Stapelias are succulent plants and produce flowers that look and smell like rotting meat. Their unpleasant smell attracts flies and you may find that fly eggs have been laid on the plant. The hatching maggots have nothing to feed on and soon die.
Be careful when watering Stapelias. If the potting mixture is too wet, the plants tend to rot at the base. If the mixture is allowed to become too dry, the stems shrivel and die back from the tips. The best way is to water from below.
Use tomato-type fertilizer once a month when they are in active growth only. Add fertilizer to the water in which the pots are placed for watering.
Stapelias grow rapidly. In Spring move plants into a pot one size larger, using porous potting mixture consisting of equal parts of coarse sand or perlite and soil-based mixture, but use only the sand or perlite for the top inch of the mixture. It may be necessary to re-pot again late Summer or Autumn.
Stapelias can be raised from seed. Seeds will germinate in less than a week at 21 °C and young seedlings grow fast. They may take 3-5 years to flower.
Cuttings taken in Summer can be used for propagation. It is possible to pull away a single stem with roots. Cut a stem from the plant with a sharp knife, allow it to dry for 4-5 days and gently press the cut end into a 3 inch pot of mixture.
Grow Stapelias in direct sunlight throughout the year. Warm dry air is right for these plants. Stapelias are likely to develop black spot and other fungus diseases in cool conditions.
Try to disturb roots as little as possible during re-potting process.
After taking a stem cutting for propagation, do not permit the cut surface of the parent plant to become moist. If water touches the wound at the first 3-4 weeks, rot can set in and destroy the entire plant.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.