Monday, January 6, 2014

Lithops Emergency: Polar Vortex

Even down here on my very southerly sand dune, the Polar Vortex of 2014 is a problem. Actually, the whole last month has been a problem. Instead of our usual Dry-And-Not-So-Hot Season, we're having a Rainy- Damp-Cold-Hot Season. In other words, Weather Chaos. This has played hell with my outdoor Lithops, which expect a cool, dry winter:
It's been rainy-hot, rainy-cold, cold-damp, hot-damp, and my poor Lithops have become both waterlogged and confused. The one above did not make it. It was trying to re-leaf and hunker down at the same time, in the middle of winter, and became waterlogged to boot. But there were still some that could be saved.

Enter the Polar Vortex:
Now it's not nearly the problem at my latitude that it is up north. However, we're still going to freeze, and my soggy outdoor Lithops can't handle that. Time for an emergency repot:
The little weeds you see at top grew in only 48 hours! Too much water!

Nice dry, sandy, porous soil.
Hopefully, they'll survive.
The newly-potted outdoor Lithops will stay in a sheltered, above-freezing place until the weird weather clears. I think they'll survive. But these days, it's tough for outdoor Lithops everywhere. Weather chaos is not good for Lithops!


  1. Good luck on your Lithops Marla. The one thing you can be sure about concerning the weather is that you can never be sure about it. We are expecting a low temperature tonight of around 5 F. All my plants I keep outside are in their wooden frames covered with a layer of 6 mil plastic, a wool blanket, and then another layer of 6 mil plastic. Each frame has a small electric heater. As long as the electricity remains working they should be fine. Hope you save all the lithops. Stay warm.

  2. Bob, I knew you would have the situation well under control, and I'm sure your plants are happy and grateful! Stay warm!