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Let's talk mesembs part 2

niksouthafrica
October 18, 2018
last modified: October 18, 2018



Due to popular demand, here is the next page. First page is here

Lithops otzeniana photographed at the JSS Spring show.

Comments (115)

  • niksouthafrica

    It's possible, Stefan but there are delosperma that have very long leaves. I would like to see a close up of the leaf

  • Jeff (5b)

    The mystery plant again by request. This is about three weeks after the photo four comments above. You can see the red coming in at the base and on the leaves from giving it even more light. It's such a strange plant--hard to photograph. It looks like it may have that funky fungus that was on the Glottiphyllums.






  • niksouthafrica

    I think it does have fungus. The leaves don't look like typical delosperma. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it is

  • Jeff (5b)

    Thanks. The mystery continues. My plants need sun. I haven't sprayed this one yet. Fungus didn't even occur to me until I was looking at the photo.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    What a girl do?!!!



    A closer look. Fortunately the split hasn’t gone below the soil level.



    I let it get a few hours of rain on Friday. It must have been too much and made it explode. This just happened within 24 hours because it wasn’t like this a couple days ago. Plus the wound looks fresh. I’m thinking I need to bring inside and put right next to the heater. Any other suggestions will be welcomed. I have it sitting in the sun right now.

    On a a happier note I got a nice clump of Neohenricia sibbettii. I killed my little baby clump. Well I didnt totally kill it. I repotted the little clump and half of it dried up, and the other alive half was ugly from the repot so I lost my patience with it and chucked it. It wasn’t much tbh.



    Im pretty sure both my P. simulans are getting seed pods. Which makes me super happy;). Both of my P. simulans made two flowers at seperate times, and both have made one seed pod. Wonder what’s that about. Why not two seed pods since they both made two flowers. I’m pretty sure the two plants bloomed at separate times. Maybe left over pollen from the first flower pollinated the second flower. Idk. This one is farther along so I took a pic.



    I really like this plant so I’m very happy to get seeds;)!

    niksouthafrica thanked Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
  • niksouthafrica

    Be careful of heat and water, rather just leave cheiridopsis to dry off. I don't think the split is major.


    Those are definitely pods, Congratulations!


    Neohenrica is very cute. I like the colour that they go in strong sun

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Thanks Nik;)! I just looked at the Cheiridopsis and I think it’ll be ok. When I first saw it yesterday I thought it was a goner, but I think he’ll pull through. I was going to take the old paper sheath off awhile back. I was worried moisture was going to get trapped, but now I’m glad I didn’t because it’s acting as a barrier between the split and mix. Plus I think the sheath stopped it from splitting more.

  • niksouthafrica

    I have had lithops split on me from too much water and it isn't a biggie. They manage

  • Ermione_Greece(z9)

    Hey, Nik.Look at that.It has recovered and blooming!I hope I catch it open.

  • niksouthafrica

    Looking great, Ermoine! Aloinopsis flowers tend to open around midday and if it isn't opening, move it to a spot where there is direct midday sun. That's what I learned to do with mine, they won't open if they are in the shade.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Lithops optica 'Rubra'








  • Jeff (5b)

    Cheiridopsis peculiaris and then glomerata.





  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Jeff your first set of pics are crazy lookin, but in a good way. It’s the coloring and texture of the baby Lithops ‘Rubra’ that makes them look not of this world;).

  • Jeff (5b)

    I know, right? These are especially small--dwarfed by 1/8" pumice, so they're cropped in pretty far and the texture is more evident.


  • niksouthafrica

    An unexpected surprise: the P digitata made a flower. It's now showing very visible signs of shutting down for summer so no more water!



  • niksouthafrica


    I gave someone I know a couple of variegated Gasteria minima offsets and received some gifts in return. This looks like a mat of miniature cheiridopsis of some kind. Does anyone have any suggestions on ID?

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Well that’s a nice trade and looks like you’ve got a seed pod. I love those mesemb seed pods because the rain or water makes them open up like a flower. My guess is Cheiridopsis pillansii;)? I’m not totally thinking that’s their id tho. I’m gonna keep looking tho. Do you think those are full grown?

    niksouthafrica thanked Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA
  • niksouthafrica

    I think so: if they are flowering, they are adult plants and it is a little mat, not a pot of seedlings. They do look like pillansi but I'm not sure how big pillansii gets. These really are small

  • Jeff (5b)

    FWIW, they look like photos of pillansii. They don't seem to produce as many offsets as glomerata or have as many inner leaves, from what I've seen. But I suppose it could depend on age and season.


    glomerata about 9 months. Started out with three plants.



    niksouthafrica thanked Jeff (5b)
  • niksouthafrica

    They also look like brownii 8-) Your Glomerata are on steroids, lol

  • Jeff (5b)

    Somebody on the other end of cyberspace told me mine look like they're growing fast. There are others you can see behind these too. Then there's the peculiaris which is the same as it was end of summer.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    I was searching through interweaving pics and cam across C. amabilis. The other pics online don’t really look like yours, but that pic on Llifle’s page about C. amabilis looks just like your new Cheiridopsis.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Which one of these thing is not like the others? I think I need to pot these soon. The middle one had some sort of fertilizer burn and now it's getting squeezed out. From a Titanopsis seed mix.



  • niksouthafrica

    All three are different and yes, you do need to repot. I repot when they are much smaller. Less root tangle that way

  • Jeff (5b)

    nik, I always though the left and right were the same, but since it's a seed mix they certainly could be different. The new leaves on the one on the right just came in not too long ago. I have another seedling in another pot that also looks like these.



  • niksouthafrica

    Another look and its possible that the two outer ones are both calcerea although the right one looks much more keeled to me. Middle looks like primosii or schwantesii

  • niksouthafrica

    Trying my luck at growing dinteranthus. They are closely related to Lapidaria so I am just leaving this one until it's outer leaves are gone and definitely not watering until the weather starts to cool down.



  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Hey guys;)!

    Any advice on if I should water this guy?


    Older leaves are real squishy and dehydrated. I can see a flower starting to form beneath the new leaves.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Does anyone know what might be the cause of these scars on this seedling? I would think it's overwatering, but I'm not watering these any more than I have with the ones that are pretty much full grown now, or any of the other mesembs I'm growing from seed. The soil mix is pretty gritty, although it's not on the heating mat like most of the others.


    Lithops karasmontana 'mickbergensis' changing for the first time. No problem here. And I didn't realize Kara just posted, so please don't overlook her question.


  • niksouthafrica

    Hi Kara! Definitely water it in winter and anytime you see wrinkling. My cheiridopsis and other mesembs are all waking up now that we have had a spell of cooler weather and I am watering them. I prefer to water lightly and frequently rather than a big soak, which can cause the leaves to become excessively turgid.


    Hi Jeff perhaps your old favourite, fun gus?

  • Jeff (5b)

    Edit: nik, I didn't realize what you meant until after I posted this. Yes, it's possible it's a fungus, like on my Glottiphylums, which I didn't even think of. I'll spray them. Consider my original comment an update >

    Hey, the Frithia is the Fun Gus, which is just sitting there. I don't see any more fungus. It got passed on to the Glottiphylums. Those are super ugly, but alive. The C. peculiaris is growing new leaves after just sitting there all fall and winter. I'll have to take a photo of it and post it soon. Not much different than last time other than new leaves, although it looks a little healthier now. I didn't know what was going on earlier. Still just a little seedling.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Lithops from a seed mix.


    Titanopses (sic) seedlings.


  • noyade233

    Lapidaria margaretae seedlings needed transplanting after being crowded in a 2" pot.


    Four Lithops optica cv Rubra C287 seedlings with some crazy looking shrek ears growth.


    And my new pride and joy, pot of Lithops julii cv. Hot Lips showing good germination.


    niksouthafrica thanked noyade233
  • Jeff (5b)

    Great looking stuff noyade. What type of material is that on the julii pot? What's working best for me is pumice, aquarium sand, and a bit of fine sand. I don't know why, but germination is much better without any peat moss at all.


  • noyade233

    Jeff - for that julii pot, I went with a new mix of 1/8" pumice, coir, worm casting, and the largest grain aquarium sand I could find. I just have a thin layer of sand on the top to anchor the seeds better. I have always had good germination but damping off was always an issue. I started heat treating my mix before sowing and pulling the pot out of a moist enclosed enviroment early on in germination, to leave it out by a fan, while misting twice a day. Much better results with that method for me.

  • Jeff (5b)

    Thanks. I'm going to try coir for the first time with some Haworthia seeds and use a mix just about the same as yours, without worm casting. I don't see how coir would be different than peat moss, but who knows.


    Titanopsis


  • niksouthafrica

    The main problem with organics in a seedling mix is that they attract fungus gnats and the larvae of the fungus gnat destroy developing seedling roots. I prefer a mix of small particle sand, play sand (plaster sand) and sieved c&s mix.

    My 2c is that mesembs prefer loose, fine sand and the gnats have a harder time getting at the roots. Peat moss is fairly notorious for causing damping off

  • Jeff (5b)

    nik, the 'C&S Cactus Soil' around here is mainly peat moss, with some added perlite, which is what potting soil is comprised of (again, around here), and then what makes it C&S soil is just a bit of added fine sand. I just get peat moss by itself and add perlite or whatever for whatever I'm using it for.

    I have a fan on my seedlings since last year and haven't had a problem with the gnats at all, but that's also because I'm using less organic stuff in the mix.

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    You guys I just bought the biggest Lithops I have ever seen in my life;)! It is an inch long and wide, not including the old leaves.



  • Paul MI

    Nik, you mentioned, some time back, about certain Lithops being more "water loving" .... just how much more? (You got me curious.)


  • niksouthafrica

    Lithops lesleii, which is what Kara just bought and pictured above grows around the area where I live, a grassland biome, summer-rainfall area that receives 600-1000mm rainfall per year. If you want to see some habitat pictures, go here: https://web.facebook.com/groups/1712427445653915 and type lithops in the search box. It's a public group so you don't need a facebook account to see the posts.


    Having said that, these plants will be found growing in areas which drain quickly, not in natural watercourses and although our rainfall is relatively high, it comes in the form of thunderstorms where large amounts of rain fall in a very short time and runoff is very high and quick. We go for months at a time without any rain but get most of our rain over 4 months Nov-Feb.

    For growing reference, we also have Stapelia leendertziae, Huernia loesneriana, bulbs like Scilla nervosa, Ledebouria cooperi, Aloe zebrina, caudiciforms like Brachystelma, Ipomoea, Eriospermum and Raphionacme. Other mesembs are Delosperma so that might give you some idea of what they like in terms of watering

  • Jeff (5b)

    It will be nice to not have the flower spike scars anymore. I like the side view. Two headed Lithops lesliei of some sort.



  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Rabiea:). I’m guessing R. albinota.


    Lithops grown in a pumice mix vs a peaty mix.



  • aloebot

    The green and purple forms showing different flowers.



  • niksouthafrica

    Such beauties, Aloebot.

    Kara, never mind thr root comparison, I am fascinated by the one at the end of the row that is exploding out of the side ;)

  • Kara 9b SF Bay Area CA

    Nik that’s the ginormous one I just posted about on March 4th. It is freaking huge! I doubt it will stay that way in my care;).

  • Jeff (5b)

    Fenestreria flower? It didn't occur to me that it might be this until a few days after I saw what I originally thought was a deformed leaf. It's not that much over a year old.


  • niksouthafrica

    Looks like a flower bud to me, Jeff.

    Kara, lithops lesleii is a bigger one and it got that big with water and fertiliser. You can see how big it's roots are

  • Jeff (5b)

    Lithops optica 'Rubra' - the only one I have left, sown in the fall. I think they need more water than others. Nik, you've mentioned something about these, but I always forget how they're different, other than the seasonality being different.


  • niksouthafrica

    Jeff, they don't need more water but they are known for being different. Reas this: http://pza.sanbi.org/lithops-optica

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