Want some exotic star-shaped blooms to enhance your indoors? This Stapelia mutabilis Care & Growing Guide will help you with just that!
This South African beauty is noted for its exquisite star-shaped purple flowers with typical fleshy flecks that mark it the focal point of any house. If you have a taste for rare floras, this Stapelia mutabilis Care & Growing Information is all you need!
- Botanical Name: Stapelia mutabilis
- Family: Apocynaceae
- A low-growing, spineless, stem succulent, predominantly from South Africa
- Best for small pots, particularly on windowsills
- Bears alluring star-shaped blooms that unfurl for a week
Stapelia mutabilis Plant Profile
Not your usual pot plant, Stapelia mutabilis features low-growing spineless stems with slightly concave, toothed edges. Apart from their stunning stature, the star-shaped blooms in dark purple-brown spiraled with yellowish flecks, and hairy texture gives them a fleshy look and the name—starfish flowers.
The perfect blend of sweet and bitter—the stunning petals exude a fetid rotten meat odor to trick the flies that end up pollinating them. However, you can employ your human intellect and grow the Stapelia mutabilis around fragrant flowers to keep the odor from dispelling your guests.
Ideal Pot Size for Stapelia mutabilis
This stunner grows best in a clay pot to maintain maximum aeration, so crown it on a dazzling clay or terracotta cup. Stapelia mutabilis grows pretty well in small containers that can rest on your windowsill or your coffee table with dappled light.
To begin with, go for a 6-8 inches pot having enough drainage holes. You can repot it to a one-size larger pot when the plant looks malnourished despite favorable conditions.
Propagating Stapelia mutabilis
This stunner may look too exotic for easy propagation, but you don’t need expertise in growing this succulent.
- Snip a healthy cutting and let it rest for a few days to callous over.
- By the time stem dries, you should have a well-aerated soilless medium ready.
- Ensure not to plant the stem too deep to avoid potential rot.
- Water the medium periodically and keep it in partial shade
Lie back and let this plant thrive under good care.
Requirements for Growing Stapelia mutabilis
A well-aerated potting mix with some houseplant compost ensures proper nutrition for this succulent. These spineless perennials thrive best in a medium that drains out easily, like most succulents in this category. The perfect blend would be a combination of orchid bark, coco coir, and coarse river gravel with a fistful of horticultural charcoal to enhance the medium texture.
Stapelia mutabilis won’t require water as frequently as your other house plants. The succulent loves periods of drought and thrives in its full glory if the medium is let to dry out completely in between the watering sessions.
Always keep an eye on the top one inch of the soil and do the needful.
Stapelia mutabilis loves shade, making it to the list of your favorite houseplants. For this plant to thrive, give as much indirect light as possible. Occasional direct sunlight won’t harm either, but prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will burn or fade the leaves, stunting their growth.
Display the lovely starfish flower plant on the plant shelves or the center table in a bright room for the best growth.
Temperature & Humidity
This perennial succulent prefers temperatures warmer than 50°F (10°C) so ensure it gets the same. During the cooler months, keep the medium dry to combat the cold. Keep the plant away from heating or cooling vents, leading to sudden temperature fluctuations.
Your Stapelia cultivar will grow best in warm and humid conditions—one of the many reasons to grow it as a houseplant. Keep a humidifier handy to fulfill the humidity requirements on drier days.
Stapelia mutabilis Care
The best part of growing Stapelia mutabilis is that it does not take much to care for this plant. A rich growing medium will fulfill its fertilizer needs that doesn’t require frequent feeding. Get a potting mix with some organic matter and add mineral-only compost, and it is good to go.
Pests and Diseases
It is prone to mealy bugs and woolly aphids, which suck the sap out of the stem affecting the plant’s health. To avoid bug infestation, ensure that you are not overwatering it, the leading cause of root rot. Use a good-quality insecticide periodically to keep the plant safe from such diseases.