Here is my Stapelia in full bloom last year. The star shaped flowers are the open ones. The ball shaped ones are those yet to open. I dread that happening each year. Why? Because it always blooms toward the end of September and the stench of the blossoms is legion! OH how it stinks. It smells like carrion and attracts flies so as to be pollinated. I have seen the blossoms covered with flies the second they appear and they stay that way till the fall off. Now this is when they are outside. You may be wondering what my problem is.
I can't leave the plant outside past the end of September because the nights are too cold and it may die. So I bring it along with the other few plants who Summer outside into the house for the Fall and Winter. That means that horrible stench comes in with the plant. The stink is into all of the rooms within a day.
One year I thought to outsmart the plant. I broke off only the blossoms right where they attached and brought in the plant which promptly started to die. I was horrified as this is all I have of my mother from when she died a long time ago. (She was relatively young..barely out of her 40's). So I call this "mother's cactus". I was able to get ahold of an expert on-line and asked what to do. He told me all I could do was root the "arms" properly and hope for the best. So, I got a pot, some succulent mixture and laid the arms of the plant sideways in the soil, watered, and hoped. Now I have a back-up plant..still small. Apparently this thing grows slowly when it starts. My "mother" plant survived after losing most of its arms and legs hanging down. It started anew from a few inches left sticking up and now it's healthy.
BUT: I am going to have to see and smell it bloom again this year. The smell is horrible. I'm not kidding. But it's mother's and all I have of her.