Euphorbia Candelabrum Care, Propagation & More

Euphorbia Candelabrum Care, Propagation & More

Euphorbia Candelabrum is a succulent tree with origins in various parts of Africa. It is a native of Angola, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia. There are many similarities between this plant and Euphorbia Abyssinica, and some people tend to confuse the two. The main reason for the confusion is often that both these trees are enormous, and being members of the Euphorbia family, they have other morphological similarities that only exacerbate the disorder. They are, however, two different plants. This plant is commonly known as the candelabra tree, a familiar name with Euphorbia Abyssinica and Euphorbia Ingens.

Morphological Characteristics of Euphorbia Candelabrum

1. Stem and Branches

Euphorbia Candelabrum is a vast tree that typically grows up to twelve meters high. Sometimes it rises higher than this, and there have been instances where a tree of this species has reached a height of twenty meters. The average size is twelve meters.

The trunk of this tree can have a circumference of up to three feet which means that it is relatively stable. It usually doesn’t have leaves except for when it is still young. Its stems and branches are green due to their high chlorophyll content. This adaptation is necessary because, in the absence of leaves, stems and branches are the main media through which photosynthesis occurs in Euphorbia Candelabrum.

It has branches, but they don’t grow on the lower quarter of the branch. The branches grow outwards and then tend upwards to give the tree a dome shape. The stem and branches have spines, which are also familiar with plants in this genus.

2. Toxicity

Like all plants in the Euphorbia genus, it produces copious amounts of white sap when injured. This sap, which is also known as latex, is quite toxic, and it can lead to blindness when it comes into contact with the eyes. The latex irritates the skin, and it is dangerous when ingested.

3. Flowers

The plant produces purple flowers that appear on the top of the branches. This tree has purple flowers that grow in clusters at the end of the components. The flowers form in polyandrous clusters where several male flowers surround a female flower. Unlike many plants in the Euphorbia plants, these flowers typically stay on the tree for long enough to be pollinated, grow into pods, and eventually release seeds. The seeds are usually viable, and they are one of the ways one can propagate the plant.

Euphorbia Candelabrum Care

Euphorbia Candelabrum Care
Photo by @cactus_ibiza via Instagram

This plant grows quite well in its natural habitat, but people also grow it worldwide as a decorative house plant. Although it is a massive tree, planting it in a pot can slow down its growth and make it possible to confine it in a house or some other enclosed place.
Also, you can plant this Euphorbia to use as a hedge. It is deer resistant, and, if grown close together, it forms an impenetrable barrier. The following is how you care for it under various considerations.

Light and Placement

Euphorbia Candelabrum prefers full sunlight. It can withstand intense sunlight even in the hottest of summers. Very rarely does it ever need to be protected from harsh sunlight? Sunlight is necessary to help the plant undertake its natural processes. It needs it for photosynthesis, and it doesn’t have leaves in its maturity. Leaves are usually adapted to make do even with the bit of light there may be. This plant’s stems and branches require a higher intensity of sunlight to keep the plant healthy.

Euphorbia Candelabrum doesn’t flower if it doesn’t get adequate sunlight. If you are keeping it in the house, keep it next to a window through which it can get direct sunlight; southern and western windows are the best. Keep the plant no further than one foot from the window to ensure it chalks up as much sunlight as possible. Also, the room where you keep the plant can be made friendlier by painting it with bright colors to enhance reflection.

This plant is not frost-hardy, and temperatures below 20oF harm it. If your area experienced temperatures below 20oF for sustained periods, it might not be suitable to plant this plant outside as a permanent hedge. It may be destroyed by the cold irreparably. However, you can pot it to make it possible to move indoors where you can control the temperature when it gets too hard.

Keeping it indoors allows you to benefit from its unique decorative appearance. However, it would help if you always remembered that it is easily injured, and when it is damaged, it produces sap that is quite poisonous. It would help if you kept it out of reach of children and pets. The sap irritates the skin, but it can lead to blindness if it gets into the eyes. Ingesting it can lead to severe poisoning in both humans and pets.

Soil for Euphorbia Candelabrum

This plant looks like a cactus, but it is succulent. This is an essential distinction because succulents are touchy when it comes to water; overwatering is one of the most typical causes of their death. What has soil got to do with this?

The soil where you plant this Euphorbia should be well-draining enough to avoid waterlogging. It should have a fair amount of gravel. If you are potting the plant for the first time after propagation, use an excellent commercial cactus mix but enhance its ability to drain by mixing it with gravel, pumice, or ground coconut shells on a 50-50 ratio.

You can add some organic matter to the soil to better feed the plant and retain moisture, but it shouldn’t be too much.

If you are planting it outdoors, you can ensure the soil is well-drained by building French drains along where you have planted the Euphorbia Candelabrum. The alternative is to introduce sandy soil in the holes where you plant the Euphorbia. French drains are, however, better in the long run because your plant’s roots may grow beyond the sand you had introduced.

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Watering

Like many plants in the genus, Euphorbia Candelabrum is highly drought resistant. It can do without any additional watering once it is established. This applies especially when you have planted it outside without a pot, the natural cycles that allow the soil to replenish itself apply.

When planted in a pot, the plant requires watering in spring and summer. The soil dries up fast due to higher temperatures, and it is the time also because spring and summer are its growth seasons, and it needs more water.

The key to watering this plant safely is ensuring the soil is dry before giving the plant its next drink. You can tell if the soil is dry enough by putting your finger in it to check. The ground is dry enough for the next drink if the first three inches are dry. If it is not dry, you need to give the soil some more time to dry. If, after watering, you notice the plant is getting discolored, it may indicate that you are overwatering it. Stop watering for a while and allow it to recover, and don’t water again until the soil is dry.

Fertilizer for Euphorbia Candelabrum

As a drought-resistant plant that grows on hard, dry soil, this plant doesn’t need too many nutrients. You shouldn’t feed it too much fertilizer; it might be counterproductive. You should provide your plant once per month from spring to mid-summer.

Feed it on a well-balanced fertilizer at half strength to ensure the fertilizer. Avoid fertilizers with boron since the microelement might negatively affect the plant. Besides synthetic fertilizers, organic matter can help keep your plant healthy and facilitate its growth.

Pruning and Grooming

Pruning involves removing dead, injured branches of this plant to keep it looking fresh and beautiful. It is also a way of controlling the plant’s growth. Thus, if you have planted it in the house or on a hedge and don’t want it to get to its twenty meters, you keep pruning branches to keep the tree low.

It is critical to remember that no matter your Euphorbia Candelabrum’s size, always put on protective gear when pruning it. Cover your eyes and skin and have gloves for your hands. You can quickly stop the sap from flowing by spraying the injured part with cold water.

The best time to prune is at the end of winter or the beginning of spring. This allows the plant to enter the growing season soon after pruning and recover from its injuries quickly.

Pests and Diseases In Euphorbia Candelabrum

The toxicity of this plant makes it unpalatable to most pests, and thus they keep off it. Mealybugs don’t seem affected by toxicity. If you see tiny cotton ball-like spots forming on the tree, it will likely be mealy bugs. There are a few ways to deal with the bugs as follows.

  1. Spray the infected parts with water under high pressure to dislodge the bugs.
  2. Dabbing the affected area with cotton wool dipped in alcohol
  3. Spraying with liquid detergent mixed with water
  4. Spraying with plant-based pesticides such as neem or pyrethrum

Diseases are also few, with root rot being the most common one. You can easily keep root rot at bay by avoiding overwatering by planting in the right kind of soil and watering it only when the soil is dry.

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Propagating Euphorbia Candelabrum

Propagating Euphorbia Candelbrum
Photo by @botanicplant via Instagram

There are two common ways of propagating this plant, seeds, and cuttings.

#1. Propagating by Seeds

You can collect seeds that have fallen at the foot of the tree and plant them on well-drained soil with some moisture and organic matter. Keep at a place with sufficient indirect sunlight and keep the soil warm. When the seeds germinate, allow them to get established before transplanting them or moving them to their permanent position. At this time, the seedling needs a little more attention. Shield it from extreme temperatures and dryness until it is established.

#2. Propagating by Cuttings

Propagation by stem cuttings is prevalent across the genus Euphorbia. Punning provides an excellent opportunity to propagate as the pruned parts become cuttings. Prune your Euphorbia with a sharp, sterilized knife. Sterilization ensures neither the mother nor the daughter plant gets an infection from the tool.

White latex will flow from where you have removed the cutting. You can stop it by spraying some cold water on the wound.

The growth of Euphorbia Candelabrum occurs in spring and summer, which is also the best time to propagate using cuttings. Allow the cutting to dry off under a shade for seven days before planting to prevent it from rotting when you put it in the soil.

You can apply some rooting hormone on the lower part of the cutting to expedite rooting and then stick it into a medium similar to the ideal soil for the plant’s growth. Keep the cutting away from direct sunlight after planting, as direct sunlight can cause the cutting to dry up. Ensure the soil is around twenty-five degrees Celsius to facilitate fast rooting. You can warm the ground using an artificial warming mat while keeping it moist because sunlight is detrimental.

Conclusion

Like other Euphorbias, Euphorbia Candelabrum isn’t too fussy, and you can keep it healthy without too much effort. It has other uses besides decoration, the low-biomass trunk is used as firewood, and some people use the toots as traditional medicine for stomach problems. However, the relevant authorities have not proved the efficacy of the roots as therapy.

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Posted in Succulents