Among decorative plants, succulents have become increasingly popular in recent times. This is due to their exotic appearance and above all their extremely easy maintenance. We constantly see this type of plants decorating balconies and gardens or all kinds of indoor spaces. Today we would like to tell you about the care of euphorbia, one of the most varied and popular varieties of succulents.
Euphorbia: Description, cultivation and care
The genus euphorbia belongs to the family euphorbiaceae, and is native to certain regions of Africa and America. It is mainly found in tropical areas, although to a lesser extent also in subtropical or temperate areas. We cannot specify a specific shape or size, as there are an infinite number of varieties, ranging from the spiny cactus we are all familiar with to fleshy stem and leaf configurations.
There are approximately 5000 known and described species within the genus, although the scientific community has accepted only around 2000 of them.
Due to their enormous variety, we will draw up a small list of 6 of the most outstanding and common ones in decoration:
- Acrurensis: similar in structure to the cactus that we all visualise and have seen countless times in western films.
- Corona de Cristo: with a thorny stem from which curious flowers with rounded petals emerge.
- Trigona: a cross between a cactus and a common plant that replaces the thorns with green, fleshy leaves.
- Lactea: it may remind us of a coral or some kind of underwater plant, as it has many branches that blend together.
- Lactea Cristata: a single stem that opens at the top, giving rise to unexpected shapes with pinkish tones at the edges.
- Pulcherrima: the one that looks least like a succulent, with thin green leaves at the bottom, crowned by spectacular deep red flowers.
Now, let's look at how best to care for them to keep them looking robust and healthy. Succulents are ideal plants for those who are not very handy with gardening or simply don't have much time to devote to them. With this basic care, they will always look spectacularly beautiful:
How to grow euphorbia
Euphorbia are often considered to be a kind of hybrid between a plant and a cactus. In reality, cacti are plants that, due to the extreme heat and dry conditions of the desert regions from which they originate, had to adapt and evolve. In a certain way, the succulent species would be in that intermediate point in which they are neither really a plant nor a 100% cactus. That is why they have their own characteristics in terms of cultivation and care.
Due to the extreme conditions in which it lives in its natural habitat, the euhorbia has an extraordinary capacity for adaptation and resistance that make it practically indestructible: you can place it in dry or humid places, outdoors or indoors, illuminated or shaded. It resists everything... or almost everything!
Accustomed to living in sunny and warm areas, it needs a lot of light for its correct development. Although it resists direct sunlight, it is preferable to avoid it whenever possible, as this can cause burns or stains on its surface. Ideally, a well-lit room or a partially shaded corner of the garden should be found for it.
Euphorbia needs a warm environment. Between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius is ideal. Avoid sudden temperature changes and cold environments at all costs. Temperatures below 10-12 degrees will be lethal for it.
The soil should be kept moist, but never waterlogged. In summer a weekly watering will be enough. In rainy seasons, rehydrate only when strictly necessary. In any case, water should be added whenever the soil is dry. It is also highly recommended to incorporate a drainage system to avoid waterlogging. If the roots suffer from too much dampness, a fire could appear, which would have dire consequences for the survival of the plant.
- Fertilisers and fertilisers
As far as fertiliser is concerned, a liquid fertiliser specifically for succulents will do the trick. Apply it every 3 weeks or every month during the spring and summer months (when they are developing). This will be enough for them to get all the nutrients they need.
When the roots start to run away from the pot and stick out all over the place, you have a good indication that it's time to transplant. Place it in a larger pot, preferably in the spring. Otherwise, the cold will cause it to suffer and make it difficult to adapt to the soil.
This type of plants are very resistant and parasites do not usually attack them. Their biggest problem is the appearance of fungus, which can appear if waterlogging occurs under their roots. Whitefly may also cause damage, but it is not difficult to kill them with chemicals.
There is no common guideline for pruning euphorbia, as, given the great variety of this genus, there are species that have strong leaves and others that consist only of the stem and a few branches. In any case, if pruning is carried out, use tools specifically designed for succulents and allow the milky wounds to dry. This will ensure good results.
Some species, such as Trigona, store latex inside. This is a milky substance which is quite irritating and can cause damage if it comes into contact with the skin. It is therefore recommended to wear gloves when handling it.
and now it's your turn! With this information, you can now select your favourite euphorbia varieties and fill your home with exoticism and originality. you have plenty to choose from!
Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.