fairly inadequate flowers. Flowers could improve when the plants are offered their very own, little individual pots.

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Watering Lithops salicola

They Need little water otherwise the skin breaks (resulting in unattractive marks). The standard growing regimen is: Stop watering after flowering. Beginning watering after the old leaves are totally dry (normally late March or Early April).

Water freely throughout the growing period, soak the compost completely but allow it to dry out between waterings. In the wintertime period, the plant does not require watering, the plant in this time extracts water from the external succulent leaves, enabling them to shrivel away, transferring water to the remainder of the plant and to the new leaves that create during this period.

Bottom watering by immersing the container is recommended if grown in a container. Water moderately only when warm, no water when cold. Nearly all conditions occur as a result of overwatering and poor ventilation, specifically when weather conditions are dull as well as great or very humid. They should have a completely dry atmosphere.


Feed them once throughout the growing period with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (high potash fertilizer with dilute low nitrogen), consisting of all micronutrients and some trace components weakened to 1/2 the strength advised on the label.

They prosper in poor soils and need minimal materials of fertilizer to avoid the plants establishing excess vegetation, which is conveniently struck by a fungal disease. Some growers fertilize regularly, some rarely. Nevertheless, for the highly succulent mesembs, (Lithops, Conophytums, etc.) fertilization is not really required.


They favor an extremely intense situation and also in winter months they need the maximum quantity of light you are able to provide, yet maintain even more amazing and also partially shaded in summertime.

The only exemption to this is seedlings in their first year that take pleasure in a shades area. Such little plants can quickly get scorched or broiled and their appearance ruined (this might not matter in the wild, where the Lithops have most likely diminished into the ground and becomes covered with sands).

Outdoors, Lithops like full sun, with some shade in the hottest summer time. High levels of light are required in autumn to blossom and for good plant development. The low intensity of sunlight throughout the growing season of this variety generally protects against the white flowers from opening.

Tips: Lithops are best grown in a ventilated and sunny component of the greenhouse, and also not too near the glass roof or sides of the house as the plants can get too hot during hot spells.

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Hardiness: They need a minimum temperature level of 5°C( But will take a light frost as well as are hardy to -7°C for short durations if they remain in dry soil). USDA zones 9A — 11.

Uses: They are used as containers, rock gardens.

Pests and Diseases of Lithops salicola

Lithops might be eye-catching to a selection of bugs, but plants in excellent condition need to be nearly pest-free, especially if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with excellent exposure as well as ventilation. There are numerous insects to watch out for:

  • Red spiders: Red spiders might be properly rubbed up by misting the prone plants every day.
    Mealy pests: Occasionally mealy bugs establish aerial into the new leaves and flowers with disfiguring outcomes, but the most awful types establish below ground on the roots as well as are unnoticeable other than by their impacts.
    Sciara Flies: Sciara flies are among the major troubles for seedlings. It is a good technique to mulch your seedlings with a layer of grit, which will highly dissuade the flies.
  • Scales, thrips, and aphids: These insects are hardly ever a problem.
    It is important to treat your entire collection with a systemic insecticide two times a year in spring and fall.
  • Rot: Rot is just a minor problem with mesembs if the plants are watered and also “aired” properly. Fungicides will not help all that much if they are not.

Propagation of Lithops salicola

small succulents

Seed or (or seldom cuttings). The tiny seeds can be planted in pots of fine, well-drained soil, at any time during the spring and also summer season when temperature levels are warm. Cover the seeds with an extremely fine layer of grit and water from below with a fungicide to stop damping off.

For the very first 3 to 4 days cover the pots with a sheet of glass/clear perspex to keep the humidity levels high. Get rid of the glass and also change it with a light shade-cloth and mist once or twice a day for the following two weeks after which most seeds must have sprouted.

After that mistings can be reduced to every second and after that every 3rd day as the little plants grow. Take the cuttings from a developed mother plant. Each cutting should have several heads in addition to a portion of origin and also allow them to dry out for some days, lay the cuttings on the soil, and place the stem end partially right into the soil. Try to keep the cutting upright to ensure that the roots are able to grow downward. It is reasonably hard to root Lithops from cuttings and normally pointless also, so quick are they from seed.

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Lithops salicola Seed production

Plants can be hand pollinated, making use of a tiny paintbrush. Keep in mind always to go across various clones as the plants are self-sterile. The seed will certainly continue to be viable for several years provided it is stored in a cool completely dry place.

Origin of Lithops salicola

It can be located in Namibia and also South Africa at an altitude of 3,300 feet (1,000 m) to 4,430 feet (1,350 m). They are generally found in well-drained soil or rock gaps. It occurs in an area of summer rainfalls.

Conclusion on Lithops salicola

After flowering in the autumn and growing via winter, the plant does not need watering, however, they will still be growing, the brand-new bodies will certainly be increasing in dimension extracting water from the outer succulent leaves, permitting them to shrivel away.

The plant in this time extracts water, as well as nutrient stored in the external succulent leaves, allowing them to dry out moving the water to the remainder of the plant and also to the brand-new leaves that form during this duration up until the old leaves, are reduced to nothing more than “slim papery shells”.

Improvement of Lithops attributes: Some growers (but not all!!) assume it is very appealing to improve any kind of characteristic of cultivated Lithops by crossing 2 similar chosen plants as well as after that back-crossing with the mother plant.

In this manner, we can eventually get some intriguing results. Certainly, a lot of the best Lithops we grow in cultivation have actually already been chosen over time. Nonetheless, numerous Lithops are currently good plants that can not actually be improved, on the various other hand, one could try to enhance the color or the markings, etc.

If we have two certain plants we might attempt to reproduce between them and can maybe get a whole improved populace and after that select some of the best offspring and allow them to continue the selection.