Orbea lutea subsp. vaga (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
Stapelia vaga, Orbeopsis lutea subsp. vaga, Caralluma vaga, Caralluma lutea subsp. vaga
Orbea lutea subsp. vaga is a succulent plant with usually erect, green (in full sun mottled maroon to purple) stems. It grows up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Stems are 4-angled with acute teeth. Flowers are mostly maroon, sometimes variegated red and yellow. Fruits are single or paired, spindle-shaped, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long follicles.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Several species are fairly easy to grow. Others, often those with slightly hairy stems and the more unusual flowers, are more challenging and require careful watering (with some fertilizer) during the growing season and complete withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 50 °F (10 °C) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun.
A gritty compost is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of a fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.
Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealybugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs due to damage to stems by insects. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.
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