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Living Stone

By: Laurie Cervantez

A flowering stone plantThe Lithops is commonly known as Living Stone, Flowering Stone, Split Rock, & Pebble Plant.

The Living Stone is native to the dry regions of South Africa and is named for it’s stone-like appearance.  It blends well into its natural habitat of pebbles and rocks, perfectly concealing itself from living creatures eager to quench their thirst with the stored water it obtains.  

It comes in a variety of shapes and colors and will bloom once maturity is reached, usually between three to five years of age. In the right growing conditions, this plant can live fifty years or more.


Lithops (Living stone), Cactus

Caring For Your Living Stone

Living Stones require four to five hours of direct sunlight per day.   Average household  temperatures suggest 65-75 F.  While these succulents can easily tolerate hot summer heat, they should never be exposed to temperatures dropping below 55 F.

There is no need to water during the summer months as they are dormant, kind of like a hibernating bear.  Give it a good drink of water late summer and watch as the plant wakes up and begins to grow; producing new leaves and a white to yellow flower.   Let the soil completely dry out between waterings and cease watering altogether by late September.  

Cactus mix potting soil is recommended with no need to fertilize.


 A guide to the cultivation of Lithops

Living Stones: Lithops – Master Gardener Program


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