Candelabra flowers have striking blooms that sometimes look like candlesticks but sometimes look like small parachutes. We present the most beautiful species and explain what to consider when caring for them.
In addition to the well-known String of Hearts, there are many other candelabra flowers that can be kept as houseplants. Most are quite easy to care for and immediately catch the eye because of their special flowers. Here is all the information on care, location, and the most beautiful species.
Candlestick Flowers: Flowering, Origin, And Characteristics
The genus of candlestick flowers (Ceropegia) belongs to the dog family (Apocynaceae) and is widespread in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The plants probably got their name because of their flowers, whose shape is reminiscent of small candlesticks. Depending on the species, the flowers have different shapes and colors. They are also called glider traps because they attract insects for pollination.
For a short time, the insects are then trapped in the flower and are released only after they have picked up the pollen. If Ceropegia is in a suitable location with sufficient light, it can bear flowers throughout the growing season. Chandelier flowers form long stolons that either creeps across the ground or climb up other plants. Some species are evergreen, while others shed their leaves. Many of the species are succulents and store water in their leaves, roots, or shoots.
The Most Beautiful Ceropegia Species And Varieties
Candlestick flowers can look very different. This concerns flowers as well as foliage. We briefly present the most beautiful species here:
- Ceropegia ampliata: The flowers of this Ceropegia are white to light green and have a tube-like shape. The deciduous foliage leaves are lanceolate and are attached to long, sprouting shoots that can grow up to two meters long. They are quickly shed after budding. Ceropegia ampliata is originally from South Africa and Madagascar.
- Ceropegia armandii: This species has particularly unusual flowers because the umbrella, in this case, consists of five yellow-green tubes that form a kind of cage around the flower center. The stem is usually woody at the base and long shoots spring from it during the growing season. Again, the leaves are shed quickly after budding. Ceropegia armandii needs a large pot for its roots. It thrives best in the slightly acidic cactus substrate.
- Ceropegia sandersonii: Because of its flower shape, this climbing species is also known as the parachute flower or umbrella flower. The greenish-pink flowers look as if they are covered by an umbrella. It originates from southern Africa and (like many Ceropegia species) is also kept as a houseplant.
- Ceropegia stapeliiformis: The petals of this species are very narrow and pointed. When the flower is open, they look like funnels. The small foliage leaves are shed after a short time. This candlestick flower is considered a more demanding species, especially when it comes to the right amount of water. It also prefers slightly alkaline cactus soil.
- Ceropegia woodii: The evergreen String of Hearts is one of the most popular Ceropegia houseplants. The heart-shaped leaves on the long shoots can be showcased well in a hanging pot. The flower is rather inconspicuous compared to many other Ceropegia species but captivates with its beautiful pink hue.
- Ceropegia haygarthii: This semi-evergreen species belongs to the stem succulents, which means that water is stored in the shoot. This gives the plant a special appearance, as the shoots are thick and bright green. But the flowers also make quite a statement, with their creamy white and red mottled coloration.
Planting Candlestick Flowers: Location, Soil
Candlestick flowers prefer a bright place in the apartment. If they stand in too much shade, the leaves may fade and the shoot axils may become long and unstable. Prolonged direct sunlight, however, can cause leaf damage. A few hours of sun in the morning or evening are appreciated by candlestick flowers. Normal room temperature is sufficient for them.
Give your candlestick flower a substrate that is above all permeable and well-drained. Waterlogging can lead to root rot and does not suit succulents at all. Due to the clay minerals contained in the substrate, water can be stored optimally and released to the plant as needed. This means that there is no need for constant watering and the substrate does not become waterlogged. To further increase the permeability, you can make a mixture of two parts of soil and one part of expanded clay quarry, sand, lava split, or pumice.
The planter should definitely have a drainage hole through which excess water can runoff. For better drainage, add a layer of pebbles or similar coarse material to the bottom of the pot.
Candlestick Flowers Care The Most Important Measures
There’s not much to caring for candlestick flowers, because, like numerous succulents, most candlestick flower species are fairly low-maintenance.
Watering and fertilizing
Ceropegia species, like any plant, need water and nutrients from time to time. However, you should be rather sparing in both, otherwise, there is a risk of waterlogging and overfertilization. Give the candlestick flower a little water once or twice a week during the summer so that the root ball does not dry out. The substrate surface can dry in the meantime. If water runs from the pot into the planter or saucer, remove it after watering. Fertilization is sufficient every four weeks during the growing season between April and September.
This is added with the watering water and provides the nutrients directly to the plant. The bio-fertilizer ensures healthy growth and strengthens both roots and leaves. It also contains beneficial microorganisms that can protect the roots from fungal diseases. Since succulents have a rather low nutrient requirement, a dosage in half concentration is sufficient.
Cut Candlestick Flower
Since candlestick flowers usually form long runners, you may want to cut the plant down. Pruning is not necessary, but in the case of Ceropegia, it has the effect that no new shoots are formed. To do this, cut off the shoot in the desired place with a sharp knife in the spring. The severed shoot can also be used for propagation via cuttings.
As with most plants, once the pot is fully rooted, the candlestick flower should be repotted in a larger planter in the spring. On average, repotting every two to three years is sufficient. Care should be taken here so that the long stiff shoots do not break off.
Propagate candlestick flower: Cuttings, breeding nodules, or cuttings?
It is very easy to propagate a candlestick flower. For this purpose, you can use either cuttings or breeding nodules, which are located in the leaf axils of older candlestick flowers.
You can get candlestick flower cuttings by cutting off the shoots. This should be done in the spring when the growing season begins. Cut off a shoot at least 10 cm long with a sharp knife, remove the lowest leaves and allow the cut surface to dry for a few days to prevent rot. Afterward, the shoot can be placed with the cut surface facing downwards at temperatures between 60 and 64 °F in a substrate similar to that of the mother plant.
To propagate the candlestick flower via brood nodules, collect the brood nodules in the leaf axils and place them on a fresh substrate with a thin layer of sand on the surface to prevent the nodules from rotting. The nodules are lightly pressed and also kept at temperatures between 60 and 64 °F until germination begins.
Chandelier flowers are especially captivating in hanging baskets because of their drooping shoots. We will show you how to make a hanging basket yourself.