Baby Lithops at Five Months

To review: here’s what they looked like a week and two weeks after I sowed the seeds back in January.

It’s hard to believe, but three short months ago the lithops seedlings were only just beginning to show their distinct colouration and patterns. Now look at them!

And here’s the part in the process where I start to screw things up. While this was my first time starting lithops from seed, it was not my first excursion into the world of cactus and succulent seed starting. Here’s my pattern thus-far:

  1. Start seeds. Germination. Kick ass!
  2. Seeds develop into tiny seedlings. Continuing to kick ass!
  3. Tiny seedlings develop into small versions of their adult counterparts. Now I am kicking ass and pumping the air with my fists.
  4. Cockiness sets in. I transplant the seedlings.
  5. I admire my handiwork and lovingly stroke my gardener’s ego for days, weeks even.
  6. Transplanted too soon. Plants die. The end.

My worry now is that the lithops will get too hot and go into premature dormancy. And then I will water them too much and they’ll rot. I understand what they need in theory but something about them just won’t click on an intuitive level. I’ve chatted extensively with lithops growing friends and am hoping that magical lithops growing juju comes to me and two years from now I’ll be showing off a bowl of adult lithops like Barry’s.

But I suppose if I lose this batch, there’s always the next. Even though it’s the wrong time of year to start, they’re germinating as I write this.

BTW: The lithops Grow-Along is still going. Get some seeds and join us. We’re all learning as we go.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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7 thoughts on “Baby Lithops at Five Months

  1. They are so adorable, I have never tried to grow succulents/cactus from seed so I find this fascinating. Will look forward to more updates.

  2. These tiny fellows are amazing! My lithopses died in childbirth. :( It all went OK until I lifted that sack for some time to give them some air. I believe it was too much for them. But I’ll get seeds soon, my special love is Lithops otzeniana which really resembles oceans and coralls.

  3. Thanks Melanie. Lithops are particularly fun to watch as they develop. Growing a packet of seeds is like a surprise bag — free toy inside!

    Lilla: I’m sorry to hear it. Try, try again. They’re not easy plants to grow but they are fun.

    Kristi: You should try them. A packet of seeds is just a few bucks and it’s a lot of fun to watch them develop.

  4. a bunch of mine died – not sure what happened – but some of mine are still hanging in there, and beginning to molt! even at that tiny size they are growing new bodies, it’s so bizarre!

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