How To Grow Mesembs – Lithops, Argyroderma, Titanopsis From Seeds

lithops

1. The substrate in which you’ll be planting Mesembs has to contain two ingredients in equal proportion. Those are peat and sand (you’ll need to sieve them to the size of 0.4 inches (1mm)). It would be good to add perlite or broken brick to this mixture in order to achieve better drainage.

  1. In order to avoid fungus occurrence, it’s necessary to sterilize the prepared substrate. The simplest and cheapest way is to bake the substrate at the temperature of 350°F (180°C) for 45 minutes, or for 3 minutes in a microwave oven. It’s necessary to cool the substrate afterwards.
  2. Containers for this seed don’t need to be big nor deep. The depth of about 1.2 inches (3cm) is enough for starters. Since the seed is extremely small, you will have to plant everything from the bag into one container. This serves them well too. You can freely go up to planting 100 seeds into one container 2*2 inches (5*5cm).
  3. You need to fill the container with the substrate, but be careful to leave at least 0.8 inches (2cm) to the top. Gently press the substrate, so it could settle down. This is best done with a flat object, not your fingers. Now you need to gently disperse pebbles, granulated up to 0.2 inches (5mm), which will serve as a support to young plants.
  4. Watering the substrate is done by submerging the container into a dish with rainwater or boiled tap water, that had time to cool down. When the upper layer starts shining, that means that the substrate is saturated with water. Take it out and leave it for a few minutes, while the excess of the water drains away.
  5. The seed can be planted in two ways. The first way is to fold a piece of paper you put the seeds on beforehand and gently, but evenly put it down by tapping the paper. The other way is to add a bit of fine sand to the bag with seeds, mix it and then pour out contents of the bag. The seed will fall between the pebbles onto the substrate.
  6. Keeping the substrate moist is necessary for germination. You can achieve that by covering the container with a see-through piece of glass, foil, plastic bag or something of the kind.
  7. Put the container on a bright spot, with the temperature of about 77°F (25° C). The temperature can be even lower during the night. Under no circumstances should you expose the plant to direct sunlight.
    9. The seed will start to germinate after 5 days, but the whole germination process lasts for about a month afterwards.
  8. You should start ventilating the containers a month after the planting process, and you need to do it every day. After a month of ventilation, you can completely uncover them.
  9. During the next 4 months, you need to take care of the small plants constantly, the sunlight shouldn’t reach them nor should its top layer of the substrate be completely dry. It can be lethal for the plant.
  10. You don’t need to repot them for a year, or even longer unless you notice they lack space.
  11. When a whole year passes, most of the plants will begin shedding.

Maintenance

Place: It needs a spot with bright, strong light but avoid direct sunlight exposure. Unless you provide it with an ample amount of light (especially during their young age) this plant will elongate and deform its shape. It demands good ventilation too.