Starfish Cactus

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  1. need help with my starfish cactus
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Asked by Cindy46 on March 31, 2015
Need Help With My Starfish Cactus

Over the past week my beautiful starfish cactus has started turning black in areas and dying. This is such a beautiful cactus and I have enjoyed it for 3 years now and don’t know what the problem is our how to fix it. Please help me.
Thank you,
Cindy Jeans

ANSWERS
shelley
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

This looks like it could be a case of cactus stem rot or root rot, probably fungal in nature. Sometimes this is caused by over-watering - feel the soil - is it damp/soggy to the touch?

I would recommend that you read the following article and follow the prescribed treatment which involves removing the diseased parts and re-potting the cactus in a clean pot in sterile soil after washing off the roots thoroughly. There is no guarantee your cactus will rejuvenate itself, but it's worth a try.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/scgen/cactus-going-soft.htm

And, just in case, you may want to consider starting more starfish cacti plants using cuttings from this one.

For more information on growing starfish cacti, please visit the following link:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/starfish-flower/growing-starfish-flowers.htm

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Asked by Sonnetmarie on September 24, 2016
Repotting a Starfish Cactus

I have bought a starfish cactus from a yard sale in a pot that looks over crowded. How do I repot it and care for it? I’ve never seen one of these before and I’ve been reading trying to get some insight on how to take care of them, but I’m not exactly finding information I need about repotting them.

ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

Starfish cactus, botanical name Stapelia, is not a true cactus but is actually a succulent in the family Apocynaceae. Most advice on caring for cacti applies to it too, however.

Repot the plant by carefully removing it and the media surrounding its roots from the pot, following the advice in this article:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/scgen/cactus-repotting-info.htm

Afterward, be careful not to overwater it, since this can kill succulents quickly.

Use a potting mix designed for succulents and cacti, or one you make, as described in this article:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/scgen/cactus-potting-soil.htm

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Asked by crawsat on October 17, 2016
Starfish Cactus

Is the starfish cactus poisonous? I heard from someone that it is, but does have some medicinal uses as well. I have small grandchildren with me and want to make sure it is safe for them.

ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

It is unknown whether the starfish cactus (Stapelia grandiflora) is toxic or not, but it does have relatives that are toxic. It might be best to keep the plant out of your grandchildren's reach.

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Asked by sonnieb on October 30, 2017
Starfish Cactus

My plant seems to have this white mildew looking stuff on the stems? What is it?

ANSWERS
BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

Without seeing it, this sounds like powdery mildew. Neem oil will get rid of this, as will rosemary oil, or garlic extract. Mix one or more of these in water and spray the plant. You may spray the growing medium as well. Here is an article for more information on powdery mildew: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/powdery-mildew-homemade-and-organic-remedies.htm

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