Lithops karasmontana is a species of succulent plants that is best known for its rocky appearance. Though originally growing in the southern parts of Africa, this plant has grown in popularity across the world because of its unique appearance. Continue reading to learn how you can grow Lithops karasmontana by yourself.
Lithops Karasmontana: Important Details to Know About Karas Mountains Living Stones
Lithops karasmontana is a plant in the genus Lithops. Like other plants in that genus, Lithops karasmontana are succulents and can be called “Living Stones.” Lithops karasmontana plants are best known for their stone-like inanimate appearance. Their outlook keeps them safe from herbivores.
Other names for Lithops karasmontana include Karas Mountains Living Stones, living rocks plants, Lithops, Split Rocks, living stones cactus, Rock Plants, stone plant, and Truncate Living Stones. Lithops Karasmontana is a unique plant species that would reward you when you cultivate it.
– History of Lithops Karasmontana
Lithops karasmontana are named after the Great Karas Mountains found in Namibia. The natural habitats of Karas Mountains Living Stones are Namibia and South Africa. This pretty succulent was first collected by Professor K. Dinker on the Karas mountain.
– Identifying Karas Mountains Living Stones
It is super easy to spot and identify Lithops karasmontana. They are succulent plants that look like rocks. Here are some distinct features:
- Plant appearance: Lithops karasmontana is a clump-forming succulent individual leaf pair. It can grow 1.5 inches high. It can spread indefinitely, so there is no recorded width. From a distance, you’d feel that each head (i.e. leaf pair) is a separate plant. When you dig deep, however, you’d see the network of roots that connects each head.
- Leaves: The leaves resemble quartzite rocks. They are grey and have yellow, pink, red, or brown mottling on their upper surface.
- Flowers: Without its flowers, Lithops karasmontana looks just like a rock. You can easily identify Lithops karasmontana when it blooms. The white flowers force through the leaves. Each flower petal can grow up to 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Seeds: Karas Mountains Living Stones have very small seeds with a low germination rate.
Judging from the description of Karas mountain’s living stone, you already know that it would make a beautiful houseplant. Growing Lithops karasmontana is challenging, but when they are mature enough, you get to enjoy your labor over the years.
Lithops Karasmontana Care Tips: Make Sure That You Are Doing It Right
– Potting Your Lithops Karasmontana
Remember that Lithops karasmontana is a succulent plant. As a succulent plant, the Karas Mountains Living Stone needs a well-aerated potting mix. The potting mix should be moist and not soggy four or five hours after watering. You can use a succulent potting mix from any gardening shop. If you live in a region with high humidity, you should mix extra coarse stone in the potting mix.
As a newcomer, you should plant cuttings of Lithops karasmontana instead of seeds, as starting from seeds is more difficult and time-consuming. To plant your Lithops karasmontana, follow the steps below:
- Get a container: The container should not be too deep so that it does not hold much water. Also, it should be over 10 inches wide to permit your Lithops karasmontana to spread. Place the container where it will receive a good amount of sunlight.
- Fill the container in half: Pour a succulent or cactus potting mix into the container until it has filled half the height of the container.
- Add fertilizer (optional): There are several reasons to fertilize your Lithops karasmontana. The methods to know when to fertilize your plants will be discussed later.
- Insert the cutting: Carefully place the cutting on the potting mix. Make sure that it has roots.
- Cover the roots: Using the potting mix, cover the roots of your Lithops karasmontana. Do not cover the leaves as you may be harming the plants.
- Do not water: You should start watering your plants seven or 10 days after planting.
In less than two months, you will notice slow growth in your Lithops karasmontana. So long as your plant is not withering nor becoming pale, you should not worry.
– Karas Mountains Living Stone Humidity and Light Requirements
Lithops karasmontana needs as much light as it can receive. For indoor places, place your living stones on a south-facing windowsill or wherever they can receive around six hours of sunlight daily. Light plays a crucial role in the color and health of your living stones. The more light Lithops karasmontana is exposed to, the brighter it becomes and easier it is to combat rot and other problems.
Make sure that there is constant airflow and the humidity is low, as living stones do not thrive in high humidity and moisture.
– Water Requirements
Watering succulents is a challenge for many. Your plants will not thrive and may die if you give them too much or too little water. The best way to water your Lithops karasmontana is to water thoroughly and wait until the soil dries completely before you water again.
Remember that the potting mix must be well-drained and aerated. The potting mix should be moist, never wet. In summer, you can water the plants once or twice monthly. Do not water in autumn or whenever the humidity is high. Don’t worry, your living stones have water stored in their succulent leaves, so they can survive a long period without water.
– Optimum Temperature
As a tropical plant, Lithops karasmontana thrives better at 77 – 86 F (25 – 30 °C) in the day and 59 – 68 °F (15 – 20 °C) at night. Growing your living stones in a greenhouse is the best, but they can also thrive with natural light if you live in a warm place.
– Nutrient Requirements
You don’t need to add extra fertilizer for your Lithops karasmontana as long as you repot the plant when you have to. If you really want to fertilize the plant, you should use a slow-release succulent fertilizer. Fertilizer for living stones should be low in nitrogen. You should fertilize after repotting or during flowering.
– Repotting Lithops karasmontana
There may come a time when you’d need to repot your Karas mountains living stones. Some reasons to repot your plant are:
- Soggy potting mix: After a while, the potting mix may become soggy due to dead leaves, roots, and other factors. If the potting mix becomes soggy, you have to repot and use a well-drained potting mix. A soggy potting mix can cause the rot of your Lithops karasmontana.
- No more space: Living stones continue to spread. When they have spread and filled the entire container, you should transfer it into a wider container to give room or more space.
- Lack of nutrients: If your Lithops karasmontana has stunted growth or shows signs of nutrient deficiency, you need to repot it and fertilize the new potting mix.
- Propagation: An easy method of propagating Lithops karasmontana involves repotting it.
If you believe that it is time to repot your Lithops karasmontana follow the steps below:
- Stop watering the plants and wait until the potting mix is completely dry. This way, it is easier to bring out your Lithops karasmontana.
- Carefully dig out the top potting mix surface to reveal the roots of your living stones.
- Take caution while removing the living stones so that you do not damage the roots.
- Place the plant(s) in a new wider pot with a well-prepared potting mix
- Wait between seven and 10 days before watering.
Remember that living stones need a well-drained aerated soil or potting mix.
Propagation of Lithops Karasmontana: Successfully Breeding Your Living Stones
You have learned how to cultivate and repot Lithops karasmontana. How do you propagate the plant so that you do not have to buy more Lithops karasmontana when you already have some? There are two methods of propagating Lithops karasmontana.
– Propagation by Seeds
First of all, you should know that the seeds of Lithops karasmontana have a low germination rate. This means that very few seeds you plant will germinate. To start your Lithops karasmontana by seeds, you’d need a temporary pot to plant many seeds.
The seeds of Lithops karasmontana are tiny, so you can plant a lot of them in the temporary pot. After preparing the potting mix, place the seeds on the surface and cover them with a thin layer of fine sand. Water the seeds one or two times weekly (make sure that the potting mix is well-drained) until seedlings emerge a few weeks later.
When you have gotten the number of seedlings that you want, you should water your living stone seedlings once weekly. After three months, you can wait even longer before you water your Lithops karasmontana. In a year, your Lithops karasmontana seedlings will be ready to be transplanted into a new pot.
– Propagation by Cutting
Propagating by cutting is very easy. Just remove the entire plant from the pot (by following the repotting steps above) and select a leaf cluster with roots. Carefully cut the cluster (roots attached) and plant it in a new pot.
Potential Problems to Watch Out for When Growing Karas Mountains Living Stones
Everything has its ups and downs. Fortunately, the problems that you can face when growing Lithops karasmontana are easily corrected. Here are some potential problems:
– Loss of Colors
When the lighting is not enough, your Lithops karasmontana will start to lose colors. Make sure that the plants have around 6 hours of sunlight daily.
Etiolation is a condition in which plants look weak and pale. It is caused when there is not enough light. You should see that your living stones will stretch and lose their beautiful appearance. Make sure that your Lithops karasmontana — especially the seedlings — have enough light.
While you should give your living stones a lot of light, you should not expose them to very high temperatures. Even though Lithops karasmontana needs sunlight, it can be a little bit tricky when you are growing it in a temperate region.
In the tropics, a high temperature activates dormancy in Lithops karasmontana. This means that they will halt their growth until the temperature is just right. In temperature regions, Lithops karasmontana continues to grow in hot temperatures and it can cause sunburn.
The best way to prevent sunburn is to filter the amount of sunlight reaching your Lithops karasmontana in the summer afternoon.
Rot can be caused by too much watering or high humidity. If your plant is rotting, remove it from the pot, prune our dead roots, dust soil off the roots and plant it in another potting mix in a new pot.
Now you know the basics of growing this succulent that looks like a rock. You will soon become a pro in cultivating living stones with practice. Make sure that you remember the important points from this article:
- Lithops karasmontana is best known as Karas Mountains Living Stones.
- As a succulent plant, Lithops karasmontana needs a lot of light (around six hours) and a very low amount of water.
- Lithops karasmontana is a tropical plant, so it needs warm temperatures (77 – 86 °F).
- Most of the problems that you can face while growing Lithops karasmontana are caused by overwatering or insufficient light.
- You do not have to fertilize your Lithops karasmontana if you repot consistently.
Do you now agree that Lithops karasmontana is a species of beautiful ornamental succulents? You should start growing your Lithops karasmontana right away, don’t you think?
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