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How My Stephania Erecta Sprouted!

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Wondering if your Stephania Erecta is even alive? I'm excited to share the technique I used to successfully sprout my Stephania Erecta. Read on about my 4 month journey to get my Stephania Erecta to sprout over the winter! With the method I'm about to tell you, I was able to see results in 1 week!

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything, but it helps me to run this site. Thank you for supporting my plant and cat journey! Let’s grow together 🐱💚🌱


Just a background story, the Stephania Erecta originates from Southeast Asia. It is a type of caudex plant with a thick bulb root base. It goes dormant in the winter and in the spring it explodes with vines and circular leaves. Due to it's native environment, this plant LOVES humidity and heat.

How I got it to Sprout!

The Stephania Erecta was my first plant from the caudex plant family. I purchased it from Etsy with no roots or leaves and it looked just like a dirty potato for months. If you watch my video, you will know that I tried many different methods to try to make it "wake up". After 4 months with no action, I knew it was time to change things up. Thinking back to its natural habitat, it probably needs more humidity to encourage growth.

By switching to semi-hydroponics, I was able to increase the humidity for the plant without making it too wet where it would rot away. Here are the products I used to recreate a humid and warm environment for my Stephania Erecta. Click here for Etsy link to purchase your own!

  1. LECA (Lightweight expanded clay aggregate) aka Clay Balls. This inorganic growing medium is a substitute for soil. It wicks up the water from the bottom the self-watering pot which will provide constant humidity for the plant. LECA is also less prone to root rot because it forms air pockets and air circulation due to its shape. Click here to get LECA for $8.99.

  2. Self-watering Pot that has a container for holding the water reservoir that gets wicked up into the planting container above the reservoir. I found this cute terracotta/ glass self-watering pot that matches my terracotta aesthetic on Amazon.

  3. Seed Germination Heating Mat. Vivosun heat mat is designed for seed germination so it is set to the perfect temperature that encourages plants to grow. ( The heat mat will be used to mimic that Thailand heat. This was especially important for me because I was trying to make it sprout in the winter!) Grab your own for $11.99 on Amazon here.

  4. Dome/ Zip-loc Plastic bag This will be used to contain all the heat and humidity and prevent the Stephania Erecta from drying out. Essentially, you're trying to create a green house for it. Since my existing glass dome was too small, a large plastic bag did the trick!

Bam! New growth in just 1 week of using this method. See progress photos below:

Stephania Erecta Sprouted! Caudex Plant Care & Bulb Growth Update
2 Month LECA Update: The leaves are fully developed and I'm obsessed!!

Few lessons learned.

  • Change the environment when the plant is not doing well.

  • Do research on the plants native environment to keep them feel right at home and happy!

  • Improvise according the plants responses.

Hope this video helps anyone out there who is trying to wake up their dirty potato. The result is very rewarding and totally worth it. See you in the next update!

Here are more updates videos related to my Stephania Erecta:

[Part 2] Stephania Erecta Is Finally Giving Me Big Leaves

[Part 3] Transitioning my Stephania Erecta back into soil

[DIY] Trellis for my Stephania Erecta

Stephania Erecta Sprouted! Caudex Plant Care & Bulb Growth Update

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