Cactus and Succulents forum: Lithop from seed help

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Oct 29, 2017 1:17 PM CST
All my seeds germinated in a clear, covered plastic container. When do I uncover them, or do I punch air holes in the cover? How much do I water by misting, it’s Fall here.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
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Pistil
Oct 30, 2017 12:09 AM CST
I bought some seeds this year, but have not tried yet. So I eagerly await your continued progress!
A few years ago I bought a book called Lithops- Treasures of the Veld, by Steven Hammer, published by the British Cactus and Succulent Society ( I know, I am a total Geek!). It is actually in a second edition, so I guess there are other Geeks out there too.
I just looked this up in the book- he actually does not even wait for them to germinate, he uncovers after the seeds have been planted 3-4 days which seems long enough for the seeds to swell and get going. Then he mists them, but not so they stay soggy. If growing under lights he recommends a fan. If outside he mists once or twice a day when he does this in summer, under a glass or plastic so if it rains they are not washed away.
He does water with fertilizer "a small amount", and cuts back on the misting in about three weeks.
He has found he can keep 50-150 seedlings in a 8x8x8 cm pot for a year. I have to remember this for if I ever have to live in a tiny apartment!
Photo?
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 30, 2017 8:44 AM CST
Thank you, I hope others can add to this as well. I’ll try to get a photo
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 30, 2017 4:59 PM CST
Pistil said:I bought some seeds this year, but have not tried yet. So I eagerly await your continued progress!
A few years ago I bought a book called Lithops- Treasures of the Veld, by Steven Hammer, published by the British Cactus and Succulent Society ( I know, I am a total Geek!). It is actually in a second edition, so I guess there are other Geeks out there too.
I just looked this up in the book- he actually does not even wait for them to germinate, he uncovers after the seeds have been planted 3-4 days which seems long enough for the seeds to swell and get going. Then he mists them, but not so they stay soggy. If growing under lights he recommends a fan. If outside he mists once or twice a day when he does this in summer, under a glass or plastic so if it rains they are not washed away.
He does water with fertilizer "a small amount", and cuts back on the misting in about three weeks.
He has found he can keep 50-150 seedlings in a 8x8x8 cm pot for a year. I have to remember this for if I ever have to live in a tiny apartment!
Photo?



Thumb of 2017-10-30/keithp2012/b07d9c
Thumb of 2017-10-30/keithp2012/e4bdae

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 30, 2017 5:15 PM CST

Moderator

It looks like you have a while to go before you can allow the humidity to decrease much. I have never grown Lithops but my operating principle with most succulents that make very small seeds is to let them bulk up for a while (weeks to months) under plastic, so that they have a decent sized reservoir to draw upon when the plastic is removed and the soil starts to dry out. Maybe the size of a peppercorn or more.

You can safely assume that when you leave the plastic lid on, no water is escaping the container. There should be no need for watering then, really. And actually it's probably better just to let the little guys grow up before you change the environment in any significant way. Provide strong light so they can do their thing. When you do lift the lid, try to make the transition gradual so there's not too much stress. With holes in the bottom of your container (and an exit below for the water) you can mist pretty regularly at that point, and any excess will go away.

You can start to fertilize while they are under plastic or wait until the top is off. No rush, the seed packs a pretty good starter kit of nutrients. Use a low dosage (usually a quarter the recommended dose or less). I like to bottom water (place the container in a tray full of water, give it half an hour to soak some up, then remove it to allow all the water to drip out afterwards) so that I don't upset tiny sensitive little plants by bombarding them from above. Whatever works for you. I'm sure Lithops require some special care down the road but this should at least get you started.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Oct 30, 2017 6:00 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:It looks like you have a while to go before you can allow the humidity to decrease much. I have never grown Lithops but my operating principle with most succulents that make very small seeds is to let them bulk up for a while (weeks to months) under plastic, so that they have a decent sized reservoir to draw upon when the plastic is removed and the soil starts to dry out. Maybe the size of a peppercorn or more.

You can safely assume that when you leave the plastic lid on, no water is escaping the container. There should be no need for watering then, really. And actually it's probably better just to let the little guys grow up before you change the environment in any significant way. Provide strong light so they can do their thing. When you do lift the lid, try to make the transition gradual so there's not too much stress. With holes in the bottom of your container (and an exit below for the water) you can mist pretty regularly at that point, and any excess will go away.

You can start to fertilize while they are under plastic or wait until the top is off. No rush, the seed packs a pretty good starter kit of nutrients. Use a low dosage (usually a quarter the recommended dose or less). I like to bottom water (place the container in a tray full of water, give it half an hour to soak some up, then remove it to allow all the water to drip out afterwards) so that I don't upset tiny sensitive little plants by bombarding them from above. Whatever works for you. I'm sure Lithops require some special care down the road but this should at least get you started.


That’s a great start! I have grown cactus from seed, and did great. However lithops handle less water than cacti and I don’t have much experience in them.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Oct 31, 2017 1:36 PM CST

Moderator

Many of the succulents that have strong seasonal biases in when they grow (like Lithops) do not exhibit those differences nearly as much at a very young age (months). I'm sure there's a weaning-off age where you might want to cut back on water, and that's where a Lithops expert could give you better advice. But you're not anywhere near it, best I can tell.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 31, 2017 1:38 PM (+)]
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