Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Lithops splitting up the side this time, instead of @ the top.

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 19, 2018 4:04 PM CST
It's the one in front on the left.
Thumb of 2018-03-19/purpleinopp/5f1836
Thumb of 2018-03-19/purpleinopp/484923
Thumb of 2018-03-19/purpleinopp/c5aab5

The one right next to it is splitting normally, from the crack at the top. This is an interesting start to its' 6th year here.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 19, 2018 7:15 PM CST
I think I've seen that movie on the Horror Channel.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Hamwild
Mar 19, 2018 8:46 PM CST
Does this qualify as a "chest buster"?
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Mar 19, 2018 10:46 PM CST
This looks really wacky, but not never seen before.
Look up "what exactly is this"/friday dec 29/2017 on cactiguide.
Not my plant btw

Thumb of 2018-03-20/skopjecollection/926fda

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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Mar 19, 2018 10:47 PM CST
I think its a stem cell issue thing, like chimera grafts and whatnot.
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[Last edited by skopjecollection - Mar 19, 2018 10:50 PM (+)]
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Georgia (Zone 8a)
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Hamwild
Mar 20, 2018 11:21 AM CST
It looks like a cactus splitting with a cactus inside. Which I'm pretty sure isn't possible, but that's what it looks like. Blinking
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 23, 2018 8:46 AM CST
Wow ! It's giving birth. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ™Š
I bet, them two will be forever, inseparable, lifetime partners.
("Hay ! You leave my baby alone #!!!")
It will be interesting, to see how they progress ?๐Ÿค”???
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 8:58 AM CST
I've seen this once before, but it was also in a Lithops which was very elongated like this one. Some species are naturally elongated--do you know what species this is? I can never tell.

Most Lithops species should have their entire base buried in rocks (only the top showing through). I think this helps prevent splitting on the side. In other words, the reason the top normally splits open is because it is the only part above-ground (again, in most species but not all).

It looks pretty cool, regardless.
Keep going!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 23, 2018 2:31 PM CST
LOL & TY for the interesting comments. I am not sure of the species. When I first got them, they were really short @ ground level as described, but over the years, they have grown much taller. They are in a mini garden that gets about 2 hours of direct sun in the morning, so probably etiolated on top of whatever normal (or abnormal) thing that might be happening. It doesn't seem like a good idea to bury them past the point where they have always been, but these are the only Lithops I've ever had, so I can't say I know much at all about them. They are not active plants that offer opportunity for experimenting or propagation, as far as I can tell. The rocks around them are propping them up, I chose very smooth rocks for that.

Pics from a few mins ago:

Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/c40f7a
Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/c01541

Side split on the one on the left not visible from this angle, but it shows progress of the one next to it, splitting normally.
Thumb of 2018-03-23/purpleinopp/1f2a3a

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 2:50 PM CST
I wouldn't bury them back to ground-level all at once. I would do it bit-by-bit, very carefully, but only after this current injury has healed and the new growth has settled (i.e. after the old leaves are desiccated and pulled away like normal). I guess it would be sort of the reverse of what people do to Adeniums (exposing the caudex gradually). lol
Keep going!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 23, 2018 3:12 PM CST
TY. Have you done that before? After these survived 5+ years so far, and being frozen as-is this past winter, I'm hesitant to change anything as long as they continue to look/act normally, splitting several times so far, & one bloomed a few months ago. Guess I'm assuming that's normal, maybe not.

I'd love the chance to observe some in the ground in a natural setting for a few yrs. I've never even been in a desert except 1 very brief trip to San Antonio 36 yrs ago, & am at a loss when I try to imagine the natural habits of plants from such locations except that I know what 114ยฐ (for sure) with 1% humidity (a guesstimation) feels like.

My track record of successfully fixing the unbroken is long but generally not good. :+) As well as instances of not recognizing a "broken" that should be fixed.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 3:28 PM CST
Yes, but not to plants that had stretched this much. And they didn't already have a split down the side of them. I would not start re-burying a plant with a split like this, I'd wait.

The South African and Namibian Namaqualandian deserts are really different from the southwest US deserts both in terms of weather (colder, more variable, different rock/mineral compositions). Here are some pictures of Lithops growing naturally: http://www.travel-tour-guide.c....

Most in cultivation are way too tall, not just from inadequate light (which is cumulative and adds up over the years so people don't notice it) but also due to potting/repotting errors where people tend to leave them raised above the soil like they would "normal" plants.

It doesn't feel "natural" to most of us (me included) to bury 90% of a plant, but that's the reason Lithops (and a lot of other local genera) have leaf windows. Sun reaches the entire leaf (even the buried portions) through the leaf windows, not just the top.
Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 3:33 PM CST
Oh, I forgot this. If you want to get super science-y about it, here's some good information about plants with epidermal windows ("leaf windows"): https://academic.oup.com/jxb/a...

But if you're lazy and dumb like me, the Wikipedia page is probably better: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... Do note that the Fenestraria shown in that article is way too exposed (in my opinion). I would bury it up to just under the leaf windows themselves.
Keep going!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Mar 23, 2018 4:00 PM CST
That is interesting, TYVM! The entire concept of "shade" in such a place, I had no idea. Another similar & equally interesting page by same author/photog:
http://www.travel-tour-guide.c...

Plants surviving in extreme conditions are always fascinating. One wonders if they are at their prime in such locations, and what they would / could do in less harsh conditions. Being one of so very few plants able to survive an extreme does not necessarily mean that the extreme is the ideal condition for each plant there, and/or that each plants' performance in the extreme is all that it can do in any condition.

I've never changed the soil line on the plants, they have just grown/stretched. I changed the soil once, a year ago, and put them back where they were in regard to soil level, (but closer to the edge for just a few more mins of sun per day.) Yes, it would seem very odd to submerge them more deeply than the level to which they have placed themselves. It's possible that shrinkage/settling of the soil has caused them to be more exposed. It's possible that they are "fat'n'sassy" from less dry conditions than specimens in the natural desert habitat, possibly augmented by etiolation, I have no way to gauge this.



๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
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Hamwild
Mar 23, 2018 4:36 PM CST
@purpleinopp,
I once read of some species of pine (or evergreen, I don't remember), that lives in a high altitude area (erm, I think) where it receives really poor care by nature so to speak. Poor rain, poor soil, everything really. Everyone that has tried to grow one has failed because they just can't give them the poorest of the poor factors they receive in nature. I think there are some that are centuries old. That's pretty cool.

Of course I can't find the article on it again. Grumbling
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 5:20 PM CST
purpleinopp said:That is interesting, TYVM! The entire concept of "shade" in such a place, I had no idea. Another similar & equally interesting page by same author/photog:
http://www.travel-tour-guide.c...

Plants surviving in extreme conditions are always fascinating. One wonders if they are at their prime in such locations, and what they would / could do in less harsh conditions. Being one of so very few plants able to survive an extreme does not necessarily mean that the extreme is the ideal condition for each plant there, and/or that each plants' performance in the extreme is all that it can do in any condition.

I've never changed the soil line on the plants, they have just grown/stretched. I changed the soil once, a year ago, and put them back where they were in regard to soil level, (but closer to the edge for just a few more mins of sun per day.) Yes, it would seem very odd to submerge them more deeply than the level to which they have placed themselves. It's possible that shrinkage/settling of the soil has caused them to be more exposed. It's possible that they are "fat'n'sassy" from less dry conditions than specimens in the natural desert habitat, possibly augmented by etiolation, I have no way to gauge this.



You are very welcome! When I was in college I had a classmate from South Africa. I always wanted to study abroad there, but I just couldn't afford it. I wonder how well I would have been able to restrain myself from collecting seeds and accidentally bringing them back.

My Dinteranthus were smaller than flakes of pepper when they were seeds. If a person had 6 of them behind their ear, how would anybody ever know?

I know it's super illegal and I would never do that, but it's like putting candy in front of a baby. lol
Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 5:28 PM CST
Hamwild said:@purpleinopp,
I once read of some species of pine (or evergreen, I don't remember), that lives in a high altitude area (erm, I think) where it receives really poor care by nature so to speak. Poor rain, poor soil, everything really. Everyone that has tried to grow one has failed because they just can't give them the poorest of the poor factors they receive in nature. I think there are some that are centuries old. That's pretty cool.

Of course I can't find the article on it again. Grumbling


We have to keep in mind that when we talk about poor conditions, we're talking about poor conditions as they relate to people or crows or ferns or watermelons or whatever.

Extremophiles exist mostly as microscopic or nearly microscopic organisms. I have no doubt that if you put microbes from the bottom of Lake Vostok on a sunny Florida beach and gave them a margarita with cheesecake they would still perish.

A human or a crow might thrive with that same environment but we are actually in the minority. The much more visible and tangible minority, but still the minority.

So in a weird backwards way, we might really be the ones who live under extreme and unusual conditions.

All that said, there are blue-green algaes which grow in the Atacama Desert, in some areas that have not seen rainfall in 2,000+ years. What I wouldn't give to go there and look at them! I'm sure they look absolutely ordinary, but I don't care!
Keep going!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Mar 23, 2018 5:48 PM CST

Moderator

Some interesting twists in this conversation. Smiling Not to get too far away from splitting Lithops plants, here are a few thoughts...

There are extremophiles in the succulent world (like Lithops if you like) and the way I try to tap into that extreme survivability is to find parts of the world with climates like ours (winter rainfall, summer drought) to get the right overall pattern and then dive into the hot and dry extreme version of that (like the central desert of Baja California, or the area around the Orange River between South Africa and Namibia)... my thinking is that if a plant can survive in an extreme version of our climate, it ought to be able to deal with plenty of drought here where temps are mostly mild, and eventually need zero water once it has been established.

I see great potential value in seeking out extremophiles as a way to capitalize on nature's already perfect selections for drought and sun resistance. Or other things.... for example, there are certain plants which are capable of colonizing pure rock, or gravel if you will, without any other organic matter to speak of. Sure, they get some organic material drifting by or falling in the crack, but they are true pioneer species. Those include a lot of native cacti and succulents known for growing in cracks in the rock. Dudleyas, Ferocactus, cirio, cardรณn. When I see plants growing like that in nature, I have a better sense of why my mix is 50% rock (to start with, having more and more rock proportionally over time as the initial compost breaks down). I have an appreciation for their drought tolerance in rocky terrain like our native soil here in the garden. And I don't concern myself overly much with letting them dry out all the way on a regular basis.

For what it's worth, there's a difference between burying the window-leafed succulents and top dressing them generously. The former, where you pile up actual soil (with organic matter) around the green parts of the plant, is best avoided as it will tend to promote rot. The latter, especially with porous rocks that breathe, is more like a style choice. If you lay down a thick enough layer of heavy rocks that the soil can no longer lose water by evaporation, you may invite bad outcomes. Otherwise, I try to take my cues from mother nature who does a pretty good job of top dressing plants in rocky locations. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 23, 2018 6:08 PM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Otherwise, I try to take my cues from mother nature who does a pretty good job of top dressing plants in rocky locations. Smiling


Well, Lithops actively do this themselves. By having a strong taproot and an inverted triangular shape these things literally pull and bury themselves into the rocks and sand. If they did not have a taproot or if they had another shape, they could not work their way down into the soil as easily.

Saying that mother nature usually takes care of it implies a sort of passivity that is not there with Lithops. They're active little players in the drama and take action to be mostly buried whenever conditions are right.

I know that saying this "feels wrong" in some way. It feels wrong to me too, just like burying most of the plant when repotting it. But that's how they are. lol
Keep going!
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 7, 2018 5:44 AM CST
An update.
Thumb of 2018-04-07/purpleinopp/c95472
Thumb of 2018-04-07/purpleinopp/861622

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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