It is impressive to know that the Euphorbia plant has numerous species that are ornamental yet manageable. Growing one in your garden will make your life interesting. From soil and fertilization to watering and repotting, it demands little pampering. Read on to find out the care and propagation routine of Euphorbia succulent, with insightful facts about its varieties!
Euphorbia, popularly known as spurge, is a large and diversified genus of flowering plants in the Euphorbiaceae family. These low-maintenance perennials are noted for having unique flowers and vibrantly colored leaves. Euphorbias are easy to grow and beginner-friendly as well. They make for an excellent addition to homes as well as gardens as these succulent plants are drought-tolerant and can survive in extremely hot conditions. As long as Euphorbias receive adequate sunlight, they thrive wonderfully in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Euphorbia succulents are low-maintenance and need minimal care to survive. It is important to note that young plants need more attention. Once your plant matures, it can grow happily even in negligence.
Let’s learn about Euphorbias general care guide.
These plants are sun-loving and prefer bright direct sunlight. You can keep them in a sunny spot for 4 to 6 hours each day. Having said that, some of the Euphorbia varieties also tolerate partial shade. When planted indoors, place your succulent near a west or south-facing window.
Avoid overwatering completely. Euphorbias like frequent hydration during their growing season from spring to fall. During this time, you can water them once every week. However, reduce watering to once a month during the winter months. Keep in mind to let the topsoil dry out between waterings in order to prevent the chances of root rot and other soil-borne diseases.
Soil & Fertilizer
Euphorbia plants prefer well-drained soil or a cactus potting mix as it tends to improve drainage and removes excess moisture. You can also plant these species in sandy or slightly alkaline soil. Fertilization should be done during the plant’s active growing season. Interestingly, succulents in pots require more quantity of fertilizer.
Temperature & Humidity
Generally, Euphorbias do the best in warm regions with a daytime temperature of 80º F. Having some exceptions, most species of Euphorbia are frost-sensitive and cannot survive in temperatures less than 20 to 50º F. These hardy succulents need ample airflow and cannot handle high humidity levels. So, it is advised to grow them in low humidity areas.
Although Euphorbia plants are easy-care, repotting them can be challenging. It is because they have a milky sap or latex that is quite toxic, which is why make sure to wear gloves and goggles. To begin with, detach the roots from the sides of the container and carefully take the plant out of the pot. Once done, place it in a new pot filled with a well-drained soil mix. Add some more soil if needed and leave it to recover on its own. You can water it in 2 weeks.
Like many succulents, Euphorbia plants can be propagated by seeds and cuttings. The stem and leaf cutting method is considered to be the easiest way to propagate most species. Rooting starts in about two weeks.
Types of Euphorbia Plants
Euphorbia is a diverse genus of flowering plants. There are about 7500 varieties in the Euphorbiaceae family distributed throughout the world. These include Euphorbia baioensis, Euphorbia knuthii, Euphorbia Medusa, Euphorbia millotii, Euphorbia ammak, and Euphorbia Aeruginosa. The existence of a milky white sap in the plants is a common feature among the species.
These shrubby attractive plants are commonly known as Pencil cactus or Fire sticks succulent. They look attractive with tiny green leaves and have beautiful red, orange, or pink-colored stems. A native to South Africa, the Fire succulent grows up to 30 feet tall when grown outdoors as a landscape. On the contrary, when grown indoors, it reaches up to 6 feet in height. This Euphorbia variety grows quickly and produces lovely yellow-colored flowers. Besides, they tend to attract butterflies and insects.
Pencil Cactus Care - These stick-like succulent plants grow well in full sunlight but can also thrive in partial shade. Make sure to not overwater your Firestick succulent as it can cause damage. Go for the pot that has drainage holes to stimulate good ventilation. Moreover, it is better to plant it in fast-draining soil to prevent root rot. The ideal temperature for the Pencil cactus tree ranges from 50 to 70º F. Pencil cactus propagation can be done easily from stem cuttings. However, protect yourself from the harmful milky sap. Also known as Sticks on fire, these plants are a nice addition to container gardens.
Also known as Candelabra tree or Good luck cactus, this succulent plant grows up to 40 feet in height. It is undemanding and grows on its own. These cacti bloom in stunning greenish-yellow colors from autumn to late winters.
Euphorbia Ingens Cactus Care - Candelabra trees are drought-tolerant and prefer warm temperatures ranging from 74 to 82º F. Placing them in bright sun for a few hours every day proves ideal. In addition, these plants need to be grown in well-drained soil for better drainage and require little watering at the same time. You can propagate your Euphorbia candelabra from seeds as well as cuttings.
A native to South Africa, these fast-growing plants grow up to 14 inches tall and bloom yellow-colored flowers during the spring. Euphorbia Mammillarias has a common name Indian corn cob and is quite popular among plant enthusiasts.
Euphorbia Mammillarias Variegata Care - Corn cob cactus is hardy in zones 9a to 11b and can tolerate harsh temperatures above 70º F. It likes to be in full to partial shade. Besides, keep the watering minimal like most of the other species and plant these cacti in a well-drained soil mix. You can propagate them with ease through cuttings, offsets, and seeds. Variegated Indian corn cob cactus becomes a must-have if you are a busy gardener as this Euphorbia species do not require repotting or fertilization very often.
This dwarf succulent is commonly known as Globose spurge. Growing up to 8 cm in height, these slow-growing plants look unique because of their unusual globular stems. Besides, they have lovely large green-yellow flowers that bloom throughout the spring.
Euphorbia Globosa Care - A native to Eastern Cape Province, this Euphorbia variety belongs to the hardiness zone of 9b to 10b. It prefers full sun to partial shade and thrives to its complete potential in well-drained soil. Being a drought-tolerant succulent, Globose spurge does not like to sit in water, so water in moderation. Suitable for growing in gardens & pots, these plants can be propagated by cuttings or seeds.
This Euphorbia species is a one-of-a-kind cactus that looks like coral. Also known as the coral cactus plant, this variety rarely blooms. You can witness pink or purple coral cactus flowers whenever it blooms. Besides, it has crinkled leaves and sharp spines. In case you’re wondering how to care for Coral cactus, these rare succulents can be grown with ease in outdoor settings. However, make sure to bring them indoors when the winter approaches. Periodic fertilization, well-drained soil, and moderate watering are key to this plant’s better growth.
Most plant lovers adore Euphorbias, much as they do Agaves, Haworthias, and Kalanchoes, for their ease of maintenance. Euphorbia plants complement flower beds & rock gardens beautifully. The majority of them enter dormancy during the winter, but bloom in late spring and early summer.