The New Mastering the Art of Growing Mesembs Article

28 Nov

I found this great on-line article by Steven Hammer and wanted to share it with you guys…

It’s a technical piece that outlines general care of Mesembs and then there is a little blurb unique to each genus.  Sadly, this is the most exhaustive article I’ve found on rearing Conophytums – haha!

I was particularly interested in the section that discussed substrate and soil mixtures.  Steven Hammer recommends something he calls ‘mabel-mix’.  It’s essentially 50% loam, 25% course sand, and 25% pumice.  He varies the size of the pumice in relation to the size/age of the plant and adds more humus for seedlings.  This is an interesting mix and if I could find some loam, I would try it.  It’s important to note, as Steven Hammer does in the article, that he lives in an arid climate and the mix might not work as well under humid conditions.  Ottawa certainly is humid so it may not be ideal here, but I’d still like to try it.  Apparently, Mr. Hammer grows all his Mesembs in mabel-mix.


Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Wouldn't You Like to Know


5 responses to “The New Mastering the Art of Growing Mesembs Article

  1. Bob Stewart

    December 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

    You’re right, that is a great article on growing mesembs, including lithops. Steven Hammer also writes with a wonderful style and humor. He’s also a very nice person. I’ve met him several times and he is always polite and gracious. His book, “Lithops – Treasures of the Veld” is the best book on the cultivation of lithops. It had been out of print for a long time but I think a new addition is now available. I have 1.25 hectares (3 acres) of sandy loam topsoil. I’ve used it in my mixes for growing lithops and other mesembs in combination with pumice and granite grit. Recently I’ve been working with pure pumice. Root growth is really good in pure pumice due to the high aeration level, but it dries out relatively quickly and you have water more often than with mixes with topsoil in the mix. Pumice is sold in my area for horse bedding, it’s called Dry Stall, and you can buy large amounts relatively cheaply. I can get 40 pounds (18 kilo) for 12 US dollars.

  2. bonseyes

    December 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I haven’t been lucky enough to find any Steven Hammer books for sale (for a decent price) or in my library. I’ll keep my eye out for the new edition! I’d love to get my hands on a copy.

  3. Sam ʻOhu Gon III

    September 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Oh it seems the link is “reitred.” Would you happen to know if there is a live link to the article?

  4. bonseyes

    September 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    This article really is a great resource. I also use a book titled “Lithops – Flowering Stones” by Bernd Schlösser. I’ve read it cover to cover many times and find it very useful. You can purchase it from at this link…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: