Saturday, April 17, 2010

Conophytum & Lithops Update VII (57 Days) Something Wrong?

Above are the Lithops.  As for the Conophytum, the look exactly the same as serveral days ago.

But I'm a little worried about my Lithops.  About a third of them look like their tops are drying out.  Does anyone know if this is normal?  They seem to young to enter dormancy.  I still have the lights on 24 hours a day and mist them once per day.

I've also noticed a bunch of little insects that rest upon the top of each plant.  These are not the seed cases and run all over when I blow on them, then hide in the substrate.  I'd really appreciate if someone tells me that they're just sunning themselves!  Now Larry the *cough* just looks awful.  He seems to be shriveling up.  Does anyone know what's happening?  The one nearby Lithops is completely white on top.  I'm concerned and not sure what to do.  Maybe I should start taking them out of the lights during the night.  I'm thinking I should also stop misting, reduce watering and just soak them a few times a week.  Any thoughts?  *shudder of fear*

On a slightly less concerning note I've finished 2 or my 5 exams.  The remaining three are spread out next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Then I'll be done!  Now more concerning again:  I desperately need a job so if anyone knows someone looking for a structural engineer-in-training that would be awesome!  Or something not engineering related that a degree might help with.  Hopefully in Vancouver.  No, I'm not picky.  Thanks ahead of time for what I'm sure will be a multitude of leads!  :)


  1. hmm.. i've never used lamps or left them in the light during the night, really don't know what it does to them. it might be that the seedlings, or the insects, are having it too warm and too moist. do they get enough fresh air? because i see the sand has turned green.
    well, i only can tell you how i do it, so you can see if you want to try doing it the same way. :)
    when they are around 2 months old and look just like yours, I repot them into pumice stones and from there treat them like grown-ups: no cover over the pot, no misting. just watering as soon as i feel they need it (pumice keeps water "inside" the stones so that the plant takes it from there without extra moisture). the light is just what they get standing on a south windowsill (not too much direct sun! they might get cooked). through repotting them you'll get rid of the insects and the algae!
    of course you must be very careful. i find that with two months they are solid enough not to get crashed by one touch, but still. (also, it's normal that some of them won't survive the first year. i see in your bunch there are some really strong ones, they'll make it!)

    i think i'll make a post in my blog with a picture of how it looks like. wanted to do that once :)

    ps: good luck with the rest of your exams!

  2. Thanks for the help! I think it is too moist. The substrate has looked green for a while. It was old aquarium gravel/sand so the algae popped up almost immediately.

    I think I'll take them out of the lights at night. I thought they didn't like to be repotted early so thanks for letting me know. I'll also stop misting and just soak them when they look dry.

    Where do you get pumice?

    Thanks again!

  3. I think Rika makes a lot of sense! I was gonna say stop the misting for sure, and maybe get them in a natural light environment if it is warm enough there...covered... like a porch...allowing sunlight during normal hours only. I have only had a Pleiospilos nelii and it was fine as long as it rarely ever got water...was in full sun...but when it started suddenly raining here more, it up and croaked!

    Good luck!!! I sure hope Larry the Magnificent makes it!!!

    I will keep my eyes peeled for any structural engineering jobs here...if you can handle south Florida!!!

  4. Natural light won't work quite yet. It's still cloudy and it snowed today. :( It was 23C (73F) a few days ago so this weather is odd. But I'll definitely start giving it a light cycle. I think the humidity has increased now that there are so many plants under the lights but I didn't reduce watering.

    Ha, could you imagine if I found a job in south Florida? I don't even have my passport yet. Everything's filled out as of a few days ago and the pictures are taken though. I'll go after exams. :)

  5. :)

    more fresh air and less water sounds about right. they're not as fragile as you think ;)
    why won't you try pulling out and re-poting like 5 of them into normal lithops substrat of your choice to see how they change compared to the others? the fact that it's cloudy isn't that bad (the worst that could happen is them getting longer which is easily to be corrected at this age), direkt sun would be way worse.

    i get pumice for all of my plants from a german Cono's Paradise shop ( ). go to shop->more offers->scroll down. it's cheap (2€-2kg, 3€-5kg) but you'll have to buy a couple of plants extra to get to 5 euro minimum order. they take paypal. postal fee might get expensive for your location though...

    anyway, i'm sure you can order online from somewhere in your area, google it :)

  6. I'll try repotting within the next few weeks. There are a few big garden centres around here so I'll see if they have any pumice.

  7. In my very limited experince too much water makes the shrivel up. It's counterintuitive, I know, but I've killed my fair share of lithops that way.

  8. I think humidity under the lights has approached 100% I took them out and they dried out within about and hour (the good dried out). I think it's just way to humid. I also increased air flow and won't water them today. Hopefully it works!

  9. Okay, I'm a couple of days late here. Hope you do well on these last exams. I'm no where near Vancouver, though a vacation there would be nice. I can't help with the jobs thing, though. I'm not a plant expert either, so sorry about that, too. In fact, I'm lost several *cough* plants and crook neck squash plants. The good news is, I have some squash and corn popping up from seeds from veggies left in the garden last year. Hope you are feeling much better. It really sucks taking tests when you're sick.

  10. I'm feeling a lot better. Just stuffy noise at this point (which fortunately isn't allergies). It's always great to get veggie sprouts with minimal effort.


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