Maroon Cup Starsh
Stapelia leendertziae is a tufted creeping succulent plant that trail and hang down with long, erect, angular stems. Stems are erect, pale green or reddish and slightly furrowed. Stems are quadrangular, a factor which allows expansion and contraction to compensate without harm for any excess or shortness of fluids inside; hence they may appear flat- or sunken-sided according to the availability of water. This is the "succulence" and a storehouse for nutrients, which are crucial to their survival in harsh, xeric habitats.
Flowers are unique large, bell-shaped and the interiors is deep reddish to dark purple which absorbs light so no detail can be seen; inside the cup is rugose, densely velvety, even short-hairy or more open in a star, dimension about 8cm in diameter and 7 or 8cm long in late summer.
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.