The Zulu giant, Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion plant is well-known for it’s large flowers that, while beautiful, smell of rotting meat.
It is a member of the genus milkweed, which contains about 140 species of succulent plants native to South Africa.
The Zulu giant is one of the largest members of its genus, reaching up to 1 foot in height and 3 feet in width.
Its flowers can grow up to 25 cm in diameter and are characterized by their impressive size and unique smell, which has been described as smelling like rotting flesh.
Despite its large size and foul smell, the Zulu giant is a popular ornamental plant due to its showy flowers. It is commonly grown in gardens in South Africa and other parts of the world with warm climates.
If you are thinking about growing a Zulu giant, there are a few things you should know about its care. This article will provide you with all the information you need to successfully grow and care for your Zulu giant.
The Zulu giant is a tropical plant that originates from South Africa. It prefers hot, dry climates and ample sunlight.
If you live in an area with cooler temperatures, you can grow the Zulu giant indoors as long as you provide it with enough light.
When choosing a location for your Zulu giant, make sure to select an area that receives full sun for at least six hours per day.
If you live in a climate that does not get much sunlight, you can place your plant near a south-facing window.
If you are growing your Zulu giant indoors, it is important to provide it with a humidity tray or mist it regularly to prevent the leaves from drying out.
Zulu Giant Soil
To ensure that your plant grows healthy and blooms abundantly, it is important to choose the right type of soil. While this plant is not too picky about the type of soil, it does best in sandy, well-drained soils.
If you live in an area with heavy clay soils, you can still grow this plant by amending the soil with sand or grit to improve drainage. It is also important to make sure that the planting site receives full sun for at least six hours each day.
Once you have chosen the perfect spot for your plant, be sure to remove any weeds or debris from the area before planting. After preparing the soil, you can either sow seeds or transplant young plants.
If you are transplanting, be sure to handle the roots carefully as they are delicate and can easily be damaged. Once your plant is in the ground, water it deeply and then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Zulu Giant Watering
Watering requirements for stapelia gigantea are critical to success in cultivation. Too little water and the plant will suffer from drought stress, too much water and the plant may rot. The key is to find a happy medium that meets the plant’s needs without drowning it.
When watering, always check the soil before adding water. The soil should be dry to the touch before you water it again. If the soil is still moist, wait until it has dried out before watering.
In general, stapelia gigantea plants need to be watered about once a week during the growing season. During periods of high heat or low humidity, you may need to water more frequently. In cooler weather or when the plant is not actively growing, you can water less often.
If you are unsure about how often to water, it is best to err on the side of too little water rather than too much. It is better to underwater the plant than to overwater it.
When in doubt, always check the soil before watering. If the soil is dry, give the plant a good drink. If the soil is still moist, wait until it has dried out before watering again.
Overwatering is the most common cause of problems with stapelia gigantea. If the plant is sitting in water, it will quickly develop root rot and die. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and never let the plant sit in water.
If you think your plant may be overwatered, the best course of action is to stop watering for a week or two and see if the plant recovers. If it does not, then it is likely that the plant has died and should be removed from the pot.
The zulu giant plant is not a demanding plant, but it does have some specific fertilizing requirements.
The plant is a heavy feeder and will benefit from being fertilized on a regular basis. A good general-purpose fertilizer that contains both nitrogen and phosphorus will work well.
Fertilize your plant every two to four weeks during the growing season, using half the recommended amount of fertilizer for other plants. Be sure to water the fertilizer into the soil so that it does not burn the roots of the plant.
The plant is also a heavy user of potassium. Potassium helps promote flower production and strengthens the stem of the plant. A potassium-rich fertilizer, such as 0-0-60, can be used every four to six weeks during the growing season.
In addition to regular fertilization, the zulu giant plant will benefit from an occasional dose of compost or other organic matter.
Compost will help improve the drainage and aeration of the soil, as well as increase the overall nutrient content.
Apply a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of compost around the base of the plant every six months or so. Be sure to water the compost into the soil to prevent it from washing away.
If you follow these fertilizing tips, your zulu giant plant will thrive and produce an abundance of large, beautiful flowers.
Zulu Giant Pruning
Pruning is an important part of keeping your stapelia gigantea healthy and looking its best. When and how you prune will depend on the plant’s natural growth habit and the size and shape you want it to be.
The stapelia gigantea is a fast-growing, succulent plant that can reach up to 3 feet (1 meter) tall. If you’re growing this plant indoors, you’ll need to prune it regularly to prevent it from getting too big for its pot. When pruning, always use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.
Here are some tips on when and how to prune your stapelia gigantea:
If you want your plant to grow taller, wait until spring or summer and then prune it back by about one-third.
If you want your plant to produce more flowers, prune it after it blooms in late summer or early fall.
To keep your plant from getting too leggy, prune it back by half in spring or summer.
If you’re growing stapelia gigantea in a pot, you’ll need to repot it every two or three years. When repotting, be sure to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one.
Zulu Giant Propagation
We will teach you everything you need to know about propagating this fascinating succulent.
Zulu Giant Seed
One of the best ways to propagate zulu giant plant is by seed. The seeds of this plant are very small, so you will need to be careful when handling them.
It is best to sow the seeds on the surface of a well-draining seed-raising mix. Water the mix lightly and then place it in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the mix moist but not wet and soon you should see little green sprouts appearing.
Once your zulu giant plant seedlings are large enough to handle, you can transplant them into individual pots filled with succulent potting mix.
Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. If you live in an area with hot summers, you might need to provide some shade for your plants during the hottest months.
You can also propagate zulu giant plant by taking stem cuttings. Cut a stem that is around 10-15cm long and remove the lower leaves.
Dip the cut end of the stem into some rooting hormone powder and then plant it in a pot filled with succulent potting mix.
Water the soil lightly and place the pot in a warm, sunny spot. Keep the soil moist but not wet and soon you should see little white roots appearing at the base of the stem. Once the roots are well established, you can transplant your cutting into a larger pot.
With a little patience and care, you will soon be rewarded with some of the most unique and beautiful blooms in your garden.
Common Problems with Zulu Giant
If you’re growing a Zulu giant plant (Stapelia gigantea), you may be wondering what the most common problems are.
One of the most common problems with Zulu giant plants is that they tend to get leggy or stretch out. This can be caused by several factors, including lack of sunlight and too much fertilizer. If your plant is getting leggy, try moving it to a sunny spot and cutting back on fertilization.
Another common issue with Zulu giant plants is that they may produce fewer flowers than expected. This can be due to several factors, including low light levels, too much nitrogen in the soil, or incorrect soil pH.
If your plant is not flowering as much as you’d like, try moving it to a sunnier spot or adding some organic matter to the soil.
What Are The Most Common Pests And Diseases Affecting Zulu Giants?
There are a number of different pests and diseases that can affect Zulu giant plants. Some of the most common include:
Fungal diseases: Fungal diseases are caused by fungi, which are tiny organisms that live in the soil. They can enter your plants through their roots, leaves, or stems.
Once they’re inside, they begin to feed on the plant tissue. This can cause the plant to become weak and unhealthy.
Common fungal diseases that affect Zulu giants include root rot, leaf spot, and stem blight.
Viral diseases: Viral diseases are caused by viruses, which are tiny organisms that invade plant cells and multiply. This can cause the plant to become stunted and deformed.
Common viral diseases that affect Zulu giants include mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus.
Bacterial diseases: Bacterial diseases are caused by bacteria, which are single-celled organisms that live in the soil.
They can enter your plants through their roots, leaves, or stems. Once they’re inside, they begin to feed on the plant tissue. This can cause the plant to become weak and unhealthy.
Common bacterial diseases that affect Zulu giants include root rot, leaf spot, and stem blight.
Nematodes: Nematodes are tiny worms that live in the soil. They can enter your plants through their roots and feed on the plant tissue. This can cause the plant to become stunted and deformed.
Common nematodes that affect Zulu giants include root-knot nematodes and cyst nematodes.
Insects: Insects are small animals with six legs. They can enter your plants through their leaves or stems and feed on the plant tissue. This can cause the plant to become weak and unhealthy.
Common insects that affect Zulu giants include aphids, scale insects, and whiteflies.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pests And Diseases In Zulu Giant Plants?
Pests and diseases can cause a number of different symptoms in Zulu giant plants. Some of the most common include:
Yellowing or wilting leaves: This is one of the most common symptoms of pests and diseases in Zulu giant plants. If you notice your leaves beginning to turn yellow or wilt, it’s a good sign that something is wrong.
Stunted growth: If your plant isn’t growing as quickly as it should, it could be a sign of a pest or disease.
Deformed leaves or stems: If your plant’s leaves or stems are beginning to look distorted, it’s another symptom of a problem.
Holes in leaves: Insects can cause holes to appear in the leaves of your plant. If you see any, it’s a good idea to check for pests.
Sticky leaves: If you notice that your plant’s leaves are covered in a sticky substance, it could be due to aphids or scale insects.
What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Pests And Diseases In Zulu Giant Plants?
The best way to prevent pests and diseases in Zulu giant plants is to practice good cultural care. This includes:
Watering: Zulu giant plants need to be watered regularly, but you should allow the soil to dry out between watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to be careful.
Fertilizing: Zulu giants need to be fertilized every month during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Pruning: Pruning helps to encourage new growth and keep your plant healthy. It also helps to remove any dead or diseased branches.
Mulching: Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing. It also helps to protect the roots of your plant from extreme temperatures.
Insect control: Insects can be a problem for Zulu giant plants. If you notice any, you should treat them with an insecticide. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
Disease control: diseases can be difficult to control once they’ve taken hold. The best way to prevent them is to practice good cultural care.
This includes watering, fertilizing, and pruning as described above. If you do notice a disease, you should treat it with a fungicide or bactericide as soon as possible.
How Do I Know If My Plant Has Pests Or Diseases?
If you suspect that your plant has pests or diseases, there are a few ways to tell for sure. These include:
Visual inspection: The best way to tell if your plant has pests or diseases is to inspect it carefully. Look for signs of insects, such as holes in the leaves, or signs of disease, such as yellowing or wilting leaves.
Testing: If you’re not sure what’s wrong with your plant, you can take a sample to your local Cooperative Extension office for testing. They will be able to tell you for sure if there are any pests or diseases present.
Treating Pests And Diseases In Zulu Giant Plants
If you do find that your plant has pests or diseases, there are a few things you can do to treat them. These include:
Insect control: If you find insects on your plant, you can treat them with an insecticide. Be sure to follow the directions carefully.
Disease control: If you find that your plant has a disease, you can treat it with a fungicide or bactericide. Again, be sure to follow the directions carefully.
Prevention: The best way to deal with pests and diseases is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This includes practicing good cultural care, such as watering, fertilizing and pruning as described above.
Zulu giant plants are susceptible to a number of different pests and diseases. These can cause a number of different symptoms, including yellowing or wilting leaves, stunted growth, and holes in the leaves.
If you suspect that your plant has pests or diseases, there are a few ways to tell for sure. These include visual inspection and testing.
If you do find that your plant has pests or diseases, there are a few things you can do to treat them. These include insect control, disease control, and prevention. By following these steps, you can help to keep your plant healthy and free of pests and diseases.
The Zulu giant is a beautiful succulent plant that is easy to grow and care for. With proper care, it will thrive indoors or outdoors in a warm, sunny location.
Be sure to water your plant only when the soil is dry and to provide good drainage to prevent root rot. If you see maybugs on your plant, you can remove them by wiping them off with a damp cloth or using insecticidal soap. With a little effort, you can enjoy this stunning plant for many years to come.