With fall upon us it seems all the Stapelia are blooming. So, we thought this would be a good time to highlight them and give everyone a little more info about them.
While Stapelia plants aka starfish flowers all kind of look alike. They are a low growing, spineless, branching succulent. Overall just a basic plant that can be anywhere from green to red in color. What really makes this genus stand out is it's flowers. The flowers can be vibrant purples, yellows, reds, and pretty much any other color too! They come in many shapes and sizes. Stapelia gigantea can have flowers as big as a foot and a half wide. Some like Stapelia leendertziae are bell shaped. There are about 50 species of this succulent, however there are new hybrids being produced yearly. The different combinations of colors, shapes, and sizes seem unlimited with these beauties!
As far as care some of these species can be very challenging, while others are very easy to care for. As a basic rule of thumb, those with hairier stems and stranger flowers are the ones that are the most difficult to grow. They do not like the cold and need to be protected if the low temps are getting down to around 50 F. You also want a very well draining soil that is high in mineral content, like pumice or perlite. Some growers even use all mineral soil and just fertilize with the watering. We use a 60% mineral/40% organic soil.
These succulents are a must have for every collector. The flowers accent any collection amazingly!