Stapelia

Stapelia

Perennial succulent Stapelia (Stapelia) is a member of the Lastovnevye family. In nature, this plant is mostly found in South-West and South Africa, while it prefers to grow on mountain slopes, near water bodies or near trees. Stapelia was named after Van Stapel, who was a well-known Dutch physician of the 17th century. Such a plant has become popular with flower growers for a relatively long time, because it is undemanding to care for, and this is also due to its extremely unusual flowering. The flower of this plant is famous for its very interesting scent, which does not resemble any ordinary floral scent. This scent is unpleasant and looks more like a rotten smell. Goethe said about this flower in this connection: "The most beautiful are the most monstrous flowers." Florists in the stocks are attracted by the unusual combination of spectacular beauty with a terrible smell.

Features of the stock

The stapelia is a succulent, the height of which varies from 0.1 to 0.6 m. It has a large number of tetrahedral succulent shoots branching at the base. Along the edges they have mild large denticles, it is because of them that this flower is called "stapelia cactus". The color of the stems is pale-gray or green, and is also found with a violet-red tint, which appears in bright sunlight. The foliage of the plant is completely absent. On the surface of single or paired flowers there is pubescence, they are located on bent pedicels, as a rule, at the base of the shoots and less often at the tops. The size of the flower is 5-30 centimeters, it has a very exotic appearance and resembles a starfish in shape. They are painted in one color, but there are also variegated, each separate species has its own unique beauty, as well as a special unpleasant aroma that can cause lightheadedness.

Caring for stocks at home

Temperature

When growing a slipway in indoor conditions, first of all, it should be borne in mind that caring for it is directly related to the seasonality of this flower culture. For example, in the warm season, it feels best at an air temperature of 22 to 26 degrees, while in the summer it is recommended to transfer it to a terrace or balcony. In spring and autumn, the stocks have a dormant period. In winter, the plant should be removed to a cool place (no warmer than 15 degrees).

Lighting

The flower needs a lot of bright light, while every day it needs sunbathing, otherwise the shoots will become thinner and elongated, which may prevent flowering at all. However, on very hot days at midday, the plant needs protection from the scorching sun rays, this will avoid the appearance of burns on its surface. Experts advise placing the slipway on a window located in the western or eastern part of the apartment.

Watering

Since the slipway is a succulent, it does not need to be sprayed or watered abundantly. If water stagnates in the substrate, this can cause the development of a fungal disease, which leads to decay of the flower. To prevent this, during planting, a drainage layer should be laid on the bottom of the pot, which can be made from clay shards or from expanded clay. In March – September, irrigation is arranged no more than 1 time in 7 days, in October – December - 1 time per week, and in December and January there is no need to water the stocks at all.

Top dressing

It is necessary to feed this succulent in the summer, once every 2 weeks, for this, nutrient mixtures for cacti and succulents are used. To increase the plant's resistance to diseases, it should be fed with potassium fertilizer. There is no need to feed the stocks in winter.

Staple transplant

Young specimens need a regular transplant, which is carried out once a year in the spring, as they grow in width relatively quickly. Transplantation of adult flowers is carried out once every 2-3 years. Experienced growers recommend, during plant transplantation, to pull out old stems from the center of the bush, because they will no longer bloom. It is not recommended to replant perennial stocks, they only need to change the top layer of the soil mixture to a fresh one every year, while it is necessary to pull out the stems from the middle of the bush.

To plant such a succulent, you need to take a not very deep pot, since its root system is underdeveloped. A drainage layer should be placed at the bottom of the pot, which should occupy 1/3 of the container. If desired, the substrate can be made by hand, for this you need to combine coarse sand and turf soil (1: 2), or you can purchase a mixture for succulents and mix it with charcoal. Before starting planting, the substrate must be steamed. After transplanting, the flower should not be watered for several days.

Flowering stocks

As soon as the slipway blooms, everyone in the room will immediately know about it, and this will happen because of the unpleasant smell of the flower. This highly unusual scent is essential for the wild-growing flower to attract carrion flies of the Calliphoridae family, which are its pollinating insects. The fact is that these insects like this scent. Flies pollinate the flower, and they also arrange egg-laying in it. However, you should be aware that the staple species flavo-purpurea, which is native to Namibia, has a relatively pleasant wax aroma. But the bad smell emanating from the flower does not scare away flower growers, the slipway is very popular to this day. So that the apartment does not smell of rot during the flowering of this plant, it is recommended to transfer it to the balcony, and the problem will be solved. Flowering lasts about half a month.

Diseases and pests of stocks

All problems that may arise with this flower are associated with the stagnation of liquid in the substrate. In this regard, it is very important to water the slipway correctly. And of the pests, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs can settle on it. To get rid of them, the bush must be treated with an insecticidal agent, which can be bought at a specialized store. It is noteworthy that the staple, which grows in the wild, has a very high resistance to both pests and diseases.

Stapelia does not bloom

It happens that the staples do not bloom, and this can happen for various reasons, for example: lack of light, warm wintering, excessively abundant and frequent watering, inappropriate fertilization, excess or lack of nutrients in the substrate. In order for the plant to bloom regularly, you need to adhere to several rules:

  1. Provide the flower with the correct watering regime: in the spring and summer period, watering should be arranged 1 time in half a month, while between them the substrate in the container should completely dry out, starting from October the number of waterings should be reduced to once every 4 weeks, and in December-January the plant do not water at all.
  2. During the entire dormant period, the plant should be in a cool room.
  3. You cannot apply too much fertilizer to the substrate, especially those that contain nitrogen.
  4. The soil for planting must be used sandy loam.
  5. The plant needs good lighting.

If the flower does not have enough light, then it may turn yellow at the base of the stem. In this case, it is recommended to cut the shoots and use them as cuttings.

Unusual indoor plants Stapelia

Reproduction of stocks

Reproduction of stocks by cuttings

To cut the cuttings from the stocks, use a sharp knife, which must first be disinfected. Slices on the uterine bush and on the handle should be sprinkled with crushed charcoal. Before planting the cutting, it must be dried for several hours. After that, it must be planted in a substrate consisting of coarse sand, to which a little finely chopped peat should be added. After complete rooting, the plant should be transplanted into a pot, reaching 70 mm in diameter, it must be filled with soil mixture, which includes coarse sand, light turf, and leafy soil (1: 1: 1), a handful of charcoal must also be added to it ...

Reproduction of stocks by seeds

Only after the fruit of this flower is fully ripe, seeds can be extracted from it, and this will happen not earlier than after 12 months. After the seeds are ripe, they must be sown in bowls, which are filled with a sandy light substrate. The first seedlings should appear 20-30 days after sowing. After the plants grow up a little, they must be cut into pots reaching 60 mm in diameter and filled with the same soil mixture that is used for planting rooted cuttings. After 12 months, young plants need to be transplanted into pots reaching 90–100 mm in diameter, for this they use the transshipment method. If you choose this method of growing, then it should be borne in mind that the grown plants may not retain the varietal characteristics of the parent plants.

Types of stocks with photos and names

Star-shaped stapelia (Stapelia asterias)

This stunted plant reaches a height of only 20 centimeters. The stems are most often colored green, but they can also be light red, with small teeth on their blunt edges. On the surface of brown-red flowers, there are thin yellow stripes, as well as pale pink thick hairs. The flowers are on long stalks at the base of young shoots. This species has a variety - the staple is shiny: it does not have yellow stripes on the surface of the flowers.

Giant Stapelia (Stapelia gigantea)

This succulent is a perennial plant with powerful erect stems, reaching 20 centimeters in height and 3 centimeters in diameter. The shoots have blunt edges and a small number of small denticles. The flowers are very large, they can reach about 35 centimeters in diameter. They are located on long pedicels and have elongated, pointed slightly bent yellowish petals of a triangular shape, thick red hairs are located on their surface, and long white villi along the edge. The smell of such flowers is not as unpleasant as that of other types of staples.

Stapelia variegated, or varying (Stapelia variegata)

The height of such a low-growing plant is only 10 centimeters. The stems are most often green, but there are also pale red, teeth on their blunt edges. One or up to 5 flowers can be placed at the base of young stems. The yellow petals have an ovoid, pointed shape towards the tips. Their outer part is smooth, and on the inside they have a wrinkled surface with asymmetric specks or dark brown stripes. Flowering is observed in the summer.

Stapelia glanduliflora

The height of this perennial is about 15 centimeters. The thickness of straight stems is about 30 mm, they have wing-shaped edges, which are covered with sparse small denticles. On the bush, 1-3 flowers bloom on long pedicels, yellow-green petals have a triangular pointed shape, pinkish spots and stripes are located on their surface. At the edges, the petals are slightly bent and have long white hairs, and their surface is strewn with a large number of clavate colorless hairs.

Stapelia flavo-purpurea

The height of the bush is about 10 centimeters. The color of the stems, as a rule, is green, but it can also be purple, they have blunt edges on which the teeth are located. On the tops of young stems 1-3 flowers bloom, their petals are ovoid, pointed and triangular in shape, their edges are strongly curved. Outside, the flower is yellowish naked and smooth, and from the inside it is yellow-golden (sometimes burgundy) and wrinkled. This flower has a rather pleasant waxy smell.

Stapelia grandiflora

This perennial has tetrahedral stems, and sparse curved teeth are located on the edges. Large flowers have a lanceolate petal shape, outside they are painted in green-blue, and inside - in burgundy, on their surface there are bunches of gray hairs. The petals are bent along the edge, and pubescence in the form of cilia is located on them. Flowering occurs in the summer. The smell of flowers is similar to that of rotting meat.

Stapelia mutabilis

This hybrid plant has powerful bare stems, reaching a height of about 15 centimeters, on which teeth are located upward. Flowers are placed on long stalks. The shape of the brownish-yellow petals is triangular-ovate, their edge is ciliate. They also have pointed tops of brown color, covered with transverse stripes and dots.

I have blossomed Stapelia.


Stapelia. How to care at home.

Lighting

This plant requires maximum light. An exception can be made only by burning direct sunlight in summer, from which the slipway must be covered. Otherwise, any well-lit place is fine for her. Moreover, in winter, artificial illumination of the plant is desirable. This is especially true at the end of winter.

Temperature

The flower comes from hot Africa, which means that the summer heat is nothing to her. Stapelia will feel good outdoors. The optimal summer temperature is considered to be within the range of + 22-27 degrees. In winter, it is advisable to arrange a rest for the plant, a cool wintering. Recommended by many authoritative print and electronic publications + 12-14 degrees, it is rather difficult to provide at home. Leave it on the windowsill. The temperature there is always lower than in the room, this is often enough.

Watering

Stapelia belongs to succulents, which means that it does not like too frequent watering. But at the same time, overdrying will also not do her good, the stems become soft, lethargic. In spring and summer, when the plant has a period of active growth, water it rarely, but abundantly. Between waterings, the soil in the pot should dry out (but not completely). On average, you should get one watering per week. In winter, watering is reduced, and at the recommended temperature of +12 degrees - significantly, up to once a month. Air humidity for the slipway does not matter; it does not need spraying.

Top dressing

Fertilizers used for feeding cacti are best suited for feeding. But in the absence of them, you can also feed it with an ordinary complex fertilizer, diluting it in half.

Staple transplant

Often there is no need to transplant it, it is enough to do it once every two to three years or as needed. But the transplanting of the slipway is not only a procedure for replacing the land, it is also its rejuvenation. During planned transplants, the middle part of the bush is removed, that is, the old stems. The fact is that flowers only develop on young stems. The old ones, in this case, are extra ballast, taking energy over themselves. But if you do not want to violate the integrity of the plant (if the bush itself looks beautiful), then you can not remove the old stems, but then the flowering will be poorer. Considering that the root system of the slipway is superficial, the pot needs a wide and shallow one. When transplanting, be sure to fill it up to a third of the height with drainage material. The most suitable commercially available plant soil is cactus soil.But if you compose it yourself, then be sure to keep in mind that it should be loose, it should be good for air and moisture to pass through. The easiest recipe for land for stockpile: Mix two parts of turf land with one part of sand and add some charcoal. After transplanting, do not water the plant for about a week.

Reproduction of stocks

Like most houseplants, the slipway is easiest. propagate by cutting... With this method, the result is always almost one hundred percent.

For rooting, use the same old cuttings that are removed during transplantation. Therefore, the reproduction of stocks is often combined with a transplant. Before planting for rooting, the cutting is slightly dried in a warm, dark place (about a couple of days). For rooting, a light peat and sand substrate is used. But since it is not always possible to get high-quality coarse-grained sand (fine construction sand is of little use), it is possible, and even preferable, to replace it with perlite. The mixture is slightly moistened, and a cutting is planted in it. It will take root quickly enough, after which it can already be transplanted into a separate small pot with permanent soil.

The second way is seed reproduction... It is also not difficult, but longer compared to propagation by cuttings. Your stockpile is able to give seeds by itself, forming a fruit after flowering, a kind of pod with seeds. But these seeds will ripen for a long time. You will have to wait a whole year until they mature. Ripe seeds are sown in light soil (you can do the same as for cuttings). Their germination is good, and in a month you will get seedlings. Then proceed as when growing seedlings or cacti from seeds.

Keep in mind. When staples are propagated by seeds, the parental characteristics of the plant may not be preserved. That is, you will get a plant that is different from the one from which you took the seeds.

Some difficulties in growing

With proper care of the slipway at home, no particular difficulties should arise. But a pest attack is still possible. In particular, it is a root worm. To combat this pest, there are many effective systemic drugs (Actellik, Decis and others). A solution of the drug is poured over the soil in a pot three times, with a break of 10-12 days.

The staple is not susceptible to special diseases, but with careless care and mistakes with watering (waterlogging), fungal infections are possible, but rotting of the root system is more likely. If the problem is detected early, it is eliminated by immediate transplantation, and in case of a disease with fungicide treatment. If the problem is running, and the plant cannot be saved, then one should not despair. The plant is usually affected from the lower part of the stems. Therefore, you can cut off the upper, healthy part of the stem and root it. This is, in fact, the same as propagation by cuttings.

Be careful when handling the slipway! The milky sap of the plant can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.


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