Do I need to water this lithops anymore?

by Ryan
(Washington, DC)

I have had this lithops (I believe it's karasmontana) for a little over a month now. I have been scared to water it.

Two weeks ago, I noticed that it was wrinkling a bit and I decided to give it a sip or two. I gave it a couple of cap fuls (soda bottle cap) of water and it seemed to get more wrinkled after that.

I did some research online and it said it is sometimes a good idea to let the plant soak in some water from the bottom of the pot so the tap roots won't completely dry out.

I did that, and it seemed to plump up again.

I did all this when it was cloudy and two days later, the sun returned full force and it wrinkled again.

I decided to leave it alone and let it do what it does, and since then, it has become more wrinkled than before. Other than that, it seems to be fine.

I have two others (not sure of the species) and they have never been watered while under my care yet they remain turgid and the skin is taut. I've had one for a little over two weeks, and the other one a week today.

Basically, should I water it again, or leave it alone and not be worried.

Drought Smart Plants reply: Hi Ryan, that is a beautiful specimen of Lithops, so it would be worth keeping it happy.

As for the wrinkling, that does seem to indicate that it is under stress of some kind, but as this is a normal (for Lithops) reaction, I would say that you should just leave it to recover on its own.

I've had some that shrivel to almost nothing, but plump up fine once they're watered.

I always use tepid rain water, not water that has gone through a softening unit. Alternatively, you could use distilled water, as they take so little.

Lithops are funny creatures, with their multiple dormant periods, and without investigating further into this species I would have a hard time saying if that is what it's trying to do. Also, if you've just acquired it, it's hard to know what soil it's in, and what care it received prior to getting it.

As always with these plants, err on the side of too little water, rather than too much. This is the number one cause of death with them, so when in doubt, don't.

Best of luck with this little living stone!

Comments for Do I need to water this lithops anymore?

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May 19, 2012
Thank You!
by: Ryan

Thanks a lot! I'll do just that. I had it in a mix I made for my jade plant. About two weeks ago, I finally got some succulent mix and Perlite. I re potted it in a 50/50 mix of both and placed it in a 3" terra cotta pot, a size up from the 2 1/2" I had originally potted it in. Now that I think about it, it started wrinkling shortly after. I have been overly nurturing the poor thing as well. I'll give it some breathing room.

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