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Orbea variegata

Pronunciation: ORB-ee-uh var-ee-gay-tuh
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Synonym: Stapelia variegata
Common Name: Starfish Cactus, Toad Cactus
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 4in (10cm)
Width to: 12in (30cm)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Starfish Cactus (Orbea variegata) produces cymes of up to 5 funnel-shaped, flat, densely wrinkled, dark brownish-red flowers, 2-3 1/2in (5-9cm) across, patterned white or yellowish white
Soil Type: Under glass, grow in standard cactus potting mix, top dressed with grit. Outdoors, grow in gritty, loamy, moderately fertile, humus rich soil
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
Pests and Diseases: Mealybugs, root mealybugs, and black rot if over watered.
Propagation: Sow Starfish Cactus (Orbea variegata) seed at 64-70ºF in spring. Take stem segment cuttings in spring and summer
Native to: South Africa
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Starfish Cactus (Orbea variegata) is a variable clump forming succulent with erect, obtusely angled, prominently toothed, grayish-green stems, often mottled purple.

Care: Under glass, provide low humidity with bright filtered light in summer, full light in winter.  From spring to early summer, water moderately, applying a low nitrogen fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks.  Keep dry at other times, but water sparingly on warm winter days to prevent shriveling.

Source: Various sources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Succulents
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