Are they rocks or stones? Not even geologists can answer this question to my satisfaction, or probably to theirs! There seems a general feeling that rocks are large and substantial--Rock of Ages comes to mind, or Plymouth Rock. I mean, it just doesn't sound right, if you substitute "stone," does it?
Some say stones are rocks with perhaps some use for man, like flat ones for skipping over water, or using them as a tool when you can't find a hammer.
For many years though, I've grown fascinating lithops, known more commonly as living stones.
These clever little desert things actually learned to disguise themselves as pebbles so that they don't attract unwanted eating attention from hungry and thirsty animals. In order to grow them successfully you have to get familiar with their life cycle, and rigorously obey their few needs, or they'll punish you by dying.
There are many avid collectors of beautiful plant gems, me included. The entire physical system of living stones is based on conserving their necessities for life in one of the harshest environments, a desert in Namibia. This is how it works.
You'll notice the split becomes wider as the plant grows. Then two tiny plantlets appear through it, each a replica of the original. A blossom on a squat little stem also appears for a few days.
The two new plants then absorb the original parent, sucking out all the water held in that plant, until there is nothing but a dry, crisp shell left. No watering is the the crucial thing here. Only when the process is complete can the two new plants be watered, and then sparingly.
Now you see why I prefer to keep the plants in their cramped little pots, watering directly into them, and only when it is needed by that plant. The new bodies up above can survive very well. When they start to exceed their space, and are ready for a bigger pot you simply carefully remove the original little pot from the collection, and transplant the lithops into its own container, where it will grow slowly and happily for many years.
Before you go...
- Spin Mops - A Growing Trend via WarnerWords
- Indie Biz: New Harmony's Old Rooming House via flashPress
- The Rain and Everything via marcoujor's musings
Thanks so much for your visit today and I hope you've enjoyed getting acquainted with these rarities!
Wishing you a wonderful and safe weekend!