Archivo de la etiqueta: otzeniana

playing in the sandbox

nine months 1
Lithops terricolor peersii C131
nine months 2
Lithops julii fulleri brunnea C179
nine months 3
Lithops hookeri brunneoviolacea C019, Lithops otzeniana C280, Lithops lesliei C020,
nine months 4
Lithops julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 5
Lithops lesliei venteri maraisii C153 and L. julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 6
Frithia pulchra playing with Lithops bromfieldii C348 and L. lesliei C020; Olifantenzeh und Kussmund.
sandbox 7
Lithops julii fulleri brunnea, C 179.
sandbos 8
Lithops dinteri C206.
sandbox 9
Lithops verruculosa C129 and L. julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 10
Lithops aucampiae C333.

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Sowing Lithops in Summer

sowing II 1

Lithops karasmontana bella, C295. The first six seeds germinated already three days after sowing. Two weeks days later 14 seedlings have survived from 17 hatched.

Sowing II 2

Lithops karasmontana, Signalberg form, LC65A. Also a quickly germinating species. Two hatchlings at the third day. A fortnight later from 15 hatchlings  thirteen havesurvived.

Sowing II 3

Lithops bromfieldii mennellii, C283. At day three, two bromfieldii had hatched; two weeks later, without any loss, there are eleven hatchlings.

sowing II 4

Lithops dorotheae, C300. The first solitary seedling appeared the 5th day after sowing. Now, at day 17, there are six hatchlings.

sowing II 5

Lithops dorotheae, C124. Like his brother, first seedling at fifth day and seven up to now.

ssowing II 6

Lithops villetii ssp. deboeri, C231. Tiny and elongated, though growing with the same strong light as all other seedlings. The first five deboeri appeared at the fifth day and on day 19 there are ten seedlings.

sowing II 7

Lithops aucampiae koelemanii, C256. Fat, mushroom-like from a beginning, the first two germinated the forth day and the little, clear one, was one of them. There were twelve seedlings, remaining only five becuase of – presumably – fungus gnats.

sowing II 8

Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea, C204. Big seeds that did not germinate in the first two weeks. The first one ap300peared at day seventeen, and two days later there are three cotyledons, flat with a distinct rim.

sowing II 9

An other slow and erratic breeder, C350, Lithops otzeniana. The first seedlings appeared the sixth day and now there are four, two have succumbed. A pity, for L. otzeniana  is one of my green favourites.

Sowing Lithops in Summer

sowing in summer 1The substrate is prepared. 80% volcanic lapilli, bigger chunks in the bottom and finer graduation towards the top, mixed with coconut fibres and a bit of fine silicate sand.  Most of the organic part in the upper 5 cm.
The planter is 39x17x14cm, big enough for a few Lithops and hopefully two to three years of happy growing. There are some evident advantages using a planter versus a single pot. They are easier to care after, they keep the moisture a bit longer – which is good for seedlings – and they save space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs most of you will have recognised the seeds  are from Cono’s Paradise. There are plenty of seeds in every seed package, I’ll just use a part of them for this summer enterprise. Germinating Lithops is generally  very rewarding, Lithops seeds hatch in nearly every substrate, organic, mineral, cotton, paper, petri dish… older seed is said to have a higher rate than recently harvested seeds. There is some difference in size between different species of Lithops, but as a rule most of good quality seed will hatch in a few days. Be careful when sowing, if you want to avoid crowding and don’t cover the seed.

summer sowing 3Sow the seed  with the help of a toothpick upon the wet surface of the substrate. Just trickle a few seeds out of the seed package into a china cup, and with the wettened tip of a wooden toothpick you just pick one seed after the other and place them gently and evenly spaced – well, more or less – on the surface of the substrate. It is easy, believe me: I’ve done so with 19 seeds of each of the 16 Lithops species I’ve sown. It took a little bit more than half an hour.  This little effort in the beginning will be rewarding in the future. Spray gently after sowing and cover with a plastic wrapper.

Summer 4Identify each row with the Cole Number or the full name of your Lithops seeds, date of sowing (the more information you may want to add, the better) and add some long but narrow plastic stripes (say from a bottle) as separators, preferably bevor sowing. The plastic stripes will also prevent the plastic wrapper, which will soon get wet from inside, to lay down on the substrate and suffocate the freshly hatched plantlets.
Place the wrapped box out of sun in a bright place.
If you are lucky, in two to three days you may see something.

summer sowing 5The temperatures I have to deal with now – and I want to sow now – are 28º/22ºC. There has been written a lot about the pros and cons of higher or lower tº when sowing Lithops; I’m not going to add.
The only viable alternative would be waiting until next winter. And this doesn’t help fighting the Lithops addiction, does it?

summer sowing 6Yesterday, three days after sowing, the first movement was there to see, today there are seventeen little new Lithops at home!  They deserve to be named, for being the speediest:
Eight Lithops karasmontana;
Two Lithops bromfieldii mennellii; the first one to be photographed!
Three Lithops otzeniana;
Two Lithops aucampiae koelemanii; and
one Lithops schwantesii and L. olivacea nebrownii .

Summer sowing 7August, 5th.  50 Lithops hatched meanwhile.  Nearly all species sown have germinated and,  strange enough, the Lithops with the biggest seeds – C204 Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea –  still don’t.  The little one in the image – Lithops aucampiae koelemanii – shows what I like seedlings to look like: a short body, a long root and already a bit of colour. With real bright light Lithops grow like this. Etiolated seedlings are prone to diseases.

summer sowing 8Still August 5th, by the afternoon 66 seeds have germinated already – C204 still not there! – and I water again. With a gentle spray you can water as much and as often as you like, this type of substrate will never be waterlogged and soggy. Excess of water just pours out. Spraying once or twice a day keeps the seed wet. The seed clings firmly to the surface of the susbstrate and once sprouted, the empty ‘shell’ will keep securely attached to most of the young cotyledons for many weeks: I’ve never found the seed being washed away, even the tiniest stay in place.
Never forget to protect the planter again with plastic wrapper.

summer sowing 9August, 8th.  Seven days after sowing 100 seedings gather in the planter, which is roughly one third of all seeds sown. Only one species, Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea shows no growing at all. Big  seeds are just big seeds. There is no need to hurry. The image shows Lithops aucampiae C256, already ‘big’ and flat, which becomes evident in comparison to the next photograph.
There have been losses as well. Just a few minutes, a cloud moving and sun heating the little space between plastic wrapper and substrate surface is all it needs for a quick damping off: the seedlings are simply cooked. This way I have already lost 15 little Lithops. Sorry guys.  I promise to take care, hoovering a bit more on cloudy days. Never trust the summer sun. Nor the summer clouds.

summer sowing 10Extremely diminute, Lithops villettii deboerii C231, this species seems vigorous and strong and is, together with the two karasmontana, one of the best in terms of germination rate.
Definitedly, the first week after sowing Lithops in summer proofs that sowing Lithops in summer, is perfectly possible. And a good way to fight addiction: two days unattended and I lost them all.

Yes, I knew.  It’s better at my place to sow in autumn and winter. Been there, done so. Never going to bump into it again.

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Distinctive faces

Lithops otzeniana 1
Only four Lithops otzeniana have sprouted so far. After changing from cotyledon to the first true pair of leaves, which they did like most other Lithops in their third and fourth month of living, they look like otzeniana does, greenish, with a dark glassy window and very clearly marked islands and peninsulas. You can easily tell them apart, for each one has quite different markings.
Lithops otzeniana 2
Three of them kept their cotyledons turgent and active even after the hatch. This one still has it – for nearly nine weeks now.
otzeniana 3
Keeping company with L. hookeri. They are clearly distinctive in colour and patterns. This mask is near to perfection:
L. otzeniana mask 3
Three weeks later, I’m sure they’ve grown. Obviously I’m biased.
otzeniana 5

otzeniana distinctive fces 6
Among their fellows, Lithops hookeri brunneoviolacea. This photograph was taken mid september; Lithops otzeniana doesn’t look green any more.
distinctive faces 7
One year old now, their first birthday shows already wrinkles and aging – time for lessening water and preparing the next pair of leaves.

The first leaves in the life of different Lithops species – a comparison

Lithops generally are easy to germinate. Most seeds, if not to fresh, will sprout in a few days, and there will be germinations many weeks later, too.

The embryo quickly forms a body, consisting of the two cotyledons or seed leaves and a tiny tap root.

At this stage, all you see is very green and extremely frail. Two green tips and a fissure in the middle – one millimeter all in all.

green cotyledon

The fine gravel looks like big boulders but soon the young plant will be able to push its way up to more light and sun. The tiny plant  changes quickly into the caracteristic shape of its species – a flat cotyledon like e.g. in L. lesliei or L. aucampiae, or barrel-shaped as for instance in L. bromfieldii. One other characteristic is the length of the tiny fissure, where the two fused cotyledons leave a gap for the next pair of leaves to emerge – the first true pair of leaves of the young Lithops plant.

terricolor 200 1Terricolor 85d 200terri 108d 200

left: 39 days old; right: 85 days old; bottom: 108 days old

 Lithops terricolor ‘peersii’ C131 has an apple-shaped cotyledon with short fissure. The hatchling changes  into a loaf-of-bread-like  shape with a short fissure.

verruculosa 39dverruculosa 51dverruculosa 170d

left: 39 days old; right: 51 days old, bottom: 170 days old

Lithops verruculosa var. verruculosa C129 has little, reddish-grey, barrel-shaped cotyledons with long fissure and a distinct pair of first leaves . The fissure extends over the whole face, bordered with ruby-red verruculae.

pseudotruncatella 36 dayspseudotruncatella 47dpseudotruncaella 176d

left: 36days old; right: 47days old; bottom:176 days old

Lithops pseudotruncatella ‘alpina’ C068 quickly forms ruby red, tiny barrel-shaped bodies. The colour fades to a dull greenish brown just until the first true leaves appear. The little plant is 2 – 4 mm wide. Very short fissure, hardly visible.

otzeniana 39dotzeniana 86dotzeniana 170d

left: 39days old; right: 86 days old; bottom: 170days old

Lithops otzeniana C280 does not germinate as readily. The young cotyledon-bodies are green with a red hue and apple-shaped. The fissure runs through 3/4 of the surface. While the first pair of leaves appear, the cotyedons persist and split deeply. The fissure of the newly formed body runs from side to side.

lesliei maraisiilesliei maraisii 86dlesliei maraisii 103d

left: 14days old; right: 86 days old; bottom: 103 days old

 The cotyledons of Lithops lesliei ‘Maraisii’ C 153 form a flat elliptic body, shiny, grey with a lilac hue, and a small central fissure. The first true pair of leaves resemble the adult Lithops and have a short, reddish fissure.

julii brunnea 39djulii brunnea 98djulii brunnea 138d

left: 39days old; right: 98 days old; bottom: 138 days old

Lithops julii brunnea C179 has green or dull coloured, barrel-shaped bodies,  with a long fissure that nearly runs from side to side. The emerging Lithops looks like the adult and has a complete fissure.

hookeri subfenestrata brunneoviolaceaHookeri subfenestrata brunneociolacea

left: 126 days old; right: 175 days old

Lithops hookeri var. subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’ C019 makes fairly big, flat-topped, barrel-shaped cotyledons, reddish and dark, with short fissures. Just before hatching the cotyledons fade to a dull beige. The emerging colourful body is flat,  with a short fissure that sometimes runs over half or more of the surface.

hallii hallii 86 dayshallii hallii 138 days

left: 86 days old; right: 138 days old

Medium dark grey cotyledons are characteristic of Lithops hallii C119, shiny and flat, with a strong and long fissure over rhe whole face of the body. The first true leaves display a new colour, and a complete fissure.

julii fulleriJulii fulleri 170 days

left: 39 days old; right: 170 days old

A very distinct first pair of leaves emerge from small and inconspicuous cotyledons.  The cotyledons of Lithops julii var. fulleri C162A are round and dull coloured, the fissure is long. The new body formed by the two true leaves rises high above the slowly drying cotyledon, with a complete fissure and the fully visible grey conus of the typical Lithops. These plants have recieved the same amount of light and sun as all those previously shown!

aumpiae cotyaucampiae hatchling

both plants are 175 days old!

Lithops aucampiae C333 do their own thing. While some hatch and grow, others still await looking at the outside world. Flat, shiny cotyledons, barrel-shaped with a distinct concave face with a rim, grey or reddish, always dark, short fissure. The new pair of leaves form a nearly round, textured body, with a short fissure.

L. lesliei lesliei 'luteoviridis'Lesliei luteoviridis 173d

left: 86days old; right: 173 days old

Lithops lesliei lesliei ‘luteoviridis’  has flat, elliptic, rimmed cotyledons. The fissure is half the length of the smaller diameter. The first leaves look like a small Lithops luteoviridis; with a short fissure, as in all lesliei- seedlings I’ve seen.