TerraForums Venus Flytrap, Nepenthes, Drosera and more talk
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Stapelias are awesome! My whole bottom plant shelf is all Asclepiads.
Hows that one smell? I don't actually have a real hirsuta I have something I bought that was marked "Hirsuta" but the flower that opened on mine is not at all hairy. I've noticed mine stink but only a tiny bit and only if put my nose right over the corolla.
Watch out for mealies, if you haven't fought them yet, you will. It's like they're genetically addicted to these plants. It seems like they will pass up other plants just to get at the Ascpeliads - it's weird!
I have a stapelia hirsuta cutting that my mom got from the plant at city hall (it was given to them many years ago) However they are getting rid of it finally because of a complaint about the smell. I rooted my cutting successfully about a year ago. But it has grown extremely slowly. Can you give me a basic run down of it's growing requirements? I'd appreciate it.
I grow mine indoors under lights with hours that mimic the sun. Planted in a mix of Napa Floor Dry diatomite product #8822 (interchangeable with Shultz Aquatic Plant Soil/Turface a baked clay product but way cheaper), Cherry Stone Quartzite Grit size #2 from the chicken feed aisle for soil weight/varied size and finely shredded coir or peat (maybe 10%) which is just enough to bind these minerals and keep it from sluicing out of the pots drainage holes but not enough organics to retain moisture beyond the 3rd day.
Water pours straight through my mix and the Shultz clay or Napa diatomite (whichever I've used) is entirely BONE DRY in 2-3 days. I water the plants once every 5 days or so in summer or once every two weeks if I forget-it's OK to forget occasionally and then the next watering they just balloon up it's fun to see!
I try to fertilize with Dyna Gro Bloom Formula (3-6-12) every other watering since the mineral substrate I use holds almost no nutrients of it's own. Think of it as a sort of "Orchid mix for Succulents".
Overall Stapeliads grow rapidly for me on their indoor shelf. If yours do not need repotting after a good summers growth then I would suggest that you dig it up and check the condition of the roots. The roots may be dead if you have a peat based soil mix that stays wet too long. It may be infested with root mealies who will never be seen until you dig it up and inspect the roots and base of the plant. The root mealies look like white powder. Also watch for them above ground as well looking like tiny pillbugs covered in white fuzz. Both cause growth to slow/stop eventually the plant succumbs and "melts". If it's not infested repot it in a fast draining mix that doesn't stay moist more than a few days.
If you do find them wash off all the soil and soak all parts of the plant and roots with a mist of rubbing alcohol and let the plant dry on a shelf for a few days, then mist it with alcohol again. Then repot in new pot and soil in dry soil mix and allow to settle a couple weeks (misting once a day is OK during this time) then water lightly at first and start watering as normal after a few weeks. For me watering "as normal" is to soak the pot slowly and evenly until water drips the bottom.
One sure sign mealies are hiding out is that the plant goes into "stasis" when it should be producing new growth. This is prime growing/flowering time for these plants so if it's not doing much I'd be suspicious. New cuttings do not always flower the first year but should do so the next year and certainly by the 3rd year. But once they get roots they will grow easily if they have water, heat (my day temps are 85-100*F and nights 60-80*F) bright light and not too moist soil.
Wow, swords, you seem to have this down to a science.
I don't really do much to mine.
I plant it in a mix of soil from my backyard, vermiculite, perlite, pea gravel, sand, and some orchid bark.
I did grow mine under an umbrella on my back porch that got about 5-6 hours of morning light but very little afternoon sunlight (as of a couple of days ago it is in my new greenhouse and gets diffused light all day).
In the winter I only water them once or twice and during the summer I water them about 1-2 times a week. I usually let them dry out for a few days. For me, they haven't been too picky as to how much water they receive.
I've never fertilized any of my succulents/cacti. I probably should, though.
I use that same "mineral" mix for all my succulents (mesembs, euphorbs, ascleps a few cacti) cos I've tried growing succulents before and they had always rotted in a peaty mix like that retail "cactus soil" that they sell. Going from extremely dry and tipping over and difficult to rewet, to finally soaked and then staying wet for way too long and then rotting. Apparently it's the higher humidity of my area that keeps peat mixes from drying out and eventually melts my succulents down. Once someone from England (also a cloudy & humid climate) told me about using this sort of mix and it working for him I tried it out and I've been very pleased so far. I couldn't keep a succulent alive for more than a couple months before switching to this.
A lot of people don't fertilize more than once a year or so (grow them "hard") but I like to see how I can push the plants - in their growing seasons only of course. I don't fertilize the dormant plants whether they're dormant in summer or winter. Some will grow steady year round if they don't get too cold (under lights). If you use a bloom formula and not something with a high nitrogen content the new growth with be firm and compact. If you use a balanced or high nitrogen fertilizer they will grow even faster but the new growth with be soft and floppy and they say this makes them more vulnerable to pests and water borne diseases.