Have You Heard Of Euphorbia Lambii? The Beautiful Plant From The Island of Gomera

The Euphorbia genus is very diverse; it has over 2100 species. These species come in all shapes and forms. It is the genus to which Euphorbia Lambii belongs, and it has a unique appearance among the other Euphorbiaceae. This appearance gives it the common names Tree Euphorbia and Truffula tree.

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  • Sunlight: direct sunlight is one of the main ingredients necessary for the tree to bloom and be healthy.
  • Watering: minimum water use.
  • Temperature: can’t tolerate cold weather.
  • Growth Season: Spring.
  • Propagation: propagated from seeds and stem cuttings.
  • Soil: do best in well-drained soil.

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Morphological Characteristics of Euphorbia Lambii

Like the vast majority of plants in this genus, the morphological characteristics of this tree are pretty unconventional. It is a tree that can reach anywhere between three and ten feet. Its main trunk is relatively thin as it doesn’t grow beyond a few inches in thickness. The trunk has a grayish color, and branches proceed from it after some clearance from the ground. The lower sections of these branches are entirely leafless. Thus, they look just like the trunk. However, leaves shoot out at the edge of the components in an arrangement similar to pom-poms. Some people compare the appearance of these leaves to pom-poms in the outstretched arm of a cheerleader.

Leaves and Flowers

The leaves themselves are a phenomenon. They grow up to six inches in length, and they are usually yellow-green or bluish-green. Also, the Tree Euphorbia blooms into beautiful yellowish-green bracts, holding green flowers. Bracts with flowers are one characteristic that cuts almost entirely across the board in the Euphorbia genus. The flowers grow together in clusters. Each cluster consists of a few male flowers surrounding one female flower. Clustering flowers in what some have referred to as a polyandrous manner (where many males surround one female) is typical of the Euphorbiaceae.

This plant produces copious amounts of lumber, like others in its genus. This sap is toxic; it makes working with this plant dangerous. It would help if you were cautious because the fluid irritates the skin giving the euphorbia rash. The sap is also hazardous to the eyes, and it is poisonous when ingested. You should always have protective gear when you are working with the plant.

Origin

Euphorbia Lambii is a native of the island of Gomera. It got its name when Swedish botanist Eric Sventenius named it after a British nursery keeper known as Edgar Lamb. You can plant this plant both indoors and in your garden. When planted indoors in a pot, the space and minimal resources available in the soil curtail its optimum growth. It grows close to its height in the wild when you plant it in a garden. This tree quickly becomes your garden’s anchor, the center of attention owing to its size, light green leaves, and dome shape. Its beauty is most visible in spring, its blooming season.

Placement and Light

Euphorbia Lambii has no problem thriving under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is one of the main ingredients necessary for the tree to bloom and be healthy. If you want to keep your plant in the house, be sure to position it near the western or southern window, where it will get sufficient sunlight for several hours every day. You don’t need to move the plant when direct sunlight no longer falls on it because indirect sunlight also works well with it.

It is important to note that Euphorbia Lambii is not cold-hardy; it can only handle temperatures at a low of about 25oF to 30oF. Temperatures below this are likely to cause your plant damage. The lower the temperatures and the longer they last, the greater the damage they will cause to the tree. Therefore, don’t plant this tree outdoors if you experience long freezing winters in your area. You can still keep it inside the house because you can control the temperature there. You can use grow lights if it remains dark for extended periods. One of the reasons why light is so vital to the Tree Euphorbia is that it facilitates blooming in your tree, which occurs in spring. Flowers are an essential part of the plant’s attraction, but ultimately, they are a critical factor for propagation, as we shall see in a later section.

euphorbia lambii
Photo by @plantshop805 via Instagram

Best Soil for Euphorbia Lambii

Euphorbia Lambii is a succulent. What has this got to do with the soil? Succulents typically do best in well-drained soils because too much water causes their roots to rot. Therefore, the ground you plant should be sandy, whether in the garden or a pot.

To keep this plant indoors, you can plant it in a commercial succulent soil mix but blend it with pumice to enhance drainage. The pot where you plant this tree should have openings at the bottom to allow water to drain off.

The material from which the pot you plant your Euphorbia Lambii is made may also be essential for how well-drained the soil will be. If the pot’s fabric is breathable, it will allow water to evaporate through. If, on the other hand, the material is completely sealed, how well the soil drains will depend exclusively on the soil and the holes at the bottom of the pot. An exceptionally breathable terracotta pot will save your plant from waterlogged soil even if, by any chance, you failed to get the suitable ground where drainage is concerned.

two potted euphorbia lambii plants placed outdoors
Photo by @thesotofish via Instagram

Watering

When planted outside, this plant doesn’t need any additional watering after being established. You may, however, give it a drink every once in a while in case of sweltering and prolonged summers. You will know the tree needs help with watering if you notice a weathering look or yellowing of its leaves.

When planted indoors, you may need to water it once in a while. This is because, unlike a garden plant, this tree has contact with only a small section of soil. It, therefore, doesn’t have an extensive pool from which to draw water.

Give your plant a drink in winter because that is Euphorbia Lambii’s growth season. It needs water during this season for the processes necessary for growth. Later in the year, during spring and summer, the plant goes through another energy-intensive activity that requires water.

Of course, in summer, the soil will dry out wholly and fast, and your plant will need water. The only season you may not need to water your plant as often is in autumn. You should ensure the soil is arid before watering it. The easiest way to check your soil for moisture content is by dipping your fingers in the ground. If there is still moisture in the first two to three inches, wait and check after a day—water when the soil is dry.

You don’t need to worry about the Lambii in your garden during the rainy season. It can handle the water as long as you have ensured the soil is draining very quickly.

Fertilizer

The plant doesn’t need too many additional nutrients from the soil. You rarely need to feed it if you are growing it outdoors unless you notice signs of malnutrition such as yellowing of leaves or the tree showing other signs of nutritional deficiency.

Fertilizer is necessary, especially after one year in the same pottage, because the minerals in the soil will have been exhausted. Apply well-balanced fertilizer at half strength once per month during winter, the growth season.

Pruning and Grooming Euphorbia Lambii

The stem of this plant is relatively thin, and the branches aren’t too different in size from it. If the components become too big, the stem is often unable to carry the weight, and they break. Therefore, it is advisable to cut off the branches that get too big to keep them from breaking. The best season to prune this tree is during autumn because winter will allow it to grow back. The natural features of this plant are its beauty. It doesn’t need to be styled. Ensure you have protective gear when pruning to avoid contact with the toxic sap.

Pests and Diseases

Root rot is one of the primary diseases affecting this plant; else, it is pretty hardy. You avoid root rot by following the above instructions on soil drainage and watering. The most common pests in this plant are snails and slugs.

These two like to eat succulents, and Euphorbia Lambii is the perfect succulent. It has left big enough to shelter the snails from the sun, and it is, itself, big enough for them to occupy. Besides being disgusting, snails can destroy flowers and spread parasitic warms such as schistosomiasis, harmful to you and your pets.

You can get rid of the slugs by using beer as bait. The yeast in beer is irresistible to slugs, and if you place some anywhere in your garden, the slugs will drown in it. You will need to keep doing this to eliminate all the slugs eventually. The other option is to introduce predators. Virtually all domestic birds are predators of slugs. If you bring in chicken, geese, ducks, or turkey, they will care for the slugs.

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How to Propagate Euphorbia Lambii

When planted in the garden, this plant will drop seeds that germinate in winter because the conditions are ideal. Take the seedlings and plant them where you want to grow them. Ensure the soil is well-drained, but it should constantly have some moisture when establishing the plant. Allow the plant to grow as usual after establishment.

You can also propagate the plant using stem cuttings through the following steps.

Propagation by stem cuttings is prevalent across the genus Euphorbia. The punning we talked about that is the part of protecting branches from breaking provides an excellent opportunity to propagate as the pruned parts become cuttings. Prune your Euphorbia with a sharp, sterilized knife to hit these two birds with one stone. Sterilization ensures that 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 Lambii occurs in winter, which is also the best time to propagate using cuttings. Thus pruning the tree towards the end of the fall is strategic. Allow the cutting to dry off a bit 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.

Before conclusion, the last reminder …

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In conclusion

There is a bit of debate about whether it is possible to grow this plant indoors or not. Some people consider it too big for the indoors. However, when planted in a pot, the limited amount of soil limits its growth, sometimes just one meter long. This eliminates height as an objection. On the other hand, you should remember that the plant is toxic and protect your pets and children accordingly. Euphorbia Lambii can live for between ten and fifteen years; thus, it will decorate your yard or house for a long time.  

ABOUT ME

Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

Contact me: richard.succulentcity@gmail.com

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