Hey Plant Friends!
This week we are talking about Stapelia gigantea, more commonly known as carrion plant or starfish flower. This plant is native to the desert regions of South Africa and Tanzania and belong to the Apocynaceae plant family. Stapelia are a clumping succulent species that produce fuzzy green stems and some of the most interesting star-shaped flowers in nature. Its flower is large, hairy, and stinky! Stapelia flowers are pollinated by ants and flies. For the flower to attract these creatures they put out a foul odor some may say smells like rotting meat.
Let’s talk about care. Stapelia require several hours of bright, indirect light. Place your plant in a bright, south facing window for best results, but keep away from direct sun as this can cause the foliage to burn. Stapelia are drought tolerant plants and are adapted to arid environments void of rain. Water when the soil is nearly dry. At this time, give your plant a good soak at the sink and allow to drain through. Watering requirements will differ from summer to winter. You will need to water less during the winter months as the days are shorter and light quality diminishes. When it is time to repot your Stapelia use a chunky mix such as Sol Soils Cactus Mix. Fertilize during the summer months of active growth with Schultz All Purpose Liquid Plant Food to encourage blooms. Keep an eye out for common pests such as mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale. Check for pests weekly when watering and keep a bottle of Bonide’s Insecticidal Soap on hand for easy treatment.
We currently carry Stapelia gigantea in 6” and 8” pots in the greenhouse. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us by phone, Instagram, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.