Stapelia Gigantea is one of the absolute favorites in our personal collection and it’s easy to see why… just look at the pictures ! These highly collectible exotic succulents are prized for their incredible flowers, which are some of the largest and most desirable of all ornamental plants. They are also incredibly easy to care for, needing only infrequent watering. Stapelia Gigantea are native to South Africa but thrive in Costa Rica’s tropical environment. We can’t think of another flowering plant that grows so easily and is so rewarding.
The plants for sale are the smaller plants seen in the first picture, which were taken from cuttings on our mother plant which is shown in the second picture. The flower on our mother plant in the picture is over 30 cm at it’s widest point! You can see why it is often called the ‘starfish plant’. Just to be clear, even the ‘smaller’ stapelias we are selling are quite large, with stems between 15-20 cm tall, not including the pot. These plants are well rooted and are actively growing as you can see from the picture.
Flowers exude a smell which some find a bit peculiar and have compared to rotting meat. The smell can vary significantly depending on the environment, so in larger rooms or ventilated areas it is often not very noticeable unless you are quite close to the plant. The smell has not been a big issue for us, especially considering how special the flowers are.
This is another classic for a real plant lover’s collection.
Stapelias are very easy to care for, but we have included more instructions than usual as you will probably want to pay more attention to such a fantastic specimen plant.
Bright indirect light. Does not like direct sun, especially during the hottest times of the day, as this can damage the plant. Tips of the stems will turn red with light.
Stapelias do not tolerate overwatering. Let them dry completely before watering. If in doubt, wait a few more days before watering. When you water, do not leave your plant in a tray with standing water. Stapelias are somewhat tolerant of underwatering so it is better to err on the safe side. We check our stapelia mother plant weekly, but usually water only every 2 weeks.
Use ½ strength fertilizer once a month when actively growing. Use your judgment and consider increasing the frequency and strength of fertilizer when your stapelia is flowering. Many gardeners say they do not fertilize and the plant grows very robustly and flowers anyways.
Keep an eye out for any bugs. Stapelias are prone to mealy bugs in particular, which can damage the plant and allow water to enter the plant and cause it to rot. Remove any pests them with a cotton swab and alcohol and/or use neem oil.
Stapelias are very easy to propagate from cuttings. If there is any sign of rot, consider taking cuttings immediately from unaffected areas as it may be difficult for the plant to recover. Remove any rotting sections of the plant immediately once discovered to prevent it from spreading.
Small: 9 or 10 cm diameter nursery pots with our premium succulent potting mix