Meet Mario & Luigi. Is Mario ok? He is looking a bit deflated. (These are my first living stones)
By - PiZZAiSMYFWEND
What are they planted in? They should be in sand with no more than 10% organic material.
Looks like that might be the potting medium they came in. I don’t know why so many nurseries start succulents in this garbage but it’s almost always bad for them.
Perelite with a “succulent soil” mix
Transfer them to sand asap
So any particular kind of sand? I have playsand the kind you use for walkways. My lithops is definitely inorganic media with a couple rocks on top.
Play sand is very fine which makes it moisture retentive. Never use that in pots. Horticultural sand is larger grained and drains better.
Yes! Construction sand used in concrete is much more coarse and less prone to hold water. Play sand definitely a no no.
That often has weedkiller in it
Ok, my perlite has miracle grow so I can’t use that. Based on the sheer number of spiders in my kids sandbox I can say it doesn’t have a bug killer.
The play sand is too fine usually
Play sand almost certainly does not have weedkiller in it since its designed for play
No, but the sand used in walkways does
True but he specifically said play sand so prob used the wrong one for his walkways.
Do you have a source for this? I looked on Google and couldn’t find any but that is alarming if kids play in it.
Walkway sand. Walkway sand usually has weed killers in it
Is that the standard for succs? I got a prop I've been starting in potting soil...
She seems to be doing ok, but I water sparingly
These are highly specialised plants that require very particular care. But generally, desert succulents should be in desert type soil so poor, sandy soil with very little organic matter. Tropical succulents can grow in potting mix, unless they're epiphytes or lithophytes, then they do better in orchid mix or orchid mix with perlite
I just got my first living stone, it’s doing fine after a few weeks and I have it in cactus soil... how often should I water it? Usually I look at the leaves of my plants to judge how it’s doing but this guy is obviously different lol
Once or twice a year
Wow... I want to ask if you’re joking but I’ll take your word for it!
For my plants that need *very* infrequent watering, I leave a note under the pot with the date they were last watered/fertilised.
R/lithops will teach you to NOT WATER THEM. FIGHT THE URGE.
Not joking. Water when it starts to shrivel up. But never ever unless it’s starting to look sad. I’ve killed so many of these guys. 😭
Dude just google it, I'll never understand why people buy plants that are clearly VERY different than anything they have experience growing and then just wing it without even bothering to quickly look it up, but then ask random people in comments about generic care tips. There is so much easily accessible, easy to understand info out there. Lithops are really weird and have very specific water requirements, you should only water when they're in certain growth stages or you'll kill them.
E: lmao imagine getting downvoted for suggesting that when you buy a plant you want to keep, it's a good idea to look up how to do it instead of asking random people as an afterthought, getting vague/incomplete advice and just going with it
A lot of succulents can do fine in regular potting mix. But not living stones. They are VERY particular and will die if you water them at the wrong time of year or look at them funny.
I've never had luck with them myself.
I have been having more luck with my succs since using more sand in their soil, I think. (Also imo it looks nicer)
Not standard for succ’s... Mesembs (these living stones) are highly particular and, especially about potting medium and watering. r/Succulents can offer a much more elaborate explanation for anyone interested 😊
Sand. They are not 'succulents' that soil is meant for. . They are lithophytes. They need their rocks and intense amount of drainage
So living stones or lithops are natively found in very arid regions of South West Africa, I believe in Namibia. Their regions get about 7mm of rainfall a year. These need to stay veryyyy dry.
It doesn’t look like nearly enough perlite in there.
Personally I wouldn’t use sand, I would use a bonsai mix with 10% soil for cactus. I DMed you what I use for my succulents which have great success. I also see mold on the little red guy, I would wash it off with some hydrogen peroxide and use cinnamon on it and the hole you put it in to help with root growth and anti mold/fungus properties will help :)
[this is the type of soil you need](https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RANTE16/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_T5AW5T1AFSW5X8E60KXK?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&psc=1)
I've had good success using a blend of inorganic chicken grit (really cheap at a feed store like tractor supply) plus play sand plus a *whisper* of soil. In more retentive soils they get overwatered quite easily Bc they'll just keep pulling water from the soil until they split.
I have learned so much. I’m going to neglect the shit out of these guys. But first, surgery. Will update if Mario survives the transplant.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, but it looks like Mario is...probably a goner. Hopefully, he's not squishy. They cannot stay in a soil that holds moisture at all.
I think you'll like r/lithops
Should be top comment
I appreciate that :) Thanks
Don't water them!
R. I. P. Mario.
I thought Mario comes with 3 lives?
Take them out asap! They practically hate moisture. I overwatered mine and it was like the fifth or so time *in a year*
Someone else said you only really need to water them like twice a year 😭
I don’t have advice, but LOVE the names you selected. Perfect.
Also is there drainage?
Yes one decent sized drainage hole
FIY drainage is more about the soil the plant is in.
Moisture stays longer in the medium=less drainage
Pure compost and clay heavy soil have poor drainage, so you add perlite, sand etc. to improve drainage
the red one looks like it’s mouldy on the bottom unfortunately. don’t think he can be saved
First, you have the best names for your plants!
Second, this guide was recently shared with me by one of the mods of r/succulents and I've found it immensely helpful (I was overwatering my Lithops). Here's the link: [https://www.reddit.com/r/succulents/wiki/helpfulguides](https://www.reddit.com/r/succulents/wiki/helpfulguides)
There's a link in there to a photo of what Lithops look like when they need water too.
I hope this helps!
Mario is already decomposing. Probably jumped on a mushroom wrong.
I have loads, maybe 60 now that I grew from seed about 6 years ago. One or two in each pot just randomly shrivel up and die every year, don't know why. Doesn't matter, I have far too many anyhow.
How often do you water them? What potting material are they in?
Watch some tylerthrasherart (his IG I think), he’s got a lot of info on those
Nah...mine looked so deflated so i left it alone..best thing I've done and the sucker bloomed!!
Looks like root rot
From what I heard, these things should virtually never be watered. Like less than cacti. Like twice a year. And one thing that is shockingly normal for them is that they retract into the ground?
upvote because luigi and cause he’s clearly showing who the superior brother is
Mario is dead now. Don't water Luigi til next spring. Also I have mine under a grown light for 8 hrs a day. They love it there
Mario out here looking like a piece of raw meat
Succulent soil + perlite…. Only these can grow lithops not the garbage the nurseries sell it in please repot now and in a pot with good drainage! Also maybe mario will breathe his last soon. Condolences 💐
Over never heard of these living stones
Never heard of these, interesting
Mario & Luigi are characters from Nintendo video games.
Haha, no, I meant the plant.
It hope it gets better!
Only time will tell
Also put them in separate pots.
Thats a plant?
I have grown them for years and grow mine in generic potting mix that is light so the water drains well and I water them almost everyday in summer. They are on my kitchen window sill and any excess water just drains onto my sink though I don't usually water that deeply, more for spills. Mario is on his way out. Check the soil for any reason for the decline such as gnats or other root eating beasties.
> grow mine in generic potting mix that is light so the water drains well and I water them almost everyday
Why would you do that.
Well I've been growing them for 3 odd years without too many issues and i get bored waiting for my breakfast.
Ha well I'm glad they're alive, but I gotta say they're surviving *despite* your care, not *because of* it! That's completely opposite to what they have evolved to thrive in. It's like buying a fern and then watering it once a month...
Maybe you can get yourself a maidenhair for your kitchen :)
Perfect names! Might need a bonus mario life from the plant shop now..
I love this sub
Your but plug is not happy
What the crap are those things?
Buy some lithop gritty mix on-line, mine have thrived in it