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. Give only minimal water during the winter – that is their resting period.
Use a very well draining soil mix. Store bought cactus and succulent mix often retains too much water. You can add gritty materials like pumice, lava rock, or perlite to loosen it up and improve drainage. Your mix should be at least half gritty ingredients. Use a pot with drain holes so the soil can dry out.
Soak your plants thoroughly, then let them dry out completely before watering again. Frequency will depend on your climate. Check for dryness by sticking your finger into the top of the soil, or looking into the drain holes at the bottom of the pot.
Bare Root Shipping
Most of our plants ship bare root to save on shipping cost. This means the plant will not include a pot or soil. Some plants are shipped in the pot to avoid damage.