Stephania erecta belongs to the family of flowering plants, Menispermaceae, which originates from eastern and southeastern Asia and Australia.
Stephania is an herbaceous perennial vine that can grow as tall as 4 meters. Stephania erecta has made a sudden comeback in gardening owing to its rich green leaves that form a crown.
Are you wondering how to take care of your Stephania erecta? We have covered everything you need to know in that regard.
The Stephania plant is renowned for its large bulbous potato-like woody bulb called the caudex. From the caudex sprouts, tall, slender stalks grow straight up, with leaves on their top.
Stephania erecta makes an excellent choice for indoor plants, and you can learn how to take care of Stephania erecta by reading this helpful guide.
How to Take Care of Stephania Erecta? | A Complete Guide
In the following text, you will learn all the basic, and essential tips on how to take care of Stephania erecta, plus our experts have also included some helpful tips.
So be sure to read the whole article and watch your Stephania thrive healthy and happy!
1. Sunlight and Location
Like most plants, Stephania loves the sun.
It loves indirect sunlight and thrives best when provided with a good amount of morning sun. But it can also survive with a limited amount of direct sunlight.
However, too much or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause the Stephania leaves to dry up and wilt the leaves.
Hence, providing adequate indirect sunlight works best for your lovely Stephania.
“If you are not providing your plant with enough sunlight, it will get leggy. The Stephania plants should be kept in a place that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of bright sunlight throughout the day.”
Following are some tips on placing your Stephania:
- The best location to keep your Stephania plant is near a window that has a curtain. The curtain will act as a filter between the sun and the plant, providing indirect sunlight.
- Placing your plant at a southeast location will provide it with the right amount of light.
- Avoid placing your plants in a drafty area, especially during winter. You can move your plants to the kitchen or the bathroom to provide a warm and humid environment.
- Use LED grow lights or heating mats if you live in a cold climate.
Now, let’s talk about watering.
Watering is one of the most crucial aspects of a plant’s life.
Stephania erecta stocks its water in its bulb, so it is oversensitive to excessive watering.
In this case, you must take extra care as it is easy to overwater the plant and stress it.
“Your Stephania erecta needs water every 10 days during summer, and watering every 15 to 20 days during winter months will suffice. Allow the soil to dry out between each watering session.”
Underwatering the plant can cause the leaves to become brown and crisp, and if the bulb has yet to develop the foliage, it may slow or hinder the growth of leaves.
Prolonged overwatering can cause root rot or the bulb of the Stephania to rot over time.
The early indication of overwatering is wilting and yellowing of leaves. Once the bulb has started to rot, it is most likely that the plant will die.
“Water your plant only when you can feel the top 2 or 3 inches of the soil is dry. Use your finger to gently poke the soil to test its moisture level.”
When watering your plant, water thoroughly until it starts dripping from the drainage holes at the bottom.
Use room temperature water and do not excessively mist the foliage as it may make it susceptible to fungal infections.
Stephania erecta loves a pleasantly warm environment.
If the plant is in the growing stage, then it is best to keep it in a warm place to allow healthy and fast growth of foliage.
“The optimum temperature for Stephania erecta ranges from 61 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature lower than 50 Fahrenheit can stress the plant.”
- The growth rate of plant that prefers a warm environment is directly proportional to their desired optimal temperature.
- Maintaining the temperature in summers is easy, but the cold can hit your plant hard in winter.
- You can maintain the temperature of your plants during winter by using grow lights, heat mats, or just bubble wrapping them.
Wanna know how to take care of Stephania erecta plant? The right amount of humidity is essential to keep the plant happy.
Like many other plants, Stephania erecta prefers moderate to high humidity.
“The best humidity level for Stephania ranges between 50% to 80%. A high or low moisture level can damage the plant, and the leaves will start drooping.”
If the humidity level drops too low, the leaves will start drying, become crisp, and fall off. Avoid placing your plants anywhere near a heating or cooling system and drafts.
Following are some tips on regulating humidity:
- Move the plant to a humid room such as the kitchen and bathroom.
- Group your plants as they produce moisture during respiration and transpiration.
- Use a water spraying bottle or a mister to maintain the humidity around your plants. You can also wipe your Stepania leaves using a wet cloth but do not let your leaves get wet for too long.
- Another way is to use an air humidifier.
- Using glass domes or terrariums can also help retain moisture and maintain humidity.
Now, let’s head toward the potting mix.
5. Potting Mix
Stephania does not require soil with high loam content and can retain more water because the caudex already retains the water for the plant’s needs.
Stephania prefers a well-draining soil that will prevent waterlogging and root and bulb rot.
“You can use the succulent and cacti potting mix for your Stephania; however, if you aren’t sure, you can increase the drainage by adding more sand and pebbles.”
The best potting mix includes:
- Three parts potting soil.
- Two parts sand (you can also add some pebbles).
- One part perlite.
Always use the correct potting mix:
Stephania erecta is prone to getting overfertilized; hence proper care must be taken while fertilizing your plant.
“The best time to fertilize your Stephania is during the growing season in summer and spring.”
- Use a liquid fertilizer in diluted form and fertilize your Stephania once every month or once after every two months.
- You can also fertilize your Stephania after the fourth or sixth watering week.
- During the winter, the plant goes into a dormant state (stops growing), so it will not require any fertilization.
- Too much fertilization can cause salt buildup and lead to the stunted growth and drying of the leaf margins.
- Overfertilization can also make Stephania susceptible to diseases and pests.
That was all about how to take care of Stephania erecta. Now, let’s conclude the talk.
With its enchanting evergreen leaves arranged in the formation of a crown to the thick bulbous potato-like bulb, Stephania erecta is a truly whimsical plant.
Though Stephania is a perennial, it does require a certain amount of care to keep the plant healthy throughout the year.
In this article, we have elaborately covered how to take care of Stephania erecta. We hope our effort helps you keep your plant healthy. Please share your feedback in the comments below!