Starfish cactus is a favourite houseplant across the world, and it’s easy to see why. This lovely succulent resembles a starfish! It comes in a variety of colours and produces huge, unique flowers with a strong smell. This wonderful plant comes in a variety of colours and sizes.
Starfish Cactus Plants
Starfish cactus plants are not technically cactus, but rather members of the succulent plant family. They are soft-stemmed plants with no spines that radiate out from a central point. They have thick skin that resembles carrion flesh. Despite its complicated look, the starfish cactus is easy to maintain and a fantastic show-off plant for beginners. Continue reading to discover more about starfish cacti and how to best care for them.
Flowers of Starfish Cactus
The starfish flower cactus can produce beautiful five-petaled flowers with an awful odour. Flies & other insects are drawn to the aroma, which pollinates the flowers. Flowers range from crimson to brown and can be speckled with many colours.
The family name of the starfish flower cactus is Stapelia. The “gigantea” is the most popular, being a spectacular specimen with foot-wide blooms.
Colours of Starfish Cactus
Starfish cactus appear in a variety of colours, depending on their species. These plants are also simple to hybridise, resulting in a plethora of hybrids. Most starfish cactus, on the other hand, are crimson or purple and look like rotten flesh. Along with their intense odour, this attracts flies.
Whereas purple and red starfish cacti are more commonly found, there are also brown & beige flowers. Some flowers have special markings or patterns. A flower, for example, can be off-white or even yellow with brown speckled dots and a circular button-like centre. The plant stems are a vivid green colour.
Taking Care of a Starfish Cactus
Despite their huge and striking look, starfish cactus are simple to cultivate and care for if the proper conditions are met. Because they are not cacti, they should not be treated as such. Pruning and pruning are also required to maintain your plant healthy. Continue reading to find out how to care for this stunning starfish-flowered cactus.
While fertiliser may be added to the soil of your starfish succulent, it is not always essential. If you do decide to use a succulent-friendly fertiliser, apply it only once a month in modest amounts. Because your plants are dormant throughout the winter, do not fertilise them. You may also only fertilise once a year, in the autumn. Fertiliser isn’t always necessary because the potting soil has adequate organic stuff and nutrients.
Because starfish cactus aren’t true cacti, you can’t water them like a spiky cactus. It instead needs more regular irrigation. Water your starfish cactus well once or twice a week. The soil needs moisture. Instead of watering the plant directly, soak the water into the soil. The sun may damage the plant’s stems if you sprinkle water on it.
It is also crucial to gradually reduce the quantity of irrigation as winter approaches. For example, as the sun’s rays beat down on your plant throughout the summer, you’ll require extra water. Summer is also the time when flowers blossom and plants use a lot of energy to flourish. However, the plant is dormant throughout the winter and requires less water. Excessive watering might cause root rot. However, a lack of water drives the roots to burst through the earth in search of hydration. Take a bottle and spray the roots if you observe this. Starfish cacti are tough and tenacious plants that may recover fast after being submerged.
This plant grows in bright indirect sunshine. Some individuals also propose putting the plant in a glass box to trap moisture and increase humidity and warmth. Starfish cacti are not choosy and may thrive in both chilly and warm climates. If you want to grow this lovely flowering succulent indoors, place it near a window. If the plant does not get enough light, the stems lose their colour and turn pale green. Insufficient light can also cause stems to grow long and erratically.
Starfish cactus can live in a variety of climates, temperatures, and soils. You can buy succulent soil, but making your own is both cheaper and more effective. Combine potting soil with organic elements such as pumice or perlite. Small stones, sand, coconut coir, or peat moss can also be used. It is also critical to select well-draining soil. Choose a pot with numerous drainage holes if you’re growing this wonderful flowering plant in a container.
Diseases and pests
Despite its sturdy appearance, this plant is subject to a variety of diseases and pests. This plant is prone to root rot, fungal diseases, and aphids. However, root rot is easily avoided if you reduce watering and pick a planter with sufficient drainage. Root rot is very simple to detect since the stems acquire dark damp areas and the plant emits a mouldy odour. Aphids and other small insects may wreak havoc on the stems. When you discover a problem, utilise a natural pesticide remedy to get rid of the insects as soon as possible. To kill aphids, some gardeners advocate spraying plants with neem oil or a combination of vinegar, dish detergent, and water.
How to Grow a Starfish Cactus
You don’t have to rush out to the garden centre or nursery every time you want to buy a new starfish cactus. You may reproduce the plant by taking cuttings as soon as you have one. The best thing is that it is quick, simple, and free. With a clean knife or pair of scissors, cut a 3 to 4-inch stem and let the end callus. It may take up to a week for the finish to dry completely. Avoid exposing the cutting to direct sunlight, since this might cause the stem to dry out. It’s also a good idea to remove any cuttings to maximise the possibilities of cutting rooting. Place the cutting in a small pot filled with succulent soil and water it.
Keep the soil damp but not soggy, and place the container in a low-light place. If the experiment is successful, the plant should produce roots within a month.
This attractive plant may also be grown from seed. Let your plant to fruit, then dry the fruit and collect the seeds. Plant the seeds in a soil-filled planter. Don’t bury the seed of the starfish cactus. Instead, gently miss the seed and cover it with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in. In low indirect light near a window, a seedling should sprout in a few weeks.