Saturday, 10 September 2011

Stunted lithops?

I haz a puzzle.

Take a good look at the above picture. Four pots of lithops seedlings, two pots with much larger and healthier-looking seedlings than the others. The pots on the left contain 4 types of 'thops, all sown on May 27th, 2011. Top to bottom they are: L. aucampiae ssp. euniceae v. fluminalis (C54), L. lesliei 'Storm's Albinigold' (C36B), L. salicola 'Malachite' (C351A) and L. dorotheae (C124). The pots on the right contain two types of 'thops, all sown on April 3rd, 2011. Top is L. optica 'maculate' and bottom is: L. schwantesii.

Yup, that's right, the seedlings on the left are almost two months younger than the ones on the right. My mesemb mentor planted some opticas and schwantesiis at the same time I did, and his are much bigger and happier looking.

So what did I do wrong with the first batch? (my first lithop seedlings ever I might add). I've tried feeding them some dilute fertilizer to no avail. My soil makeup hasn't changed much - mostly I just added some Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil to later batches to keep the soil nice and loose and well-drained.

Should I try and pull the stunted ones out and repot them? Some are only 3mm across, I'm afraid I'll kill them; but then they obviously aren't happy where they are. Should I use more fertilizer?

Only one, this little L. schwantesii has even tried to change it's leaves:

Poor thing, it's only 6mm across.


  1. *shrugs*

    Did you get the seeds from a different place? Weren't some of them shipped from Europe or something? Maybe that's the difference.

  2. I had wondered that, but I don't think it's the case. First off - the seeds I ordered from Europe are the ones that are doing so well, the ones that are doing poorly are from several sources (there are two other pots of sad ones that aren't pictured), including Europe. And my mentor planted some of the exact same seeds at almost the exact same time and his are much, much healthier. So that suggests that the issue has something to do with what I did to the seeds, not where they came from.

    Just wish I knew how to fix it :(

  3. Well, the only difference I see is that the healthy ones have little pebbles around them. I think your slower guys need some rocks around them to encourage them to grow big and strong!