Ceropegia: Greenhouse Plants
C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F) / W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
At first sight it is hard to believe that these plants are in the same family as Hoya and Stephanotis. Most usually grown is Ceropegia woodii, the Rosary Plant from Natal. The plant forms tubers from which arise the trailing stems studded with small succulent heart-shaped leaves, each traced with its own pattern. The flowers are freely produced and although not showy are curious enough to be interesting. The only other species I have grown is C. stapeliiformis from the Cape so called because its stem and leaf structure is similar to Stapelia, another succulent genus in the same family. This grows on a larger scale to C. woodii and could even be called ugly were it not for its 5-cm (2-in) long purple and white flowers which are like little coronets. C. woodii can tolerate and even do well in cool house conditions. In fact the cooler it is grown the more compact and tuberous it becomes. Plenty of light is needed and a well-drained loamykept very much on the dry side during winter. Propagation is simple, either by normal shoot 5-8 cm (2-3 in) long made by cutting below a node at the base and above one at the top, or by detaching tubers from the main part of the plant. C. stapeliiformis seemed to prefer warm conditions to flower well. Cuttings are easily made by detaching stem sections. Both these species can be raised easily from seed.