Lithops helmutii, the last adition to my slow growing collection of stones has been watered for the first time. Whatchful during the next week – as plants without stalks and leaf lamina don’t show signs of feeling unhappy so easily. And Lithops are prone to rot in the first weeks, first watering, first summer …
Fingers crossed – but: they enjoyed the water. All are visibly growing, stretching up to more light, for they were buried with their faces in line with the soil top. I still don’t dare to give them full sun, for the little bodies move when touched with a paintbrush. That means they don’t have much new roots and are still not settled in, their new surrounding is not theirs up to now.
Nice to see how they change colours. More shadow and humidity make them grow green – more sun and dry conditions make them change into a yellowish tawny display. And one of the sixpack has a rosy hue …
At a first glimpse you can tell they have grown – not only by the height they all have gained, but by how strong they stick in the substrate. One of my main tools is a brush. I’ve found it makes a very useful tool for many things, and one of them is to tell me if a newly planted Lithops has already rooted or not. This crowd has, they don’t wiggle the slightest.
Now in august and september it’s getting really hot. The pots sit in some more shade, but the first morning hours still come with plenty of sunlight so I chose to sieve some substrate-rests on top of many of my Lithops-pots. With wind that mostly light organic dirt will blow away, but until then the bodies are bit more buried. Well, with helmutii this doesn’t work as well as with salicola, but at least they get a bit protection at the neck.
The tawny colour they had inbetween has completely disappeared. The predominant colour is green now, marbled green. Helmutii shows to be a fairly strong grower. The biggest is now 2,8cm high, and 2,3 x 1,2 cm wide.
January 2015; slowly the leaves of L. helmutii shrivel, they look awfully now. The temptation to water now is big, as they look so in need of care. In the gap there is already a little phoenix arising: two new, shiny, turgent and green leaves.