The Livingstones plant are succulent plants native to Africa. The plants go dormant in the hot summer and the cooler, winter months. The plant’s unique appearance, which looks like stones sitting on top of the soil, makes them prized among succulent collectors.
Livingstone Plant Appearance
It’s hard to find a more unique-looking plant than Living Stones. Below the soil’s surface, the plants grow one stem and a long root system. The plants are low-growing, only rising ½ to 2 inches ( 1.2 to 5 cm) tall and wide. The blooms look like daisies and appear in fall and early winter. The flowers can be white, yellow, or orange.
Living Stones Light Requirements
The Living Stone Plant prefers at least six hours of full sunlight per day, all year round. The ideal place is the brightest window, preferably South-facing. Low lighting is not advised as it leads to leggy leaves as they search for sun. The leaves’ color is also affected. Supplement low lighting by using an LED grow light.
Watering Your Living Stones Plant
Recreate the plant’s natural environment by withholding water during the dormant summer and winter months. In early spring, soak the soil thoroughly for the plant’s first watering. After the initial soaking, let the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil dry between waterings. Afterwards, water once every one to two weeks. Once the heat of summer arrives, withhold waterings until early fall and cooler temperatures. In the fall, repeat the initial soaking and then follow up with regular waterings every one to two weeks.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
Grow Livingstones plants in a cactus soil to ensure proper drainage. Choose a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape, which reduces the chances of rot. The plant is a light feeder, requiring a low-nitrogen/ high potassium fertilizer. To encourage blooms, feed during spring and fall, withholding during the dormant summer and winter months.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
As with most succulents, Living Stones are heat tolerant plants. Keep these succulents in temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 26.6 Celsius). Exposure to temperatures as low as 50F (10C) are acceptable but not for prolonged periods. Average home humidity levels are acceptable as long as the plants are not crowded in the pot and good air flow is maintained.
Propagating Livingstone Plants
Propagation of Living Stones is easy as the plants multiply on their own. Once the plant’s offsets become crowned in the pot, remove some of them and transfer to a new pot. Pots need to be at least 6 inches tall to accommodate the long roots. Fill each pot halfway with a succulent soil mix. Carefully remove some of the offsets and untangle the roots from the main root system. Each new plant must have a tap root attached. For best results, plant each offset in its own pot. Set the offset in the middle of the pot and fill around it with more soil. Water the plant lightly, then care for it as a mature plant.
Common Pests and Diseases
Spider mites, scale, and aphids are common pests that infest the Livingstones plant. Treating the plant early is important to minimize the damage the pests cause. Treat infestations of spider mites and aphids with neem oil for best results. Scale has a hard shell that protects it from most treatments. Instead, manually remove the insects using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Root rot is a disease that occurs when the plant is consistently over-watered. Yellowing leaves and stunted growth are the first signs of the disease. Decrease watering immediately and remove the plant from its pot. Inspect the roots and use sharp and sterile shears to remove any dark and mushy roots. Repot the plant, using fresh soil, in a clean pot to ensure the soil fungus does not transfer.
Livingstone Plants are low-maintenance with an appearance like no other. They are easy to propagate and add variety to any house plant collection. Succulents are an excellent choice for warm climates and those who love house plants but are too busy for fussy plants.
Livingstone Plants FAQ
Remove leaves once they die to redirect energy into the rest of the plant.
Leggy, faded leaves indicate the plant is receiving too little sun. Move the plant to a place where it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Shriveled and wrinkled leaves indicate the plant is receiving too little water. Increase watering frequency but do not let the soil become soggy.
Mushy leaves are a sign of too much water and likely root rot is setting in.
No, the plants are not considered toxic.