The “rocky” desert dwellers are of African origin – Split rock plants. These peculiar plants appear like a rock that has a partition in between to the eye, most part of the plant is buried in the soil. Fascinating as it is, most people just love owning these living rocks.
Honestly, these plants remind me of the trolls in the Disney movie franchise ‘frozen’ as it featured trolls as rocks that animate themselves only when necessary. These plants do flower but it might take a few years for it to blossom its first singular flower that emerges through the crevice that seems to divide the rock.
Common name: Split Rock Plant / Living Stone Plant
Scientific name: Lithops
Size: These plants rarely show any change in size, extremely slow growers. They hardly reach a height higher than an inch.
Toxicity: These plants are what they show. Harmless to pets and humans. You still wouldn’t want to ingest them as it will turn out to be an expensive meal course.
Where to keep the plant: A south-facing window with bright, direct light.
Watering these strange plants is a little tricky. You must consider that the plant has an unusual growth cycle. They do not grow in summers, thus require less to no water. About a spoon of water a month is sufficient!
As these plants are from arid regions, they inherently love a good sunbath. Let them soak in the natural sunlight as much as possible. Newly bought plants have to be made accustomed to sunlight slowly as sudden exposure might burn them.
The living stones can survive on almost any type of soil that drains the water well. They even survive on rocky or granite-like soil. Not a thing of concern as long as the drainage is taken care of.
The tolerance to humidity varies from species to species. However, these plants will do well at low humidity. High humidity levels can kill a plant in worst-case scenarios.
It is extremely important to feed these plants adequately for healthy growth. Mainly in spring and summer, these plants must be provided with slow releasing pellets fertilizer that is rich in minerals.
The living stones use different propagation techniques, unlike most succulents. Instead of the general stem cuttings, they grow better with seed germination. However, you will have to pollinate the flowers of two separate plants manually. If everything works out, you will have a pollinated flower that will soon produce a seed sack.