How to Care for Lithops


The lithop, from Greek meaning "stone-like", was first mistaken for a stone when discovered in South Africa in the early 1800s. This two leaved succulent will produce yellow, daisy like flowers if grown with care. Pink and white flowers have also surprised gardeners who enjoy the challenge of an indoor plant with curious and mysterious qualities.

Step 1

Fill a pot with a drainage hole with cactus soil mix.

Step 2

Plant the lithop carefully. Firm the soil around the base of the lithop.

Step 3

Consider the stage of growth the lithop is in before watering. Summer watering should be light and only when the plant media has completely dried out. Increase watering slightly during the fall to spring months, during which time new leaves and flowers may emerge from the crack between the two dominant leaves. The old leaves should shrivel away to allow space for new ones if watering is at the correct level.

Step 4

Place in a south facing window for the best light.

Step 5

Keep the succulent warm water more frequently during the growth stages of the plant. During the dormant season, typically summer for the lithop, allow 45 to 55 degree temperatures and less frequent watering to encourage formation of flowers that will bloom in the growth stage.

Things You'll Need

  • Cactus soil mix
  • Pot


  • University of Illinois Extension, Plant Palette: Lithops
  • University of Illinois Extension, Gardener's Corner: Cacti and Succulents as Houseplants
  • University of Illinois Extension, Homeowner's Column: Try Cacti and Succulents for Easy-Care Houseplants
Keywords: care for lithop, lithop succulent, growing lithops

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.