euphorbia horrida is native to south africa and commonly known as african milk barrel. it’s a somewhat variable plant with many varieties and forms. there are also cultivars with red spines and flowers available.
euphorbia horrida – african milk barrel care
this description is based on my experiences with euphorbia horrida var. striata. the cultivation of other forms or varieties can be different.
the african milk barrel does best, if grown on a bright and sunny place throughout the year. a light shaded location will be tolerated. during summer it can be placed in the garden. but make sure that rainwater can easily flow out of the pot. because sitting in water will cause rot.
it grows well in a good drained mineral potting substrate. i’m using a mix of potting soil, seramis (lay granulate), pumice and coarse sand (1:1:1:1).
from spring to fall euphorbia horrida var. striata can be deep watered. what’s flowing out of the pot’s hole must be removed after a few minutes. before adding water next allow to dry.
in spring and summer a half diluted cactus fertilizer can be given monthly. during fall/winter there is no need to feed.
euphorbia horrida var. striata can be cultivated at room temperature the year round and needs a winter minimum of 10 °C/50 °f. the colder it is placed during this season, the less water is needed.
euphorbia horrida propagation
euphorbia horrida can be grown from seeds or cuttings.
on first sight, euphorbia obesa is looking like a cactus without thorns. but it’s a member of the euphorbiaceae family and related to such popular houseplants like the christmas star (e. pulcherrima). the commonly named baseball plant or basketball plant succulent is native to south africa.
euphorbia obesa does best in sunny to bright positions. light shade will be tolerated but then it can grow a bit slower. plants growing in moderate shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun.
it can be planted in a regular cactus mix or a mix between standard potting soil, coarse sand and pumice (2:1:1).
the baseball plant can be deep watered, what’s flowing out of the pot should be removed after a few minutes. wet legs can cause root rott. before watering next allow to dry.
a half strength cactus fertilizer can be given monthly and if placed at room temperature in fall and winter every six to eight weeks.
euphorbia obesa can be grown at room temperature thoughout the year. but it can be placed at approx. 10 °c/50 °f in winter. at this temperature range it should be kept nearly dry, a fertilizer must not be given.
propagation of the baseball plant can be done by seeds.
euphorbia “diamond frost” is a cultivar, based on e. hypericifolia. the easy to care houseplant is becoming popular more and more. here in germany it is sold as balcony plant.
euphorbia “diamond frost” is suitable for a sunny, bright, light shaded or shaded location. if placed sunny to light shaded it can be a non stop bloomer. on a shaded place it shows less flowers.
a regular potting soil or a mix between humus and a bit of sand (3:1) can be used. keep it moist but not wet, drying at the soils surface between the waterings will be tolerated.
in spring and summer a half diluted water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly. if placed at room temperature during fall/winter every six to eight weeks. on a colder winter location there is no need to feed.
euphorbia “diamond frost” can be cultivated at room temperature throughout the year but can be wintered at +/-10 °c/50 °f. then it needs less watering.
euphorbia “diamond frost” can be propagated by cuttings.