niksouthafrica

Let's talk mesembs part 2

niksouthafrica
last year
last modified: last year



Due to popular demand, here is the next page. First page is [here[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/lets-talk-mesembs-dsvw-vd~5380257?n=297)

Lithops otzeniana photographed at the JSS Spring show.

Comments (215)

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    last year

    Pleiospilos compactus



    niksouthafrica thanked Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    6 days ago

    Fenestraria (AKA Baby toes) are in the Mesem. Family, but it's been reclassified as Aizoaceae (sp?).


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  • HU-65652255
    6 days ago

    Hello agian. I am happy to update on the bilobum that i recievied a couple months ago. i have enjoyed watching them slowly reveal their fresh new baby leaves underneath. Very healthy from what i can see. yay!

    also from scrolling thru the thread. Would yall say that ‘baby toes‘ are mesembs?

  • HU-65652255
    6 days ago



  • Christina Bay Area
    last month

    just going to leave some pictures here from my indoor setup... glad to see some old faces around. :)

    I threw a dying lithop in with a braunsia maximillia and gave up saving it... but its thriving somehow...

  • HU-65652255
    last month

    sweet. Its nice to have a lil confirmation. i was thinking they were in that stage. The fresh leaves poking out look really nice. so i think it will be ok. It will be about 115f in june here so all my succs live in The window So ill be moving everything around but for now i will move it closer to the sun. Thanx for responding😁

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think they look pretty normal considering the time of year and they’ve just been shipped.

    Mine look about the same, like crap;).



    They’re all in the process of absorbing the old leaves for the new. If you very lightly squeeze each body you should be able to feel the new bodies underneath.

    If they were mine I would put in a window that gets good morning or afternoon sun and leave them be. Don’t let them get cooked if the window is too warm.

    Once their old leaves have dried out you can give water. Idk if this is right, but this is what I would do:). Once the dog days of summer come you can let them sleep if you want, but I’ve read on Llifle that C. bilobum if given a little bit of water during the summer they will continue to grow. They warn if given too much water the epidermis will break and cause not so pretty scars, but that goes with most succulents.

    Your question had me thinking why are Conophytums so hard to read and figure out. I think it has everything to do with how they do everything underneath the old leave set of leaves.

    Other mesembs will look like crap, but we can see the new growth. So we know everything is ok.





    But many Conos stay hidden until the outer leaves are completely absorbed. So they look like crap without us seeing the new growth.

    Like this, pic came from Lithops stories



    Lithops stories is a good place to go for mesemb inspiration because sometimes as mesemb growers we need it;)

  • HU-65652255
    2 months ago

    Sorry heres a better photo. I think lol




  • HU-65652255
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Hi there. So i just received my first cono(bilobum)a few days ago. Sadly its in pretty bad shape. The seller suggested i do water therapy to help it perk up and grow more roots. When i did one of the heads burst slightly (Could have happened from me handling it)when that happened i let it dry some and then put it in my lithops mix(mostly pumice). Its been two days and i did give it some water this afternoon, just enough to barely drip out the bottom. Its been about 8hours or so and it doesnt look any worse. from photos ive seen and what ive been reading it looks like it could shed soon but its a bit early(from what ive read online). Im not sure what else i can do for it. If anything. have any of yall experienced this?


  • Oliver Hauver
    2 months ago

    I lightly misted them like 2 days ago and lightly watered about a week an a half ago.

    they're about a year and a bit old, gone through one rest already but i don't remember them looking this bad.


    Oliver

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    2 months ago

    When was the last time you watered them?

    How old are your seedlings?

  • Oliver Hauver
    2 months ago

    Hey all,

    I have some conophytum burgeri seedlings that I’m concerned about. they been getting wrinkly and slightly soft. I’m not sure if they need a drink or are going to sleep. I’ve held off watering just in case. I didn’t want to have them rot. Here’s a photo.

    Anyone have experience or any tips so I don’t loose these little guys.


    Oliver

  • gdinieontarioz5
    3 months ago

    A few plants that don’t hate me ;-).

    I have had this Gibbaeum since September 2017. All that time it has not done much, just sat there being pretty. Now at last there is some growth, and the new head is getting bigger too:


    Stomatium also is growing at last. There were two, but one died last year:


    Fenestraria. I am happy with the compact growth:



  • gdinieontarioz5
    3 months ago

    Hey, what happened to my reply from a few days ago? Gone. Anyway, Kara, that is a funny way for a Lithops to change leaves, and I wonder how it will look in the end. Please show us in time.

    Those conos are with a Dutch expression 'deceased but for the dying'. I waited a long time while watering them a bit regularly, but nothing happened, so in the end I decided to see what was underneath all the brownness. I carefully pried off some skin from the tops. Turns out it was still firmly attached to the tops of very small, sickly looking new bodies, so those tops came off. There is still some green visible, but I expect them to be truly dead shortly. Conos hate me.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Yep that’s exacty what I mean. Here’s pics from today and you can see what I’m talking about. The new set of leaves are right below where the Y meets.



    When I took the first pic about a month ago the leaves were real hard, but now they’re spongy. I think I may have Lithops seed pods. I’m super happy because I would love to grow them from seed.

    Hey Dinie what ended up happening to your Conophytum?

  • gdinieontarioz5
    3 months ago

    Congratulations on the Cheiridopsis baby ;-). And that Lithops is weird, I have never seen anything like that. Do you mean you think the new plant is staying inside and pushing that whole 'fork' up?

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    The green little wart on the Cheiridopsis is a new set of leaves. The little growth has finally split.





    It’s crazy to think the plant didn’t absorb it during summer dormancy.



    Most of my Lithops are on schedule, but look at the guy that’s super tall I measured it and it’s 2.5 in. tall. What a weirdo;)!



    Definitely not like the others. These Lithops pics were taken on the a couple weeks ago, but I think what’s happening is the new set of leaves are pushing up the old set.



  • gdinieontarioz5
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    I can see those ugly things hurting your sensibilities, Kevin. Why don’t I pick them up some time next week? Just to help you, of course.

    But seriously, great finds. I love that cono! And the flailer looks so healthy!

    My mesembs are getting active too. The Fenestraria is showing its Mercedes signs, so it needs a drink. I told my car loving son that I’ve got just the plant for him:



    Aloinopsis schoonesii has been blooming for some time now. Those flowers last long:



    Pleiospilos neelii is planning to bloom too:



    I just love the colours of

    these Lapidarias. One is clearly darker and a bit purple.



  • ewwmayo
    6 months ago

    Are everybody's mesembs awake and doing well?
    I have some additions to my collection that I've been wanting for ages.

    One that looks like it's flailing, a green lump, and an ugly cono!! Hahaha.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    My Bijlia dilatata has not had new growth for two years. This plant is a pretty mesemb normally, but mine refused to grow until recently. The fresh new green leaves are a welcomed surprise.



    The past year I’ve grown my Glottiphyllum pygmaeum harder. It wasn’t doin much growing, but since giving it more sun it has grown two new clumps of leaves.The skin of the glotties aren’t as pristine, but I’m real happy with the new leaves. The new growth is even getting buds.



    Corpuscularia lehmannii




  • gdinieontarioz5
    7 months ago

    Kara, I need that! After I learn to grow them...

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    7 months ago

    Omg I just found a Conophytum I need! It’s so ugly it’s beautiful. Looks like some new life form they’d find on Mars.

    Conophytum pellucidum terricolor pics from Google images.





  • Oliver Hauver
    7 months ago

    Ok, I’ll let them go for a little bit and try lighter watering/misting.

  • niksouthafrica
    7 months ago

    Yes the longitudinal cracking is from watering. Although the usual advice with conos is to water thoroughly monthly, I tend to water lightly, more frequently in a mix that drains very quickly. My feeling with mesembs is that the longer the roots stay wet, the more water they absorb and that's when they crack

  • Oliver Hauver
    7 months ago

    Hi, I have some C. Minimum which have started cracking. I gave them a bigger watering about a week or so ago. Could that have been too much? I know they’ll be scarred till they grow a new pair of leaves but I don’t want to loose my year old seedlings. Should I hold off all water for while? Any suggestions/thoughts would be great!

    Oliver



  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Those are some pretty Conophytums you got there:).

    Thank you for the answering my silly question. I figured that, but I wanted to make sure. I know other succulents would adapt to the opposite hemisphere. But succulents like Conos and Lithops are such slow movers, stubborn, and grow when they want. I thought maybe they wouldn’t adapt to the seasons being switched.

    Once I figure out how to grow these darn Conos, they really wouldn’t mind my climate. I would need to watch out for heavy winter/spring rains, but other than that they would be fine. You confirming they really are true winter growers makes things easier. At least in my head it seems easier.

    I see people grow their Conos in big greenhouse trays. I wonder if that’s a good idea. I would never have to repot them and their roots can grow wherever throughout the tray.

    This is very far off in the future considering I only have a handful of Conos.

  • niksouthafrica
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    No, they are winter growers here too. They evolved to grow in areas which receive very little rainfall but plenty of sea fog and heavy dew. They hibernate during the hottest months and grow when it is cooler. Most of them grow in between rocks and under some kind of shade and putting them in full sun all day quickly kills them. Morning sun and shade during the hottest part of the day is the secret to growing happy conos. Mine are happily doing their thing on my bathroom windowsill which gets morning sun only. Note that my bathroom is very well ventilated, it's not humid in there at all



    Conophytum bilobum which is very easy to grow and I water it about once a week



    Tiny C. obcordellum in a 3cm pot. the image is quite yellow because of the flash, it flowers at night. I water it whenever it gets a little wrinkled

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Nik I have a very stupid question for you if you don’t mind:). I’ve wondered this for awhile now, but lets use Conophytums as an example. Are they winter growers in the Southern Hemisphere? The grow when it’s cooler, and the little bit I’ve grown I can see they don‘t do well with heat or super strong sun. Hence the husks protecting them from that summer sun. Have the ones in the Northern Hemisphere been cultivated here for so long that they’ve gotten on our seasons’ schedule?

  • Jeff (5b)
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    [True] nik, I've embarrassingly thought that some people were overgrowing their Lithops (the tall ones especially) and now know that some just grow that way. I have seedlings where there are two different types in a pot--one type will be tall and the other a more 'normal' compact size. Then there are also some of the exact Cole number that are tall and some aren't, under the same conditions. I've learned to just not be concerned since I'm not overwatering or overfertilizing my own plants. Buying full grown ones can be a different story.

  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    I will try to get some pictures soon of what I consider “bananas”. Maybe you can give your opinion on whether they are etiolated or just tall. The pair Kara shows I would call etiolated. My buried banana is worse, I think.

  • isde02(zone5b)
    8 months ago

    Those lithops are gorgeous dinie! Good job.

  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    Thank you, Nik. I will try to revive the conos. Nights especially have been cool here, down to between 10 and 15 C. I hope they will surprise me yet.

  • niksouthafrica
    8 months ago

    Some lithops are tall, not etiolated. They look like that here even in full sun.

    Apologies for going missing in action, I have been crazy busy.

    Conos are dormant in summer and develop dried out sheaths so you should see action as the weather cools. I would start misting them at least.

  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    My Lithops at least love me ;-).





    And first bloom on this Fenestraria:



  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    I had given up hope, but I will give it more time. I watered it a bit, maybe twice, but no change. Who knows?

    I also got an etiolated pair of Lithops, of a kind I really wanted, and buried them till they looked good ;-). They also went through a leaf change, and they look ok. I figured I could enjoy them till they rotted away, but being buried in pumice doesn’t seem to bother them. They can stay till I find a good one. They are at 1 and 2 o’clock.



    There is someone in Germany who did an experiment. Over several years there was no real improvement. Once a banana, always a banana.

    Can that wart on the Cheiridopsis be a second pair of leaves?

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Dinie, your Conos look terrible, but on track;). Seems like there’s something cooking under their brown papery sheathes. I was reading that a lot of these little conos are true winter growers. Suprisingly they are pretty hardy, down to -2C. I swear I read one species, forget which one was hardy down to -5C. As long as they stay dry of course. I‘m getting the vibe they‘re happier when it’s cooler. The conos I have killed was from too much heat and sun. They just melted:(.

    I was curious if etiolated Lithops would go back. So I bought a tall Lithops two years ago. I acclimated them to morning sun and have only gone thru one set of leaves, but their still tall. I guess time will tell.



    For anybody who cares, Cheiridopsis peculiaris update. It grew a little green wart that doesn’t seem to want to be absorbed. I think I will start to water on Oct. 1.



  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    Kara, just today I saw another group of those giant Lithops. Some of them were well on their way to becoming giant bananas too, including one pair of bananas working themselves free from a completely turgid set of old leaves. Not pretty. Do you think they would in time shrink back to a normal size? The long etiolated ones don’t, it seems.


    The conos? Sigh. Picture taken five minutes ago. Speaks for itself, I think.



  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    I‘m not sure if Lithops in their natural habitat get that big. I doubt it tbh because I too have a feeling they’re overfed. I‘ve noticed some of the sale plants at the show are super bloated. Some of the cactus look like they’d burst if I put a pin through them. I think some of the sale plants at the show live cushy lives protected in greenhouses:). Then I buy them and their cushy life no more. It’s survival of the fittest;).

    There’s another reason why I didn’t pay $8.50 for one Lithops. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep them looking freakishly huge. They would either shrink or divide:).

    What happened to that Conophytum you were having issues with a few comments up?

  • gdinieontarioz5
    8 months ago

    Nice plants, Kara. I love the conos, especially as mine always die.

    Is that size normal/natural for Lithops? I have seen very big ones in stores sometimes, though maybe not as gigantic as the one you show, and have always thought they were overfed in some way.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Happy Fall/Spring mesemb lovers:)!

    I went to the San Jose succulent show yesterday and got a couple mesembs.

    This one is probably my fav purchase from yesterday.

    Cheiridopsis brownii with a few seed pods I will be putting in water tomorrow.





    Conophytum minutum



    There were the BIGGEST Lithops I have ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen some big ones. These were ginormous. The pot they’re in I think we’re about 4 inches wide. You can see a regular sized Lithops next to the big guy. I will say the normal ones are in shorter pots, but trust me these were crazy big. I wanted to buy one, but didn’t want to pay $8.50 for one Lithops lesliei;).



  • Oliver Hauver
    8 months ago

    Just wanted to chime in with some photos my seedlings.


    Conophytum flavum ‘ornatum’ about 6 months old


    Another batch of Conophytum flavum ‘ornatum’ about a year and a half old


    Conophytum minimum about a year and a half old



    Lithops mix about a year and a half old.


    So far i've been able to keep these little fellas alive. The lithops mix is kinda tricky and the time when they go dormant varies and i don't want to water them until they're all ready.

    The conos have been fun and i'm really excited to see 6 month old seedling wake up in a few weeks hopefully.


    Oliver

  • niksouthafrica
    8 months ago

    Yes, in nature, many grow in cracks between rocks and only get a few hours of morning sun and are shaded the rest of the day. Conos are very easy to roast


  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    It’s mesemb season:)! I bought this Conophytum in June. The tag says Conophytum x hanazzana. I can’t find anything on the internet with that name, but C. hana comes up that looks like my Cono. I get the impression it‘s a Japanese hybrid.

    Can’t take total credit for the flowers, but I’ve killed Conophytums within days of purchasing them. So I’m takin a little credit;).

    The flowers have been blooming everyday for over a week now, and they’re still goin.



    Each day the flowers get taller and taller like they’re being pushed up. The flower at the 9 o’clock spot was the first to open by a couple days. You can see it’s a little taller than the others.



    I‘ve kept them protected in bright filtered light, but one day I put them in afternoon sun. The flowers melted.



    Pretty sure the flowers have lasted 10+ days because they’ve been protected.

  • Jeff (5b)
    10 months ago

    Lithops karasmontana 'mickbergensis' C168

    julii ssp fulleri C319


  • Jeff (5b)
    10 months ago

    My Cheiridopsis peculiaris seedling has shed twice now but it doesn't seem to want to grow.

    Middle of a Faucaria

    Gibbaeum heathii


  • Pagan
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    I want to add this one, too--some stomatium that I grew from seed. I lost track which one--I got several stomatium seed packs from Mesa Garden and the project had such a massive lack of success (lol) that it was a shock to actually see one survive.


    And I just got a few more packets of mesemb seeds from MG, for some reason. Go figure.

    I'm mystified by all the talk of timing and season-appropriate growth developments. I'm ecstatic my mesembs are even still alive!

  • Pagan
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    So, I'm going through all my mesembs to sort out which ones survived the usual winter deathwave. The one pot I expected to lose actually came through it alive!

    I got this last year


    Today: No clue why the two look different in the same pot.

    More survivors:

    Antegibbaeum fissoides (Springfontein); growing back after being chewed on by some rodent in the basement.


    Cheiridopsis peculiaris, also a rodent victim


    Mitrophyllum grande


    Ophthalmophyllum triebneri MG

    Ophthalmophyllum verrucosum MG

    Argyroderma congregatum SB2253 Soutrivier banks MG

    I'm only hoping it was some kind of mouse. It could be a large bug or slug. Some were totally eaten through overnight.

  • Jeff (5b)
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    Some tiny Lithops






  • niksouthafrica
    11 months ago

    I have been preoccupied with other tasks, I will start a new thread?


    For some weird reason, my lithops are starting their new leaves now in winter instead of spring. Maybe they are confused because this winter has been so warm. Conos should be dormant in the summer


  • ewwmayo
    11 months ago

    Some of my Lithops of various types that are in tune with the seasons:


    Two multi-headed clumps that are 'working on it'. These two have never been fully aligned over the seasons since I bought them. Each year has been getting better with them changing over.


    And for other Mesembs, my Rhinephyllum pillansii is budding!


  • gdinieontarioz5
    11 months ago

    Thanks, Kevin. Yours look less miserable than mine, but they all seem to have their own schedule. My Lithops are all done too, except one that I think is not going to change. It is a fairly recent acquisition, maybe it changed before its pot brothers. I will treat it the same as the others. I feel far more confident with Lithops than with conos.

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