Why Do Lithops Split

What causes my living stone to split?

It enters a period of dormancy after Lithopsflowers, during which at least one new body grows. It typically begins to reabsorb the old leaves in the spring as the new ones emerge. Finally, the divide between the old leaves allows the new body to push out.

The new leaf splitting occurs at a roughly 90-degree angle to the old splitting. The old leaves eventually decompose into a dry, papery sheath on the side of the new body. Lithops require sufficient strong sunshine, appropriate watering, and good soil drainage to flourish.

The main cause of the splitting of Lithops, which occurs in two ways, is overwatering.

  • The leaf bursts open in order to adjust when it is overwatered since it lacks the space to hold the excess water. It will appear as though your Lithops leaf has a split lip or has been chopped jaggedly.
  • By pushing the young leaves up from the root system, Lithops splits in the opposite manner. The existing leaves are replaced by the new ones, which appear after the existing leaves shrivel and die.

Yellow and Mushy Appearance

Yellowing leaves indicate that you are giving your succulent too much water. Lithops occur in a range of hues and frequently resemble rocks (as their name implies).

Lithops that are healthy look solid and robust. The first indication that your Lithops is getting too much water are yellow, mushy-appearing leaves.

You can also feel your leaves to determine if overwatering is the root of your yellow, mushy leaves. You are overwatering if the leaves feel bloated or mushy in your fingers.

Your Lithops’ leaves will suffer if you don’t allow them to dry out between waterings. Your Lithops will keep sucking water from the soil to the leaves through the roots. As a result, the leaves are sickly yellow and mushy.

Brown Spots on Lithops

Edema is the result of a process that causes brown stains on leaves. This can occur in many indoor plants, but succulents are particularly prone to it. Being members of the cactus family, succulents require less water, making overwatering a relatively common problem.

Edema develops when your Lithops plant’s root system absorbs more water than its leaves can hold.

As the roots keep using water that the leaves do not require, the leaves begin to flee the area. This results in the rupture of leaf membranes, which results in brown blotches on your Lithops. (Reference: Extension at the University of Illinois)


Your Lithops may split in one of two ways as a result of overwatering. The first occurs in a manner similar to edema.

The leaf will split open because there is nowhere for the excess water to go. This resembles a jagged cut on your Lithops leaf in appearance. Or as if the lip of your leaf is split.

The second occurs during the splitting phase, in which your Lithops force new leaves up from the root system. These leaves stand in for the existing ones, which will wither and die as the new leaves emerge.

Both types of splitting are caused by having too much water. Therefore, it is crucial to stop watering for a bit in both scenarios. Never water a leaf that has randomly split apart until the split has healed. It won’t appear as chubby.

It is crucial that the new leaves drain the water from the old leaves to prevent new leaves from separating.

As they develop, they will take nutrients from the old leaves. If the plant is also receiving water from the roots, the old leaves won’t be able to wither around the new ones.

Root Rot

When the soil is not allowed to dry out and the climate is too humid, root rot develops. Lithops require thick gravel soil that drains as well as possible in particular.

Root rot is a frequent issue. If you suspect root rot in your lithops, you should take immediate action. To aid your Lithops in recovering from Root Rot, follow these procedures.

  • Recognize root rot in the soil. The ground will be soggy and feel flooded.
  • Look at your Lithops’ roots. Roots that are brown and mushy are bad.
  • Use your fingers to pull out decaying roots.
  • Use a bleach/water solution or fungicide to clean healthy roots.
  • Give roots a night to dry out.
  • Repot your plant in a new pot and fresh potting mix once they feel dry (to reduce the chance of reinfection).

Absence of Roots

It is depressing to check your Lithops roots for rotting roots. But what if you check your roots for rot and discover none at all? Terrifying.

But try not to worry. This occurs when succulents receive too much water, although it does not necessarily spell game over.

The roots of lithops are extremely weak, and if left in water for too long, they may disintegrate. It’s time to repot your Lithops in a pot with better drainage if you see this.

In their pot, succulents require enough of drainage and little water. This is especially crucial because Lithops roots are delicate but require a lot of space to grow.

Choose a pot that will allow the roots to extend and expand. To avoid future soil problems, use cactus potting soil that has both fine dirt and a lot of light rock mixture.

Your Lithops is Dying

When Lithops are about to die, it is fairly obvious. An overwatered Lithops can occasionally still be saved, but sometimes they are too damaged. Even if you take all the aforementioned steps, your Lithops can occasionally continue to deteriorate.

If that’s the case, it could be time to bid that plant farewell. Do a ton of study on the best Lithops maintenance practices, then try again with a different plant.

Once you master the tricks to making them survive, they are such a distinctive and lovely plant that they are well worth keeping in your house.