Orbea variegata, also known as Stapelia variegata, is a leafless, succulent perennial, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and up to 20 inches (50 cm) wide, with 4-angled, cactus-like, toothed stems. The flowers are highly variable, star-shaped, off-white or yellow, strongly speckled with maroon and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) in diameter. They may show regular markings or irregular ones. The flowers have 5-pointed or blunt lobes surrounding a central, pentagonal corona.
Orbea plants prefer early morning or late afternoon sun. They will require much water and soaking the pots. They will tolerate very hot weather outdoors as long as they are kept in filtered light and this will encourage them to flower in the Autumn. They also enjoy some fertilizer.
As soon as they are flowered be sure to take extra precautions to keep them dry, because damp cool conditions when the plants are resting is an invitation to fungal infections
Since roots are quite shallow, use a cactus mix or add extra perlite or pumice to regular soil potting soil. A gritty, very free-draining compost is suitable, and clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering. Re-pot every 1 year.
Makes an attractive landscape plant and grasslands or pampas, on plains and walls It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small.
For watering cacti, the golden rule is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering! This will stop the roots from rotting. It is advised to always use a pot with a drainage hole so that excess water can get drained out. If kept in a sunny area, you will need to water it once every week. If it is in a semi shaded or filtered light area, you might need to water it once in 2 weeks.
Cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. You can fertilise the cactus in the summer months when it is in its growing season. During the winters it is best to cut back on any fertiliser and let the plant rest.