Succulent plant Lithops Olivacea

Short Description:

It is a stemless, perennial succulent with pair of plump leaves that looks like stones when it is not in flower which reaching up to 25mm long and 18mm wide at the fissure. This species forms very large clumps, often with 30 or more heads. The window is olive-green or greyish green; sides are grey sometimes tinged greenish-yellow, sometimes distinctly purplish. The window is characteristically smaller than the largest circumference of the heads.


In collected plants the window is often flattened and dull brownish-green, but in cultivation the windows are invariably green and convex. In some plants islands are absent (var. maculata) but in others there may be up to 16 islands. The edge of the window is only a little denticulate in some plants, whilst in others the margin is distinctly denticulate. The flowers are yellow, up to 30mm in diameter, 5-merous.

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Where to plant lithops

Lithops need a sunny spot – aim for around five hours of direct sun per day, so a south- or east-facing windowsill is ideal. Bear in mind that you may need to remove your lithops from your windowsill in winter if temperatures drop significantly.

How to plant lithops

If you buy lithops online you may find that they’re delivered bare-root and you need to plant them yourself. Lithops need very free-draining compost, such as a cactus compost. Choose a terracotta pot, which is more porus than plastic or glazed pots, so the compost dries out quickly. Plant them singly or in groups.

Lithops Olivacea (1)
Lithops Olivacea (2)
Lithops Olivacea (3)

Propagating lithops

You can propagate lithops by division or seed, although both options take a long time. To divide lithops you need to wait several years for the plants to develop into a cluster. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and cut through the roots, ensuring each part of the plant still has a viable taproot. Repot each division into a pot deep enough for the taproot to grow without being squished.

To grow lithops from seed, prepare a pot with free-draining cactus compost and additional grit. Water the compost and allow to drain. Sprinkle lithops seeds over the surface and cover with a fine layer of sand or vermiculite. Keep slightly moist until germination occurs, and then gradually reduce watering.

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