Succulents

Euphorbia tirucalli

Euphorbia tirucalli: characteristics of the species

In the popular Italian flora, euphorbia tirucalli is one of the 32 species mentioned by the botanist Otto Penzing. This rustic shrub takes on different dialectal names depending on the regions and sometimes even just the province to which it belongs. In particular, this plant is native to southern Africa. Over time, the wild species spread also in Central America and later also in Europe. There are several species of euphorbia in nature. From the rustic ones to the spontaneous ones, from the succulent ones to the flowering ones. Some species of this crowded family of plants are very ancient and even traces of them can be found in the fossil record of the Cretaceous period. Pliny, in his writings,

euphorbia tirucalli


The euphorbia tirucalli has succulent stem and stems, if it were not for the absence of the areoles that are typical of Cacti, it could be confused with the succulent plants of the genus Cereus. The euphorbia tirucalli is therefore a succulent plant that cannot bear temperatures below 8 – 10 degrees. They multiply by stem cuttings to be prepared in the hot summer months, letting them dry 48 hours before burying them in a soil of peat and sand at a constant 20-25 degrees. As soon as the plants are rooted, the young seedlings must be transferred to pots that you will grow like any other «succulent plant». The best soil consists of sand (two parts) and somewhat moistened fertile soil (one part). The euphorbia tirucalli it is a plant that requires a lot of light, it should be watered regularly.

Euphorbia tirucalli: exposure to the sun


Euphorbia tirucalli, like all plants that develop in a sub-desert climate, prefers very sunny locations. The more hours the plant spends in direct sunlight, the healthier and disease-free it grows. In fact, the plants grown indoors must be placed near balconies or windows in order to enjoy direct exposure to sunlight. Being a plant of African origins, it fears the winter frost, so if it is kept outside, it is advisable to shelter it during the winter months. There are species of this large family, which live in precarious conditions and in completely desert areas or in any case in sterile and arid soils, a characteristic habitat of succulent species. The euphorbia tirucalli grown in the open ground can reach 4-5 meters in height.

Euphorbia tirucalli: Euphorbia tirucalli: flowering and diseases


Euphorbia tirucalli blooms only in summer. Its flowers are small, aesthetically insignificant and subtended by very small yellow or green bracts. The specimens of this plant grown in pots almost always remain between 100-150 centimeters in height. When the plant is cut, it emits a rather toxic milky substance if it comes into contact with human skin and mucous membranes. If you have animals in the house, it is advisable to be careful that they do not nibble the plant. It is advisable for plants that live in the house to transfer them every two years. Euphorbia tirucalli is a very strong rustic plant also against attacks by parasites and diseases in general. Its main enemies are the red spider, aphids and scale insects.

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