genus that includes numerous species of succulent plants, of small dimensions, originating in southern Africa. The plants are made up of small thick leaves, fleshy, tightly joined, almost completely devoid of petiole, facing upwards and flattened, so as to make the whole look like a small stone, with a thin groove in the middle. They have a varied color, generally bluish-green, sometimes tending to gray; in late summer they produce small delicately scented flowers, pink, red, yellow or white, which bloom at night, from the center of the leaves. Most of the conophytum have leaves with a diameter close to 5-7 millimeters, some species have leaves with a diameter of a few centimeters; in general these plants tend to shrink and develop close to each other, forming dense carpets.
these plants need to be placed in a very bright place, but away from direct sunlight, especially in the hottest months of the year. In summer they should be kept in a well-ventilated and shady place; in the cold months they can withstand short periods with even rigid temperatures, but it is advisable to grow them in places with an average temperature of 10-15 ° C.
the conophytum are winter-growing plants, so from September-October until February they must be watered regularly, leaving the soil to dry well between one watering and another, it is advisable to check the plant before watering: if it tends to be very swollen and turgid it is good to reduce watering, but if it seems to shrink it is good to increase it; with the arrival of heat they go into vegetative rest, the leaves tend to dry out, to allow the development of the new leaves, which will begin to grow in autumn. In this period it is good to avoid watering the plant, slightly moistening the soil every 15-20 days, and sporadically vaporizing the leaves with demineralized water, it will start to water again in autumn. From September to October, until January, you can mix the water with the fertilizer for succulent plants, every 10-15 days, using about a third of the recommended dose.
these succulents need a cool, light, loose and very well drained soil; you can prepare a suitable soil by mixing a part of peat, a part of fine sand and a part of sand, perlite or pozzolana, with coarse grain. These plants have small dimensions, but tend to form large colonies, therefore they should be placed in not too small pots.
Conofito, Living stones - notable Conophytum: Multiplication and Pests and diseases
Multiplication: takes place by seed in autumn; the seeds of conophytum germinate with ease, the seedbed should be kept moist and in a bright place but not directly exposed to sunlight.
Pests and diseases: in general the conophytum are attacked by the cochineal or mites, even if most of the problems are due to water imbalances or excessive sun exposure.