Lithops Succulent: The Ultimate Care Guide

lithops succulent

Lithops succulent plants, also known as living stone plants, are one of the easiest plants to care for, making them the perfect choice for any green-thumbed beginner. In fact, these little gems are so easy to care for that you can do it with little to no attention whatsoever!
Living stones are a succulent plant species indigenous to South Africa.

They’re part of the Aizoaceae family and have adapted to survive in hot and dry climates. Their flower-like appearance might be weird but their care requirements are surprisingly simple, making them ideal houseplants for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.

Lithops succulent plants are beautiful, fascinating plants that look like stones or pebbles, making them an excellent choice if you have brown thumbs and have trouble keeping other plants alive. Also known as living stones, they are some of the easiest succulents to care for as long as you can keep them from drying out completely.

Follow our step-by-step guide below to learn how to grow your own Lithops succulent plant at home and enjoy years of stunning greenery without having to spend hours every week maintaining it.

Origin and distribution

Lithops succulent plants are native to Southern Africa and can be found in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. They grow in dry, rocky areas and are often found among stones or in crevices. Lithops are also known as living stones or flowering stones because of their unique appearance.

Lithops succulent plants have a wide range of leaf shapes that vary from round to triangular, and even heart-shaped. These leaves grow two thick layers that allow them to store water during long periods without rain. In the wild, lithops survive on dew and occasional rainfall alone for months at a time!

When planted outdoors in well-drained soil or potting mix with good drainage, lithops need very little care and should last for many years. To keep your lithops healthy, avoid overwatering them.

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Keep the top layer of soil moist but not wet and avoid letting it dry out completely between watering. If your lithops gets too much sun exposure you may want to move it into an area where it will receive less light, especially in summer when they experience hot days and cool nights.

Planting lithops succulent

lithops succulent

Lithops are really easy to propagate! All you need is a sharp knife and a well-draining potting mix. First, carefully remove a lithop from its pot. Next, use your knife to cut the plant in half, making sure each half has at least one leaf. Place the halves in your potting mix, making sure the leaves are above the soil.

Water lightly and wait for new growth to appear! Be careful not to overwater, as these plants don’t like soggy roots. It’s also important to protect them from strong sunlight or dry air which could burn their delicate skin.

If this happens, just submerge the wounded area in water until it heals. They’ll be back to normal in no time! To keep your lithops happy, all you have to do is make sure they get enough light, watering once every couple of weeks should do the trick.

Lithops succulent care

lithops succulent

These little guys are perfect for busy people who want to enjoy the beauty of succulents without all the hassle. Here are a few tips to keep your lithops healthy and happy

Light requirement

Lithops succulent needs bright light to thrive, but too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. If you live in a hot climate, place your lithops in an east- or west-facing window to protect them from the afternoon sun.

In the winter, when the days are shorter, give your lithops as much light as possible to prevent them from etiolating, or stretching out. If your plant isn’t getting enough light, its leaves will start to turn pale.

Soil/potting mix

Lithops succulent plants need a very well-draining potting mix. A cactus and the succulent mix is a good option, or you can make your own by mixing together equal parts potting soil, perlite, and sand. You want the mix to be light and airy so that water can easily drain through. Be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent the roots from sitting in water.

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Watering

Lithops are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves. As a result, they don’t need to be watered very often. In fact, overwatering is one of the most common problems with these plants. When you do water your lithops, make sure the soil is completely dry first.

Allow the water to soak in until it begins to run out of the bottom of the pot. Then, empty any water that remains in the saucer. You should only water every few weeks or so. If you notice yellow leaves or signs of rot, it’s likely due to overwatering and/or lack of light and warmth.

If this happens, try moving your plant into brighter light and closer proximity to a heat source. You can also allow the plant to sit on top of moistened paper towels for about 30 minutes before watering again.

Temperature

Lithops succulent plants are native to Africa, and as such, they prefer warm temperatures. They can tolerate some heat, but they’ll do best in temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you may need to provide some extra protection for your lithops during the hottest months of the year.

Humidity

Lithops succulent plants are native to very dry regions and as such, do not require high humidity levels to thrive. In fact, too much humidity can actually be detrimental to their health. If you live in a naturally humid environment, simply provide good air circulation around your plants and water only when the soil is completely dry.

If you’re unsure whether the air is too humid for your lithops, pay close attention to the plant’s leaves.

The ideal humidity range is 50-60% and the best way to achieve this is by providing plenty of airflows. Another option is placing a humidity tray on top of or next to your plant, just make sure it does not have standing water in it at any time.

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Finally, if you notice that the leaf tips are curling down or if there’s browning along the edges of its leaves then it could mean that there’s too much moisture in the air so adjust accordingly.

Pruning

If your Lithops succulents are looking a little leggy, you can give them a light pruning. Simply snip off the tips of the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. Be careful not to take off too much, as this can shock the plant.

If done correctly, pruning will encourage your lithops to branch out and become fuller. It’s best to do this in spring when the new growth is coming in. You should also be aware that lithops need more water during the summer months than they do during the winter months.

When to repot

Lithops succulent plants are best repotted every two to three years, in the spring. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix, and a pot with a drainage hole. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

If your lithops are looking cramped, it’s time to repot them! Use a well-draining potting mix and put them in a dish with drainage holes. Water sparingly, letting the soil dry out before you water again.

Dormancy/Winter rest

Lithops succulent plants enter a state of dormancy or winter rest in the fall and remain dormant until late winter or early spring. During this time, they require very little water and should be kept dry. If you live in an area with frost, it’s best to keep your lithops indoors during this time.

When spring arrives and the days start to get longer, lithops will start to grow again. Slowly increase watering at this time, being careful not to overwater. Avoid any fertilizer as well because it can have adverse effects on the plants. Once new growth has been established, resume normal care for your lithops!

Lithops succulent flower & fragrance

Lithops succulent

This little plant is a powerhouse when it comes to flowers and fragrance. When in bloom, lithops emit a sweet, citrusy scent that is sure to please. And not only are they easy to care for, but they also make excellent houseplants. With just a little bit of water and some bright light, these plants will thrive.

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Growth rate

Lithops succulent plants are slow-growing succulents that can take several years to reach their full size. However, they are very easy to care for and require very little attention. With the right care, they can thrive for many years.

Toxicity

Lithops succulent is not toxic to humans or animals. However, the sap from the plant can cause skin irritation in some people. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to wear gloves when handling lithops.

As with all succulents, lithops can contain small amounts of toxins that can be harmful if ingested. If you have pets or small children, it is best to keep them away from lithops.

USDA hardiness zones

Lithops succulent thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5-10, and can be grown outside year-round. They should not be overwatered or allowed to dry out. If the soil is allowed to dry out too much, the plants will turn red, but if it is watered too much, the plants will turn blue.

If this happens and you are worried about overwatering, it’s better to wait until the soil dries out before watering again.

Pests and diseases

When it comes to pests and diseases, lithops are relatively resistant. However, mealybugs and aphids can be a problem, particularly if the plant is stressed. If you see any pests, simply wipe them off with a damp cloth or wash the plant with soapy water.

As for diseases, root rot is the most common issue. This can be prevented by planting lithops in well-draining soil and allowing the soil to dry out completely between watering.

In addition, overwatering your lithops will only make things worse! So if you notice that your plants are too wet, stop watering and wait until the soil is dry before adding more water.