Литопсы – удивительные растения похожие на камни

Lithops are unique plants belonging to the succulent genus. They are also called living stones. In appearance, they really do resemble small stones, and it is believed that they acquired this form in order not to be eaten by animals.

Living stone - what is it?

In shape, these plants are small round or oval pads. Lithops leaves are separated by a gap in the middle, from which new leaves and a peduncle subsequently grow. The color of lithops can be the most diverse - most often there are colors that resemble the color of the earth - brown, gray, gray-green, but there are also pink, reddish. A unique pattern on the leaves makes each species completely unique. In addition, lithops can bloom yellow and white flowers with a pleasant aroma.

Now lithops, along with other succulents, are gaining popularity. They are collected, since lithops have several dozen species. Mini-gardens, or florariums, are created from them, planting together several lithops of different shapes and colors, or adding other plants from the Aizov family - conophytums, titanopsis or faucaria.

Литопсы - удивительные растения похожие на камни

In this article, we will tell you how to sow lithops and grow them from seeds at home, how to transplant and care for these unusual plants. You can also see photos of popular types of live stones.

Popular types

There are more than 30 different types of lithops, but it is difficult for non-professionals to distinguish lithops even from plants of another family, such as conophytums. Here are some of the most popular types of lithops adapted for home growing.

Lithops aucampiae (Lithops aucampiae)

It has a green and brown color with stains and streaks.

Литопсы - удивительные растения похожие на камни

Lithops Leslie (Lithops Lesliei)

A stone with gray-green leaves, it can bloom in yellow or white flowers. This species is very fond of flower growers, perhaps for the reason that it tolerates wet soil well.

Литопсы - удивительные растения похожие на камни

Marble Lithops (Lithops marmorata)

Lithops of this species have a grayish color with marble stains. Because of the gray color, this plant really resembles a stone.

Литопсы - удивительные растения похожие на камни

Lithops Optics (Lithops Optica)

These stones grow in the form of high columns, the gap between the leaf lobes is deep, the color is varied: from gray to bright crimson, the flowers are white.

Lithops - amazing plants like stones

Divided Lithops (Lithops divergens)

The leaves of this plant are deviated from each other, and not merged together. An adult plant develops a wrinkled leaf structure.

Lithops - amazing plants like stones

Brownish Lithops (Lithops Fulviceps)

There are gray and brown spots on the leaves of this species of succulent, the leaves themselves can also have a brown color.

Lithops - amazing plants like stones

Lithops beautiful (Lithops bella)

The leaves in a pair reach a diameter of two and a half centimeters. It blooms with white flowers with a delicate aroma.

Lithops - amazing plants like stones


In the spring, new leaves begin to form in lithops - it seems as if exactly the same flower appears from the interslit lobe. It looks very impressive - it looks like the plant sheds old skin, some flower growers even call this period molting.

Sometimes, with good care and the right temperature, instead of one pair of new leaves, two may appear. This increases the number of leaves on living stones.

But still, lithops reproduce by seeds. In autumn, after flowering, seeds can ripen in lithops. At home, they are almost impossible to get. However, you can buy seeds and plant. It is not recommended to transplant lithops by dividing the "family" of several leaves.

Read our review of quality lithops seeds from Aliexpress

How to grow lithops from seeds at home


Lithops can be easily grown from seeds. The soil for seeds and small lithops should be looser than for adult plants, but also able to remove excess moisture well.

  • Take a small bowl or small container, add expanded clay to the bottom. And prepare the soil by mixing in equal proportions the earth for succulents and coarse sand, you can also add a little brick chips.
  • It is better to sow lithops seeds in early spring. Plant seeds in slightly moist soil. Since the seeds are very small, resembling grains of sand, they can simply be poured onto the surface of the earth. To fix them on the ground, spray them with a spray bottle.
  • Then cover the pot with cling film, plastic bag or transparent lid. Poke holes in the film with a toothpick to provide the seeds with fresh air. You can sometimes open the pot and leave it for 10-15 minutes to ventilate. Try to remove excess condensation on the film or lid as it forms.
  • Two to three weeks after planting the seeds, small bubble-like lithops will appear. The best thing such plants grow in colonies in which several species are present. Use Lithops Mix Seed Mix to grow several different Lithops at the same time.
  • Growing, small stones-flowers, it is important to maintain a balance of watering - do not flood, but do not dry the seedlings. Yearling plants can be transplanted into another pot.

Read more about how to grow succulents from seeds and cuttings.


Flower growers are attracted by the shape of lithops (they look like pebbles). The upper part of the plant is split into two unequal parts. With proper care, a bud grows from a smaller part. Buds bloom into white, cream, orange flowers. If they are kept in the sun for a long time, then the petals can change color, fade.

Flowering most often occurs in the autumn period, from September to October. Sometimes a blossoming flower covers the entire plant with petals. Mostly mature plants bloom. During the flowering of lithops, it is necessary to reduce watering or replace it with spraying.



Keeping in mind that lithops are desert plants, a lot will become clear to you about their features of care and maintenance at home. In the desert, precipitation falls in spring and autumn. In summer, during the period of drought, lithops are at rest, and by autumn, with the onset of rains, they bloom. Further, the succulents begin their winter "hibernation", which ends in the spring with the growth of new leaves.

Temperature regime

Properly selected temperature and watering is the key to flowering and growth of lithops.

  • These succulents need fresh air. Therefore, be sure to ventilate the room where live stones grow.
  • Lithops tolerate heat and dryness well, but it is still best to keep them on the balcony in the summer, where the difference between night and day temperatures will be close to natural.
  • In winter, flower-stones need to be provided with a cool place where the temperature will be about 15, but not lower than +10 degrees. Too low temperatures are detrimental to desert plants.


Of great importance for stone plants is not only humidity and temperature, but also lighting. Like many other flowers, lithops can respond to increasing and decreasing daylight hours. Flower-stones tolerate the sun and heat well, but do not immediately put a plant purchased in a store in the sun. Lithops need to be accustomed to the bright sun gradually so as not to cause leaf burn.

Lithops - amazing stone-like plants


The worst thing for lithops is abundant watering. From excessive soil moisture, it can rot the roots.

  • Water the plant only when the soil in the pot is completely dry.
  • Watering should be carried out by placing a pot of lithops in a container of water for several minutes. So water will not get on the leaves of plants and will not spoil their appearance.
  • After watering, be sure to drain excess water.
  • Try not to disturb indoor lithops with watering in winter and summer. Although the plant can still be watered in extreme heat, it is advisable to do this in the evening when the sun sets.
  • If the plant has bloomed, then do not water it until the flower dries. In the same way, you need to act during the period of molting and the growth of new leaves - limit watering until the old leaves are completely dry.


These amazing flower stones do not like transplants, and they need to be transplanted only when they have completely covered the ground in a pot. Lithops also needs a transplant if you bought a flower in a store, and he has earth in a pot that looks like peat. This is the transport soil that needs to be changed. How to plant lithops in a new land without harming the plant?

Choose the right pot:

The pot of the lithops should be straight, not tapering to the bottom, because the roots of the plant are long enough and they will be cramped in a narrow bowl. There must be drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Also, do not choose too large a bowl, as moisture can stagnate in it.

Lithops - amazing stone-like plants

Prepare the ground:

In nature, they grow on poor, rocky soil, so even special soil for succulents will not work for them. Prepare the soil for lithops yourself. You will need for this:

  • shop soil for cacti (or succulents)
  • coarse sand
  • small crumb of red brick
  • clay
  • ash
  • expanded clay or other pebbles for drainage

To earth and sand (proportion 1:1), add some brick chips, ash and clay. The mixture must be mixed well. At the bottom of the pot, to a height of about 2-3 cm, pour drainage pebbles, and then the prepared soil. Tamp it in a bowl.

Free the plant from the old pot:

Carefully remove the lithops from the old pot. Do not water them before transplanting, the ground must be dry. The old soil must be shaken off the roots, carefully, so as not to damage the roots and basal neck, remove the old leaves of the plants.

Land carefully:

Make a small indentation in the ground and plant the lithops without deepening too much. Try not to let the leaves touch the soil - this can lead to rotting of the plant. It is better to pour a thin layer of sand and small pebbles on the ground after planting. This will protect the lithops from dampness, and the pebbles will be an excellent decorative background.

Do not water your succulent after transplanting. If you accidentally damage the roots, then an excess of moisture can cause them to rot.

plants ready for transplanting

Possible diseases and pests

Most often, lithops suffer from stagnant moisture in the pot and root rot due to excessive watering. Also, with moderate but frequent watering, lithops leaves can burst, this also happens due to an excess of moisture. In this case, the plant should be watered less often.

If the fleshy leaves become lethargic and wrinkled, then most likely the flower needs moisture. Water the plant, literally the next day it will again become smooth and shiny.

Sometimes a mealybug can settle on living stones. You can get rid of it using a proven method - cover the plant with a bag and sprinkle dichlorvos inside. Fix the bag under the pot and leave it like that for 20-30 minutes. This procedure will not harm the plant, and the worm will die.

Lithops are amazing plants. You can create unique compositions from them, you can start collecting your own collection of multi-colored flowering living stones. Let them not turn your house into a green garden, but it is always very interesting to look after and watch them.

Lithops - amazing stone-like plants

Things to know (Q&A)

Why do Lithops look like stones?

They really do look like stones. Their natural habitat is arid, rocky areas , which is why they evolved such a clever camouflage to protect themselves from browsing herbivores. Each lithops plant has a pair of leaves that look more like squishy rubber pads than leaves, with a fissure separating the

Are Lithops and split rocks the same?

Split Rock Pleiospilos nelii

Like Lithops, Split Rocks may also bloom flowers in Autumn. However, Lithops can only produce one flower at a time. ... While these 2 plants are quite similar , you may easily differentiate them from one another, as Lithops are smaller than Split Rock and do not grow when buried in the ground.

Which plant looks exactly like a stone?


Lithops is a genus of succulent plants in the ice plant family, Aizoaceae. Members of the genus are native to southern Africa. The name is derived from the Ancient Greek words λίθος (líthos), meaning "stone," and ὄψ (óps), meaning "face," referring to the stone-like appearance of the plants.

What is special about Lithops?

Lithops are popular novelty houseplants . Because they thrive in low humidity, need infrequent watering and care, and are relatively easy to grow, Lithops are popular novelty houseplants. With their small size and slow, compact growth these plants do not take up much room. Lithops are long lived – up to 40 or 50 years.

Are Lithops rocks?

Those succulents that you thought looked like rocks? They are called Lithops (or Living stones), a genus of succulents native to southern Africa. Older Lithops form clumps of colourful pebbles in their pot, which makes them ideal as an accent piece in your garden.

Why do plants look like stones?

This stone appearance also helps them to go unnoticed by their predators . This strategy (being confused with the environment) is known as crypsis. Actually, these spots are translucent zones, without chlorophyll, so that light can penetrate towards the rest of the plant, which is flat and remains underground.

What type of rock is Lithops?

They avoid being eaten by blending in with surrounding rocks and are often known as pebble plants or living stones. The formation of the name from the Ancient Greek "-ops" means that even a single plant is called a Lithops.

Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Aizoaceae

Which plant looks like stone?

Lithops is a genus of succulent plants in the ice plant family, Aizoaceae. Members of the genus are native to southern Africa. The name is derived from the Ancient Greek words λίθος (líthos), meaning "stone," and ὄψ (óps), meaning "face," referring to the stone-like appearance of the plants.

Which plant has leaves that look exactly like stone pebbles?

Lithops . They are also known as stone plants or living stone plant

Which plants look like pebbles?

Living stones (Lithops spp.) , also known as pebble plants, are unusual little succulents that have evolved to look like the pebbles and rocks that litter their native habitats in Africa. These plants hug the ground and grow extremely slowl

What is the special structure of lithops?

Lithops are dwarf, succulent mimicry plants comprising two thick fleshy semi-translucent leaves resembling stones. These leaves fuse together at soil level where they taper down to a single carrot-like structure which eventually becomes the root. The flattened top part of the leaf is window-like.

What is the use of lithops?

Lithops are popular house plants and many specialist succulent growers maintain collections. Seeds and plants are widely available in shops and over the Internet. They are relatively easy to grow and care for if given sufficient sun and kept in well-draining soil.

Are lithops rare?

Where to Find Lithops. ... Unfortunately, Lithops seed can take up to a year to germinate and requires carefully controlled conditions. This makes them somewhat rare and difficult to find in nurseries .

Are lithops difficult?

Lithops are simultaneously the easiest and the hardest succulents to care for . They practically demand to be ignored; you'll find they fare far better with little intervention. But alas, they are too interesting to be ignored completely.