|Lithops fulviceps "Living Stones." "Flowering Stones."|
Yes, this is actually a plant and what you see here are the leaves of the plant. They grow for the most part submerged with only a small portion of the top of the plant exposed above ground in order for Lithops to complete photosynthesis.
Because they come from a dry region Lithops have fairly long taproots for such small plants. Taproots not only help anchor plants into the soil, they also help reach moisture that’s lower in the surrounding soil level. When choosing a pot for your Lithops plants go with a pot that’s deeper, between 3-5 inches should be sufficiently deep. Remember that Lithops come from areas where rainfall is limited and they store moisture in their leaves
The soil mix that you use should be gritty and fast draining. I’m using a bonsai mix that I feel works well with succulent plants. I find commercial cacti and succulent potting mixes to have too much organic material for a succulent like Lithops. Fill your pot with soil almost to the top and then poke a hole in the soil using a finger to accommodate the taproot and tapered body of your plant.
Place your Lithops into the hole created by your finger and collapse the soil around the plant and you’re done. Potting of Lithops, or repotting in this case, is really is really easy. Avoid watering your Lithops at this point, unless the plant desperately needs it. The mimicry of Lithops is truly appreciated when you try to mirror what they would look like growing in the wild by placing stones and pebbles of various sizes among your plant.
The small size, weird shapes and clumping nature of mature plants make living stone plants ideal succulents for growing on windowsills where they can be admired. Lithops need full sun- this means they should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight. During the summer months I'd keep one in a east facing window where it they get direct sunlight for a few hours a day. In the winter I'd move them to the south facing window where there is more light and less chance of them burning.Do not water your Lithops from winter to spring when new leaves are growing. During this time the living rock plant is using moisture stored in the older leaves that will be replaced. Watering is done in the summer and fall when the plant is very dry Too much water results in your living stone plant splitting as in the case of my Argyroderma delaetii. A word of caution: if you become addicted to growing living stones you may also develop an addiction to rock collecting.