Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Need identification and care advice

Recently, someone gave me a plant that I am unfamiliar with. I have not seen this kind before and have no experience of it. I would like to know what it is called and the basics of how to keep it alive.

Here is a photo of it.
Attachments
Unidentified plant.jpg

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Need identification

I'm not generally good on id'ing cactus or succulents, but that one is very distinctive: lithops, from the Greek lithos meaning stone.

Here's the wiki article about them and their care:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithops

with the name, you can google more info about taking care of it.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Thank you very much. I will look for more information, based on the name.

The strange thing is, when the plant was given to me, it had no kind of identification. No label, tag or even writing on the pot. I asked the person who gave it to me if there was any identification with it in the shop they got it from and they said no.

purpleinopp
Green Thumb
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:28 am
Location: Opp, AL zone 8B

Re: Need identification

Pleiopsis.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

purpleinopp wrote:Pleiopsis.
Is that the particular type of lithops that it is?

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Need identification

OK perhaps I was wrong. It took me quite a bit of digging around to figure it out, because the true spelling is pleiospilos (even though there are many places where pictures are labelled as pleiopsis, so it seems to be a common error)

True lithops seems to have more flat face:

Image

pleiospilos is rounder like yours:

Image

except that sometimes I found flat faced ones labelled pleiopsis / pleiospilos and vice versa.

pleiospilos and lithops are both genus names, so one is not a species of the other, even though I have seen people say "pleiopsis" is "grouped under" lithops.

Lithops and pleiospilos are both genuses under the ice plant family Aizoaceae, so they share a lot of similarities and have similar culture requirements.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Thanks, rainbowgardener. That's helpful. It has only had one, light watering since I got it. The middle part is splitting, slowly. Not splitting as in damage but, two parts that are moving apart.

I might post another photo or two, as it progresses.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Need identification

Moving apart may mean that it is getting ready to bloom. :)

Both the pleiospilos and the lithops are commonly known as living stone or split rock.

Do keep us posted on the progression of yours!

Sorry for the error the first time, but having been forced to look it up, I will never forget this now! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

baileysup
Green Thumb
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: NE-PA(Zone 6a-5b)

Re: Need identification

So this whole time I thought I had a lithops, but I don't. Instead, I have a pleiospilos.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Need identification

For some reason the pleiospilos picture I posted disappeared and it is too late to edit that post. So here's another one:

Image
https://www.cactiguide.com/forum/userpix ... elii_1.jpg
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

That's a nice photo. Mine does not have a flower bud yet.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Recently I gave it just a little bit of water. Not very much. When I did, it immediately ran out the bottom of the pot. Everything was fine for a few days and then it started to develop a white mould in the split. This has grown slowly and is covering most of the split. In the last few days, the plant has started to become darker and shrivel.

What can I do to save it?

baileysup
Green Thumb
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: NE-PA(Zone 6a-5b)

Re: Need identification

Sweyn wrote:Recently I gave it just a little bit of water. Not very much. When I did, it immediately ran out the bottom of the pot. Everything was fine for a few days and then it started to develop a white mould in the split. This has grown slowly and is covering most of the split. In the last few days, the plant has started to become darker and shrivel.

What can I do to save it?
I just had this happen to mine. I barely water it, yet it still went rotten on me. On mine, two out of the three sets of leaves had rot, so I removed them. This left only the center leaves, which seemed to be ok. I'm letting it dry and callous for a couple days, and then I'll plant it in some dry soil. I'm not sure if it will make it, but it's worth a try. I would say that if all the leaves on yours are mushy, it's probably a gonner. These plant's really don't like water lol. Good luck with it.

purpleinopp
Green Thumb
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:28 am
Location: Opp, AL zone 8B

Re: Need identification

Rainbow, TYVM for fixing the name. I'd seen the other name before, but encountered the wrong, shorter version so many times I thought they were 2 diff plants. Daggone it, one I'd committed to memory too - LOL! Excellent investigation and report!

I've managed to keep a Lithops alive for about a year by NEVER watering it. It's under the porch roof, so gets occasional mist if it's really windy while raining - AND I forget to put a sheet over that planter to keep it dry. It bloomed a few months ago and has survived sub-freezing temps outside under a sheet. The little P I got died from getting rained on before I could even get it out of the pot it came in last spring. I didn't know at the time neither are supposed to be moist at all if it's not summer-warm at night. In more dry climates, that might not be enough water, but it's extremely humid and dewy here, sometimes rains a LOT - sideways.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Thanks for the advice, baileysup and purpleinopp. I have removed the plant from its pot and most of its soil. I am letting it lie like that for a few days, so that the soil might have a chance to dry. After that. I'll try potting it in cactus soil with added, coarse sand.

The mould is confined to the middle of the split. The outer leaves are shrivelling and becoming darker but, don't have any mould yet. Should I cut off the middle leaves with the split?

baileysup
Green Thumb
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: NE-PA(Zone 6a-5b)

Re: Need identification

Sweyn: I don't know about yours, because mine didn't have any mold on it. All of the leaves, except the two in the middle, were turning mushy on mine. When things turn mushy, they are rotten and could possibly spread to healthy parts of the plant. Therefore, I removed all the leaves that had mushy parts on them, in order to try and save the plant. I got lucky in the fact that the two leaves in the center had no rot, because if they did, the plant would have probably been a gonner. Is there any way you can post a pic of the plant? I think more people could help you if they could see exactly what kind of shape it's in.

baileysup
Green Thumb
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: NE-PA(Zone 6a-5b)

Re: Need identification

This is what's left of mine. It used to have two other sets of leaves (6 total). Big leaves. Now all that remains are the two small center ones. Here's a pic. See if you can post a pic of yours.

Image

purpleinopp
Green Thumb
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:28 am
Location: Opp, AL zone 8B

Re: Need identification

No idea what to tell you. Another pic?

baileysup
Green Thumb
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: NE-PA(Zone 6a-5b)

Re: Need identification

Ha, never mind. My plant didn't make it. I found out today that it had rot through the center stem. So it's a gonner. At least I'll know better if I get another one :). They really don't like water, and I guess they need so very little, that regular watering methods do not apply. I will try a spray bottle next time, and just mist the soil once a year with it.........LOL. Just kidding, but I will use a spray bottle, so as not to soak the soil as much.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

baileysup wrote:Sweyn: I don't know about yours, because mine didn't have any mold on it. All of the leaves, except the two in the middle, were turning mushy on mine. When things turn mushy, they are rotten and could possibly spread to healthy parts of the plant. Therefore, I removed all the leaves that had mushy parts on them, in order to try and save the plant. I got lucky in the fact that the two leaves in the center had no rot, because if they did, the plant would have probably been a gonner. Is there any way you can post a pic of the plant? I think more people could help you if they could see exactly what kind of shape it's in.
There is no point. It is dead.

It has not been a complete loss. I have learnt a lot more about these plants so, thanks to everyone who replied with advice, in this thread.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

baileysup wrote:I will try a spray bottle next time, and just mist the soil once a year with it.........LOL. Just kidding, but I will use a spray bottle, so as not to soak the soil as much.
You could. I was going to try applying water by dripping it. With a sprinkler head on a watering can, water can be made to drip slowly by tipping the can only very slightly. The amount of water applied can be strictly controlled with this method.

It should have the same effect as a very light spraying from a bottle.

Kats Eye
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Missouri zone 6a

Re: Need identification

to late to help, but next time you try this plant, mix the soil half with sand. and the idea about the spray bottle is right on. let the water feed through it, and not sit in it. indirect sunlight also.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Kats Eye wrote:to late to help, but next time you try this plant, mix the soil half with sand. and the idea about the spray bottle is right on. let the water feed through it, and not sit in it. indirect sunlight also.
Thanks for this. I'll remember that if I get another. :)

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5093
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Need identification

That is a succulents called a Rock Plant. I bought a tiny one at Lowe's for 99 cents it was in a 2" pot. I put it in a 10" pot 50/50 sand/potting soil in the shade in the yard. I watered it every day and 9 months later it was the size of a Basketball. I moved it to full sun and it died in 1 day.

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

That's interesting, Gary350. It was in a position where it received full sun, next to some cacti. I did not think of that. I'll remember that. Thanks.

Shade
Full Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:03 pm
Location: Indianapolis

Re: Need identification

That is definitely a Lithops or also called living stones plant.
Plant Nut

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Shade wrote:That is definitely a Lithops or also called living stones plant.
Since starting this, I've seen Lithops and Pleiospilos next to each other, for sale in a garden centre. Both had labels and based on that, I think that my plant was a Pleiospilos.

david90531
Full Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:09 am

Re: Need identification

Hi, got your message
Some new pictures of your plant may help to identify the exact problem. But sounds like it could be rot, and definitely caused by too much watering or moisture in the soil caused by soil that's not fast-draining enough.
From what you've described it sounds like the old leaves are still being absorbed, which means at this point your plant doesn't need ANY water at all. Only when the side leaves are completely shriveled and absorbed, then you can start watering it lightly again.

david90531
Full Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:09 am

Re: Need identification

I got mine about 2 months ago, never watered it once till now because:

Image
This is how it looked 2 weeks ago before flowering, one side of the old leaf is completely gone, but one side is still being absorbed and quite plump (a little bit mushy on the old leaves is normal, by the way). After flowering, the old leaves are pretty much gone by now, so soon I might start watering, until it starts to split again.

Hope this helped, good luck!

Sweyn
Senior Member
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:15 pm
Location: UK

Re: Need identification

Thank you very much, David. Mine is dead now but, I'll write that down, in case I get another one.

Return to “Cactus Forum - Cacti Including all Succulent Plants”