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Stapeliads

Stapeliads have thick stems which range from green to red/purple depending on sun exposure. They are easy to keep alive, but need just the right conditions for blooming. The challenge is worth it because many of them have spectacular blooms, hence the common name, “Starfish Flower”. Many stapeliads have evolved to be pollinated by flies, so they emit a rotting meat smell to attract them, leading to their other common name, “Carrion Flower”. 

These plants like to stay warm and dry. Use a very well draining soil mix (I use my 10% mix), and make sure they dry out fully between watering. They are highly susceptible to rotting if they get too wet. They also like semi-shade, so make sure they are protected from hot afternoon sun. That said, they won’t flower if they aren’t getting enough light.