Lithops optica ‘Rubra’ is a succulent perennial plant. It has windowed leaves which are pink in color with a reddish or purple hue to them. This succulent has two club-shaped pair of opposite leaves (obconical) that grows up to 1 inch in diameter and the stem is very short and not visible. Each leaf pair will produce one solitary, bright, daisy-like flower, white in color, sometimes with pink tips and up to 1 inch in diameter. Flowers are diurnal and appear during autumn. They open late in the day and close up again at dusk.
Scientific Classification :
Scientific Name: Lithops optica ‘Rubra’.
Common Name: Living Stones.
Synonyms: Lithops optica var. rubra, Lithops optica f. rubra, Lithops rubra, Mesembryanthemum opticum var. rubrum.
How to grow and maintain Lithops optica ‘Rubra’:
It thrives best in a very bright and sunny position at all times. Keep the plant at least three to four hours a day. Care should be taken about exposing them to the full blast of the sun rays in summer. Such tiny plants can easily get scorched or broiled and their appearance spoiled. These plants don’t like cold drafts.
Lithops grows best in well-drained, sandy-gritty soil or use a potting mix available for cacti and succulents with an addition of 20% more sand or perlite. You can put small pebbles or gravel to get an additional decorative effect.
Water sparingly from late spring until the flower dies in the autumn, giving just enough to make the potting mixture barely moist and let the top two-thirds of the mixture dry out between watering. From autumn to spring these plants have a rest period, during which new leaves replace the old ones. During the rest period, the water in the old leaves supplies the needs of the new leaves, give plants no more water until the following season. Begin watering after the old leaves completely dry.
It thrives best in 65°F – 75°F. It can endure temperatures down to freezing, but should not generally be subjected to temperatures below 10°C / 50°F.
It is not important to feed these plants at any time. Fertilizing it weakens its tissues and makes it susceptible to rot.
It can be easily propagated by seed or cuttings. Cuttings can only be used to produce new plants after a plant has naturally divided to form multiple heads, so most propagation is by seed, but the seedling usually takes several years to reach blossoming size.
Pests and Diseases:
Living Stones has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for red spiders, sciara flies, and Mealybugs.