Annie's Magic Garden :: Ceropegia

Ceropegia

Ceropegia is in the family Asclepiadaceae which also includes Hoya, Brachystelma, Stapelia, Huernia, and many others.  This genus has a wide range of habitats from the Canary Islands, Arabia, Madagascar, Africa, down through SE Asia, Laos, Thailand, China plus Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and NE Australia.

Ceropegia are generally divided into three types based on their roots, globose tubers (round flattened potato-like), fusiform (multiple sausage shaped, fat finger-like tubers) and fibrous (the thin normal roots found on most plants).  The fibrous type will need more water than the other two types but all will need exceptionally well-drained soil.  The roots of Ceropegia are very shallow as in the wild they grow in leaf litter under shrubs or in the case of those from the Canaries in crevices between rocks.

A good potting mix is 1 part sand, 1 part peatless potting mix, and 1 part small stones, pumice, crushed volcanic rock, perlite, etc.  You can go heavy on the stony section as the better the drainage and less chance of rotting the tubers.  Use an organic fertilizer as Ceropegia seem to resent chemicals and only fertilize rarely.  It's best to grow the tuberous type on top of the soil with about half of it under the soil line to help prevent it from rotting in the winter.  Water well only during the growth seasons, usually spring until early winter then very sparingly during the winter and the tuberous type only once in a while over the winter. The top growth on the green twining species with tubers will die down for the winter and return in spring.  The other, thicker stem type such as C. fusca C. cimiciodora, C. stapelioides, etc. will lose any leaves and will just sit quietly over the winter, not asking for much.

Pots for Ceropegia can be clay or plastic and the climbing types will need a trellis of some sort to twine upon.  You can use bamboo stakes held together with wire or small tomato trellis found at most nurseries or WalMart.  A vase-shape trellis is idea as it gives the top growth the best exposure to light.  The upright species that do not climb prefer a lot of sun or bright like whereas others require light shade. Of course nothing grown in a pot should be left in full sun as the pot will heat up and kill the roots.  I let my Ceropegia get morning sun and afternoon shade and they do quite well in Texas where it is very hot.  Ceropegia are not very frost tolerant so it's best to keep them at a minimum of 60ºF (15ºC) in winter.

For more infomation on growing Ceropegia please check out the Links page under the Help section.  I will also have notes in the descriptions to help you know which type is which.

Products

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Ceropegia ampliata
Ceropegia ampliata is a lightweight climber from South Africa.

Price: $15.00
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Ceropegia cimiciodora
Ceropegia cimiciodora is from Swaziland and has a scrambling habit with fat round stems that become very dark, almost black with age. The stems can become quite large, thumb size. It blooms interesting flowers with a bulbous stem like a Ceropegia but with petals in a star shape more like a Stapelia.

Price: $15.00
Market price: $20.00 save 25%
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Ceropegia rupicola x aristolochioides ssp. deflersiana
Ceropegia rupicola x aristolochioides ssp. deflersiana is a naturally occuring hybrid between the species which are found close together in their native Yemen. It is sometimes called C. rupicola var. strictantha. This hybrid is a scrambler more than a climber.

Price: $20.00
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Ceropegia x sandersonii
Ceropegia x sandersonii

Price: $20.00
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Ceropegia x stapeliiformis
Ceropegia x stapeliiformis

Price: $15.00
Market price: $20.00 save 25%
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