Stapelia gettleffii - 5 seeds

Stapelia gettleffii - 5 seeds


Stapelia gettleffii is a stem succulent that grows in nature under trees and can spread horizontally up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in diameter. The stems are green, decumbent at the base then erect, 4-angled, with toothed ribs, up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall 20-25 cm high and up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) across. They turn red in the dry season and become paper-thin. The flowers are exceptionally large, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, burgundy red and very hairy.

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Several species are fairly easy to grow. Others, often those with slightly hairy stems and the more unusual flowers, are more challenging and require careful watering (with some fertilizer) during the growing season and complete withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of  50 °F (10 °C) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun.

A gritty compost is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.