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Brachystelma  (R. Br.)
The Cultivation Of Brachystelma

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The Cultivation of this genus is perhaps the most difficult of all the Asclepiad genera. 


A well drained, very gritty soil is required.  A soil mixture;

  • 4 parts grit >2mm < 4mm  (I leave the small stones in my grit).
  • 4 parts sand or riversand.
  • 1 part compost.

When planting place the tuber above or just slightly in the medium and fill the rest of the pot up with grit.  This helps prevent rot and is also aesthetically pleasing.


Careful watering is required.  Keep the plants dry during winter.  When the plants start developing their annual stems start watering them, allow the soil to dry out between watering (usually every 9-14 days).  Stop watering your plants when they start to go dormant (January-February in the southern hemisphere), the leaves start to turn yellow and they fall off when the plant is going dormant.  Make sure the leaves aren't going yellow from a root mealy bug infestation or rot of the tuber and/or fleshy roots.
A spray every now and then also beneficial to the plants.


Plants grow well in shaded spots as well as areas with broken sunlight.  Full sunlight might damage tubers that have been placed above the ground.


Regular feeding in during the growth period is beneficial to the plants.  I feed my plants with a well balanced fertilizer at every second watering and stop at the first signs of dormancy.  Some of my plants are placed under my overhead watering system that has a 1/4 solution of the recommended fertilizer dosage, no adverse effects.


Clay pots are suited best for Brachystelmas.  Line the bottom of the pot with a 1cm layer of stones to facilitate drainage.