Stapelia hirsuta is an attractive succulent that forms dense clumps of erect, greyish-green to green stems suffused or mottled with red.
The stems are creeping, green, grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, forming diffuse mats up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. In winter, if exposed in full sun, stems will turn a reddish color. The star shaped flowers are flat , very hairy, red- purple upto 3" to 5" in diameter, blooms in summers.
Stapelia is a very easy plant to grow and requires very few requirements.
In general they are drought-resistant succulents suited for rockeries, and the small-flowered species are suitable as container Cactus.
They are excellent subjects for a water-wise garden, Provided that they are not over-watered and are given a warm position.
They like a sunny position and will also grow in light, semishade in hot climates. The soil should have good drainage
Some large-flowered species make a good show when grown in masses in the garden.
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.
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