Nature always gives us a lot of surprises and among them there are the famous “living stones” (Lithops) also known as “pebble plants”, very popular indoor plants for their unique shape, often confused with a decorative stone. The name “Lithops” has its roots in the Greek word “lithos” or “stone”.
They originate from the African continent and at first glance they really give the impression that are actually some rocks. They are extremely unassuming. However, they are very sensitive to sudden changes in light. You need to progressively, adjust the light intensity if you do not want to damage or even kill them. Since they are used to living in difficult conditions in areas where water is scarce, Lithops plants do not need to be watered often.
Their “petrified” appearance help them – when they grow in their natural environment – avoiding potential enemies. This “protective cloak” is also called “crypsis”, ie the ability of an organism to defend and not be easily seen or recognized by potential predators.
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In the early nineteenth century English specialist in botany, William J. Burchell, discovered this plant in Africa, but only later Lithops came to the attention of traders and European markets. Passionate gardeners know them very well, this amazing plant being found in the corner for cacti species. Living stones are among the most popular and successfully adapted plants to be grown inside of our homes.
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Living stones reproduce by seeds and their inactive period is in winter. For this reason, they can be cultivated only if certain conditions are met. Lithops seeds sprout just days after they are planted in the ground. They contain a very interesting mechanism of “opening” that is activate depending on how you care for it.
Living stones love a porous and rich in mineral substrate. They are very resistant organisms, living in the winter months without problems even at temperatures of 0 ° C (32 Fahrenheit) or even lower. In the hot months of summer, these African plants can adapt quickly and thrive, even if the outside thermometer shows 40 ° C (104 Fahrenheit).
You must keep in mind that it is extremely important where you will place them. Living stones require light and fresh air. An inside humid air and high humidity can be fatal for these sensitive. If we want a special arrangement for your living room, then you can choose a round and large clay pot, were you can plant a greater number of living stones.