Lithops: a genus of super slow-growing stealth succulents. It's easy to see why they're also known as living stones.
|Little lithops via Super Fantastic on Flickr|
I bought a packet of lithops seeds from Thompson & Morgan earlier this year and promptly forgot that I had them until Gayla Trail posted about her lithops seedlings a couple of weeks ago and encouraged me to do join the grow-along happening on her forum.
I finally got around to tearing open the packet to sow them Wednesday and I was amazed at how tiny the seeds were. My second thought was that for $5.99, T&M sure skimped on the seeds - there were roughly 40 in the packet. By comparison, I learned from Gayla that you can get the same amount of seeds from Mesa Garden and Cono's Paradise for less than half the price and you can buy specific species and cultivars from them. Boo-urns T&M!
Undaunted, I sowed the seeds into moist cactus potting soil - they're the tiny orange spheres in the centre of the picture below (click to zoom), and then sprinkled some fine sand on top.
To keep the soil moist, I covered with the pot using saran wrap and an elastic. Every day is Sweater Day chez Dirt Gently, so a heating pad is a must to keep the seeds cozy. Light is required for germination, so into the light garden they go!
Hopefully, in a week or so, I'll have a pot full of happy little lithops seedlings! In the meantime, I found some lithops reading to keep me entertained until then:
- Steven Hammer's The New Mastering the Art of Growing Mesembs
- Nick Rowlette's hyper-informative Lithops.info
- Dave's Garden has a neat thread following the growth of some lithops seedlings