Stapelia Care

Stapelia care refers to the specific cultivation requirements and practices needed to maintain healthy Stapelia plants, a group of succulent, low-growing, spineless cacti known for their striking star-shaped flowers and ease of care in a home environment. Proper light, water, soil, temperature, and humidity levels are crucial to ensure these exotic plants thrive and display their unique blossoms.

Scientific Classification

Stapelia is a unique plant with a specific place in the scientific world. To understand where it fits, we look at its scientific classification. Each level tells us more about the plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Genus: Stapelia
  • Species: Depends on the type of Stapelia

This list shows the groups from the broadest category to the most specific. Stapelia belongs to these groups because of its characteristics. Each category is part of the system scientists use to organize living things.


Stapelia plants need plenty of light but not direct sunlight. Too much harsh sun can burn their stems. Ideally, put your Stapelia in bright, indirect light. This type of light comes from a sunny window with a sheer curtain, for example.

However, too little light can make the stems weak. Weak stems may not hold up the plant well. If your Stapelia starts to stretch out or lean, it might need more light. Move it to a brighter spot where it still avoids direct sun rays.


Stapelia plants need a moderate amount of water to grow well. This means you should water them regularly but avoid overwatering. It’s best to let the soil dry out a little between waterings. When you do water, soak the soil thoroughly. This allows the roots to get all the moisture they need.

During the winter, these plants need less water than in the summer. This is because they go through a period of less growth. So, in the colder months, check the soil more often to make sure it’s not too wet. If the soil is still damp, wait a bit before you water again.


Stapelia plants need well-draining soil. This type of soil helps water flow through quickly. It prevents water from staying around the roots for too long. When roots sit in water, they can rot. For Stapelia, a mix made for cacti and succulents works well.

You can make your own soil mix. Combine regular potting soil with sand or perlite. This will help the water drain faster. Make sure to use a pot with holes on the bottom. These holes let extra water escape. That way, the roots stay healthy.


Stapelia plants come from warm areas. They like temperatures between 70°F and 90°F during the day. Night temperatures should be cooler, but not below 50°F. These plants don’t do well in cold weather. They get hurt if temperatures drop below 50°F.

If you keep a Stapelia inside, ensure it’s in a warm room in winter. Don’t let it near windows where it could get too cold. If outside, bring it in before the first frost. Stapelia plants need steady warmth to grow well.


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. For Stapelia plants, it’s important to get the humidity level right. These plants come from dry environments and do best in similar conditions.

If the air around your Stapelia is too moist, it might harm the plant. Thus, you want to keep the humidity low to moderate. This helps prevent issues like rot, which Stapelia plants can be prone to in high humidity.


Fertilizer feeds plants and helps them grow better. Stapelia plants need a little bit of this extra food. You should use a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels. Too much nitrogen can harm the plant. Look for a fertilizer made for cacti and succulents.

Give your Stapelia fertilizer during the growing season, which is spring and summer. You don’t need to feed it a lot, just once a month is enough. Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer package. Avoid fertilizing in fall and winter because this is the plant’s rest time.

Size & Growth Rate

Stapelia plants are usually small to medium in size. They can reach up to 8 inches in height. Their growth rate is generally slow to moderate. This means they won’t grow too quickly.

As the plant grows, it produces star-shaped flowers that can be quite large compared to the body of the plant. These flowers can be fascinating to observe as they develop, but the plant itself remains relatively compact.

Common Issues

Stapelia plants sometimes face problems that can harm their health. One issue is overwatering, which can cause the roots to rot. If you water the plant too much, its roots can’t breathe and they start to die. Pests also like Stapelia plants. Small bugs such as aphids and spider mites can attack the plant, eating its sap and damaging it.

Another issue your Stapelia might face is fungal infections. These infections happen when the air around the plant is too damp. The fungus grows on the plant and can make it sick. A Stapelia can also get too much sun. If it does, its skin can get sunburned, turning a yellow or brown color. Always make sure your plant gets the right amount of sun and water.


Toxicity refers to how poisonous a plant is. When a plant is toxic, it means it can cause harm if eaten or sometimes even if you touch it. Stapelia is generally not considered toxic. However, always be careful.

If you have pets or small children, it’s especially important to know about a plant’s toxicity. Fortunately, for Stapelia, you don’t need to worry too much. It’s usually safe around animals and kids. Still, it’s best to keep an eye on curious pets and young ones around any plants.

Pro Tips

When you care for Stapelia, remember these tips to help it thrive. Each tip guides you to give your Stapelia the best care possible.

  • Place your Stapelia in bright, indirect light to keep it happy.
  • Water it deeply, but only when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Use a well-draining soil mix designed for cacti or succulents.
  • Protect the plant from temperatures below 50°F (10°C) to prevent damage.
  • Repot your Stapelia every few years to refresh the soil.
  • Watch for pests, like aphids, and treat them quickly.
  • Handle the plant gently since the stems can be quite fragile.
  • Avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot.
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