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A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Star fish Cactus (Stapelia gigantea)

The spectacular flowering plant Stapelia gigantea, also referred to as the gigantic swamp milkweed and native to South Africa and Namibia, can be grown indoors in colder areas or outside in milder climates. The San people have historically used it as an analgesic, but it’s becoming more well-known as an attractive houseplant with gorgeous blossoms that draw butterflies to the garden. Watch your Stapelia gigantea plant grow to its full size and g

Before you even think about growing your Stapelia gigantea plant, you should be certain you have the right kind of environment to grow it in. While these plants do grow outdoors naturally, they require very specific conditions in order to thrive and not die back every winter. Luckily, there are many cacti and succulent experts who are willing to help new growers learn how to care for their plants, especially if they are Stapelia gigantea. Keep reading this guide to get started with growing your own Stapelia gigantea at home!

If you have access to the right light and temperature conditions, the Stapelia gigantea, also known as the Carrion Plant, Starfish Flower, and Giant Warted Stapelia, can be a lovely plant to cultivate. Here are some suggestions for growing one of these enormous succulents, though, before you decide to purchase one.

Soil & Water


Stapelia gigantea plants need fertile, well-drained soil with a high organic content and plenty of peat moss. The soil should be kept moist but not wet. Keep the plant in full sun for at least six hours a day. This plant is drought tolerant but will thrive with regular watering, especially during the summer months.

Light, Temperature, and Air Circulation


These plants love bright, indirect light. They also need moderate temperatures and ample air circulation.
When you’re picking out a pot for your succulent, be sure to use a pot that has plenty of room for the plant’s root system. This will help ensure that it stays healthy and happy.

Fertilizers and Nutrients


Mixing a combination of fertilizer, potting soil and water is the best way to keep your plant healthy. You’ll need:
1) Fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
2) Potting soil – at least three cups for every one foot of length in your pot.
3) Water – at least one cup of water per day for every gallon pot size.

The First Month


Stapelia is a succulent that is native to the southern Africa. They typically grow as an epiphyte and are used in many gardens as ornamental plants. The leaves are deciduous, and they will drop during colder months or when they don’t receive enough sunlight.
The plant can be propagated by taking cuttings from mature stems. The cuttings should be taken from the bottom of the stem so that there is a node where it was attached to the mother plant.

After 6 Months


It’s been six months since I first brought my Stapelia gigantea plant home and I have a few thoughts on how to care for it. I’ve noticed that the plant is happiest when it’s warm, so I put it in an area where there is plenty of sunlight. It also seems happier in a soil-less mix, so I added perlite and peat moss (in place of potting soil) to the container it came with.

Flowering Tips


Care for your plant by ensuring that it is in a sunny spot and that the soil is well drained. Do not overwater, as this will rot the roots of your plant. The soil should be moist but never soggy. If you live in a dry environment, it may help to mist or water the leaves once or twice per week.

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