Euphorbia Suzannae Care Conditions, Propagation & More

Euphorbia Suzannae is originally from South Africa, specifically the Cape Region. Today it is found in many countries as a decorative plant. Its name indicates the genus from which it comes- Euphorbia Suzannae is the species’ name, also known as Suzanne. Suzanne’s Spurge is the plant’s common name.

Like many other Euphorbia species, this plant appears like a cactus, but it is a succulent whose foliage forms a dome shape.

Physical Characteristics of Euphorbia Suzannae

Stems

Clustering is one of the characteristics of this succulent. It grows several different stems, and each one of them is chubby and small at about ten centimeters in height. The plant’s cluster extends to a width of about one foot. With the stems on the outer sides of the diameter being shorter, they increase progressively in height as you move towards the center of the clump.

The outcome, therefore, is a dome-shaped clump of stems. Each stem produces tapering tubercles that appear like threads towards their ends. These tubercles, however, turn rounded in older stems. When the plant grows in moderate light, the stem’s pigmentation is green, but it gets brown-tinged when the sunlight is strong.

Flowers

Euphorbia Suzannae flowers in spring and the fall. Flowers form on cyathia like many other plants in the Euphorbia genus. This cyathium stands on stalks that grow from between the tubercles and is yellow. The flowers include within the cyathia in clusters of about five flowers. This cluster usually comprises one female flower surrounded by a few male ones.

The flowers produce nectar that attracts insects and birds for pollination. The flowers are bell-shaped, and they require the plant to be well-taken care of to grow. The absence of flowers is one of the indicators that the plan’s care is not optimal.

Roots

We have already established that Euphorbia Suzannae has short stems, but this does not mean it is a small plant. The biggest part of the plant is underground, which is why its root system is so unique. The roots appear swollen like those of beetroots.

euphorbia suzannae roots
Photo by @rubysoho0 via Instagram

Euphorbia Suzannae Care

This plant is relatively easy to take care of. You can plant it outdoors or indoors in pots or planters. If you plant it in a pot or planter, it is recommended that you change the pots after two years to accommodate the rather extensive root system.

Lighting and Placement

Although it needs a lot of sunlight, too much of it might damage the plant. Unlike other succulents, high temperatures damage it by scouring the leaves. It is therefore advisable to avoid the hot afternoon sun.

If you want to plant it indoors, as my people are wont to do, place it in a room with sufficient natural light. It is preferable that you keep the plant next to a window; it should point in the direction of direct sunlight. Western and southern windows usually allow natural sunlight to come through, and you should keep it within one foot of the window. Turn the plant regularly to ensure all sides get equal amounts of light. Failure to turn it will see the plant grow unevenly.

Sunlight is essential for the plant, and if you experience long periods where the weather keeps the sun from shining, you can use grow lights to mimic the natural light. Ensuring that the plant gets enough sunlight ensures that the plant does not suffer stunted growth.

This plant isn’t cold-hardy, so it may not be advisable to use it for xeriscaping if your area has frigid winters. Alternatively, you can plant your outdoors Euphorbia Suzannae in pots and move them indoors when it gets too cold. The ideal temperature for this succulent is between 25°F and 50°F.

Soil

Although it looks like a cactus, Euphorbia Suzannae is succulent, and plants of this variety don’t do well in waterlogged soil. Too much water is the single greatest danger affecting Euphorbia because it has the potential to cause root rot. When planting in a pot, use a cactus potting mix and blend it with pumice, ground coconut shells, or something else to improve the soil drain.

You can add some organic matter to the soil to enhance its fertility and enable it to maintain a bit of moisture for the plant’s health. It is advisable to use a mix of sandy and loam soil to plant this succulent outdoors. You can bring the soil from elsewhere and put it in the planting holes if clay is the naturally occurring soil in your area.

If you are planting in a pot, its nature is essential, and you should ensure it has drainage holes at the bottom. It doesn’t matter how well draining the soil is if the water has nowhere to go when it passes through the soil. The material from which the pot is made is also a factor in how breathable the soil is. A terracotta pot has excellent breathability, and it improves how well aired the soil will be. When breathable, the pot allows water to evaporate through the walls, further enhancing soil drainage.

ALSO READ:

Watering

Euphorbia Suzannae is drought-resistant, and it doesn’t do well in too much humidity. Very wet soil might cause its roots to rot. It is advisable not to water it until the soil is arid. One can test if the soil is dry by inserting a skewer into it; it should be dry when removed. You can use your fingers. In the absence of a skewer, dip your fingers into the oil and water the plant only if the first three inches of the soil are dry. Avoid watering if there is still moisture at any point of the first three inches.

How often you water the plant depends on the season. You can water it once every week in summer. It would help if you did not water it in winter. It is, however, important to note that the frequency of watering may vary from place to place due to factors such as temperature. For example, all summers are not equally hot, and the more the heat, the more frequent the watering. The best approach is to identify the rhythm of moisture and dryness in the soil in the various seasons.

Fertilizer

It’s advisable to add fertilizer when planting for the first time and mix the pottage with an organic fertilizer when growing the plant for the first time, especially when the soil is of poor quality.

Pruning and Grooming

There’s no need to prune it unless the stem starts drying up. When grooming the plant, always put on protective gear to keep the toxic sap away from your eyes and skin.

Pests and Diseases

Euphorbia Suzannae is primarily resistant to pests and diseases. Sometimes bacterial and fungal infections may occur. In such cases, it is advisable to separate the infected plant from the rest to avoid spreading. Although they are commonly resistant to pests, you may notice mealybugs and spider mites on the plant’s leaves. These can cause damage or death to the plant if not taken care of.

You can use natural remedies such as neem oil, a systemic pesticide. Being systemic causes the plant to be unpalatable to the pests. Other natural remedies include the following.

  1. Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it directly on the affected parts being careful to protect your skin and eyes.
  2. Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water so that the product is concentrated enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.
  3. Biological control: You can control the pests in your succulents by introducing predatory insects. It would be best if you were careful when doing this because the survival of the predators will depend on there being a constant supply of pests. To keep them alive, you would need to introduce just a few to control the flow of pests but not finish them, yet the goal should be to remove the pests altogether.

Propagating Euphorbia Suzannae

You can propagate Euphorbia Suzannae either by cuttings or by using seeds.

small euphorbia suzannae
Photo by @floratopia via Instagram

Cuttings

You need the following things, so put them together before you start.

  1. A sharp cutting tool such as a knife or hand pruner
  2. Alcohol wipes, methylated or surgical spirit, and cotton wool
  3. Pots, the number of which depends on the number of plants you want to propagate
  4. Well-drained soil
  5. Heavy gloves and goggles

Take the following steps for successful propagation.

  1. Put on your gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes from the toxic milky sap that will run from the plant.
  2. Take your cutting tool, and wipe it with alcohol wipes or otherwise sterilize it. Sterilizing the instrument is an integral part of the process as it ensures neither the daughter nor mother plant gets infected with any disease that might be on the tool.
  3. Cut one of the stems or branches at the base with your now sterilized tool. The cutting should be about 15 to 20cm long, and wait a few days for it to be callous.
  4. Rinse the cutting and the wound on the mother plant to stop them from oozing sap. Coldwater causes the liquid to thicken fast.
  5. Once the cut is closed off, plant the Euphorbia Suzannae in well-draining soil and water lightly. You should be vigilant not to let the soil be ever completely dry.

Seeds

You can propagate this plant using seeds by collecting pods when they are ripe and sowing them on a seedbed before transplanting them when they are ready. In addition, you can wait for the seeds that fall to germinate naturally and plant them.

The main problem with this approach is that it takes much longer for the new plants to be established than if you had used cuttings. A houseplant of this nature rarely produces seeds due to the limited opportunities for pollination.

Some plant parents indicate that a Euphorbia Suzannae plant propagated from seeds doesn’t produce a caudex; only a seed bore one does.

Repotting Euphorbia Suzannae

Euphorbia Suzannae’s root system is the biggest part of the plant. It becomes increasingly more extensive as the plant grows, and there is every likelihood that it will outgrow the pot every two or three years. Constrained roots aren’t healthy for the plant, and you should move it to a bigger pot every two years.

Our Take on Euphorbia Suzannae

In conclusion, this plant is easy to take care of; anyone can plant it because it requires little care. It is beautiful to look at. Planting and taking care of it until it’s fully grown is such an exciting journey. Raised in the right conditions, it will survive for a long time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posted in Succulents