Thursday , 23 March 2023
Home / Flower / Starfish Flower Cactus: Tips For Growing Starfish Flowers Indoors
Starfish Flower Cactus: Tips For Growing Starfish Flowers Indoors

Starfish Flower Cactus: Tips For Growing Starfish Flowers Indoors

Starfish cacti (Stapelia grandiflora) are also more pathologically referred to as carrion flowers. These fetid but spectacular plants share characteristics similar to those in the carnivore family, in that they possess insect-attracting (but not carnivorous) flora that range in size from a few inches (5 cm) tall to plants that bear 12 – inches (30 cm.) wide flowers. This species of plant is native to South Africa, so growing starfish flowers usually requires warm, humid temperatures or a specialized greenhouse environment. Starfish Cactus These plants aren’t exactly cacti, but they do belong to the succulent family. They are soft-stemmed plants without spines that spread out from a central point. They have thick skin and resemble carrion meat.

Starfish cacti can produce amazing five-petalled flowers that emit a rather unpleasant smell. The scent attracts flies and other insects that pollinate the flowers. Flowers are red to brown and may be speckled with a few colors.

Stapelia is the family name of the starfish flower cactus. The ‘Gigantea’ is the most commonly collected, as a showy specimen with flowers a foot wide. Using Starfish Cactus buds will mature into a pretty awful smell after a few days. This stench is attractive to insects searching for dead organic matter. If you have a fruit fly infestation or other pest, try introducing your smelly plant favorite to the area. The insects are attracted by the stench of carrion and sit spellbound on the flower, unable to move. More common uses of starfish cacti are as an ornamental specimen, which is quite the talking point. The wide succulent branches themselves have little ornamental use, but once the flowers arrive in summer the plant has a high wow factor. Of course, in this case you will have to deal with the smell, but you can take it outside if the smell is too unpleasant. Remember to bring it back in if you live in a zone outside of USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.

Starfish Flower Care Growing starfish flowers as houseplants is ideal in most areas of the United States. You can take them outside in the summer heat or grow them in a greenhouse. These starfish flowers are easy to care for and thrive in a variety of light conditions. They will do well in full to partial sun. Morning light is best with some protection from the harsh midday rays. The name starfish cactus is misleading. The plant, unlike its true cactus relatives, requires constant moisture. Starfish flowers also like to have crowded roots, so keep them in a 4- to 6-inch (10 to 15 cm) pot of well-drained soil. Fertilize in early spring with half a dilution of houseplant fertilizer. Growing starfish flowers from cuttings If you can handle the smell, you can let the flowers die off and set seed. Collect the seeds and plant them in a warm area to propagate more of these interesting plants. Propagation by cuttings is even easier.

Remove a 3 to 4 inch (7.5 to 10 cm) section of the stem, leaving the cut callus. Stick the cut end in slightly moistened peat. Place the potted cutting in low light and keep the soil moist but not too moist or it will rot. Over time, the cutting will become a plant. Repot the baby plant in regular soil and continue with recommended starfish flower care. This is a less smelly way to grow starfish flowers and allows you to share this adorable plant with friends and family.