Sunday, 15 May 2011

Potting up the new lithops...

A pair of L. hookeri v. hookeri (C112)
It has been an all-around miserable week at Chez Fuss: stress, shocks, stress, thesis misery, broken plans, and more stress. But finally, thankfully I caught a break yesterday and spent a quiet afternoon potting up all my lovely new lithops from Conos Paradise. My collection has grown from 5 types of adult(-ish) lithops to 19! And the potential for many more with the addition seeds for 29 different species (30 if you include Rika's L. lesliei ssp. lesliei v. hornii 'Greenhorn' seeds that my mentor shared with me). Hey, at ~50 cents a package, even I could afford it on my student budget :)

Time with adorable little plants has certainly improved my mood.

 1 year old L. bromfieldii v. insularis ‘Sulphurea’ (C362). Love the colour!!
Waiting to be potted

Took a long time to get the pots labeled and prepared for the plants. Thankfully THV stepped in and helped with the tedious parts. I print out the names in a small font, cut them out and tape them on the pots with packing tape, which makes for reasonably waterproof labels. Finally realized that the tape sticks much better if I clean the pots with rubbing alcohol first. Duh.

L. julii ssp. fulleri v. fulleri (C161) 

I'm a little worried about this jullii, the old leaves are very squishy and look like they might have a bit of mould or fungus in places. But the new leaves underneath feel nice and firm, so I gave it a quick paint with No Damp (which may have been a stupid thing to do) and am crossing my fingers! I love the pattern and would hate to lose it.

I hope you live little L. jullii

Whew, taking a photo break

Annnnnd done. Since we can't get pumice here in eastern Canada, I pot my lithops in a ~1:1:1 mix of black earth, coarse sand and Schultz Aquatic Plant soil which is a baked clay product that has the consistency of a fine gravel, doesn't break down when moistened and is similarly light like pumice. I've been topping the pots off with a layer of pure Aquatic Plant Soil because it both looks better and is easier to push aside to check for mealy bugs along the bodies of the plants.

The new guys


  1. Those lithops are so reasonably priced and I'm increasingly tempted to order, but Conos Paradise is in Germany and I think you're Canadian, so did you have to fill out some paperwork or get a phytosanitary certificate to import these guys?

    Also, where do you get the Aquatic Plant soil? I've been looking for some baked clay products, but aside from Turface (which is only available 50lbs bags and is an out-of-the-way trip for me), I haven't been able to find any.

  2. Yup, definitely Canadian (love your avatar pic btw). No phytosanitary certificate required when ordering bare rooted houseplants from Germany (but we do need one for orders from the US - strange eh?). Just have them label the contents as "bare rooted houseplants" and it should be fine (and the label is correct for lithops - this isn't bending the rules).

    Apparently customs will occasionally get cranky - my mentor here has had one order destroyed, but that's only one out of many over 10 years or so. The plants are so reasonably priced, and much better quality than the ones you find in stores here - it's worth the risk imho.

    I get my Aquatic Plant soil at a larger Rona - one with a good-sized plant section. Costs $11 or so for a 5kg bag.

  3. How long is the shipping in conos-paradise in Canada, I've waiting and I Don't see anything.

  4. Love this post! Very entertaining and great photos too! Sad to see the state of your little L. jullii. The pair of L. hookeri v. hookeri (C112) sure do look nice! :-)