Fat plants

Stapelia

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Question: stapelia

my stapelia has double pods: do they contain seeds? what procedure should I follow to use them?


Reply : stapelia

Dear Maria,

the Stapelias are very particular plants, the succulent stems tend to branch out a lot, forming large tufts; the flowers are among the most bizarre that nature gives us, in fact they present themselves as large star-shaped flowers, generally reddish, yellowish, greenish in color. They are characterized by the presence of a thin hair and a decidedly unpleasant smell, almost of rotting meat; the particular smell is due to the fact that in the places of origin the only pollinating insects of these plants are flies, and that they are attracted more by the rotting meat than by the scent of jasmine. These bizarre flowers generally follow the fruits, which contain the seeds, usually fertile; the stapelia fruits are clearly visible, as they are large pods, often larger than the stems of the plant that produced them. When they are ready and ripe, they explode, that is they split and open, and release small seeds equipped with a duvet that allows them to fly at the first breath of wind. They are very reminiscent of oleander fruits and seeds. Before collecting the seeds, it is necessary to allow these strange pods to open naturally, otherwise we risk that the seeds inside them are still fleshy, and therefore not yet fully formed, or easy prey of mold and rot. Generally the sowing of succulent plants is done in early spring, then in March or April; the seedbed is prepared by filling a small pot, or a sowing tray, with peat and sand in equal parts; water the soil well, trying to wet it all, and then deposit the seeds (deprived of their duvet) on the surface. Water regularly, taking care to use a vaporizer, so as not to move the seeds, and try to keep the seedbed in a well-ventilated, hot and humid place; bright, but without direct sunlight.

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