With its minimalist form composed of a trunk, thick thorny and quadrangular stems, its tall habit and its decorative foliage, the tree spurge passes for a cactus, but it is not! L’Euphorbia Erythrea (or Eritrea) is indeed a cactiforme plant. It can reach 3 m in height in the wild. However, its original appearance makes it a very decorative plant. It is immediately noticeable with its candelabra (candle) appearance and enhances an interior or a terrace with elegance. Here’s how to grow it successfully.
Exposure of Euphorbia Erythrea
The cactiform spurge appreciates the light. She therefore needs a light exposure without direct sun. Indeed, the lack of light leads to a lightening of the succulent which then changes from dark green to light green. Bring your euphorbia closer to a light source to solve this problem. The plant will green again on its own if the exposure is favorable to it. Young shoots are naturally soft green that darkens over time.
On sunny days, you can place the euphorbia on a shady terrace to bring a very original vegetal touch. However, beware of cool nights. Indeed, this plant does not support a temperature below 8°C and the frost is therefore likely to be fatal to him. Indoors, avoid placing it near a heat source such as a radiator, as it does not tolerate dry heat. This rule is also valid for all kinds of euphorbia, including Tirucalli.
In addition, the lack of air can lead to the development of fungi (Botrytis cinerea). Signs of rot then pass through discoloration and blackening. So think about aair regularly your Eritrean spurge for its good health.
Maintenance of Euphorbia Erythrea
It’s important to limit water intake with each watering to limit the risk of rot. However, if you’ve been too heavy-handed with watering, it may not be too late to save your succulent: follow these tips! Also, keep in mind that water intake differs depending on the season. In spring and summer, Eritrea spurge only needs the equivalent of one glass of water per month. In fall and winter, limit to one glass of water every three months.
This plant is quite fast growing. Repotting is done every two years in spring. Planting soil should be mixed with cactus soil and sand (optional). Also choose a wide and deep pot, and place a layer of clay pebbles or gravel at the bottom to promote drainage.
In order to properly unpot the plant, wait until the soil is dry, take a knife and pass the blade between the pot and the soil as if unmolding a cake. During the summer, during its growth period, add cactus fertilizer.
Precautions when taking cuttings of Euphorbia Erythrea
The cuttings of succulents are best done in late spring or early summer. Before handling, wear gloves, or even goggles, in order to protect yourself against possible projections of liquid latex. Look for the bases in bad shape, for example those that are blackened with rot. Cuttings are taken from the tops of healthy euphorbias. Cuttings can also be made from a healthy plant for multiplication. In this case, locate a healthy and wooded base, that is to say old enough for the trunk to have stiffened in wood.
Using a sharp knife, cut the spurge heads 30 to 40 cm long starting from the head. Latex will leak from the wound. To stem the seepage, place the buds in a bucket of water. After a few minutes, remove them from the water, then let them drain and dry for a fortnight. To complete the healing of the cutting, the most seasoned can soak the end of the euphorbia cut in a little crushed charcoal, ashes or cinnamon.
After fifteen days, check if the cuttings have dried well. Throw away those that have not taken, namely those that have rotted. Then replant according to the repotting instructions given above, remembering to add fertilizer when repotting. For the others, the leaves come off as they dry and this is completely normal, it’s part of the process. Wait another month before you see the first roots appear, which are synonymous with a successful cutting!
Good to know: the white liquid (latex) that oozes out when it breaks is a irritating liquid. In contact with the liquid, it is therefore necessary to wash your hands and not to rub your eyes.