Euphorbia Umbellata (African Milk Bush)

Euphorbia Umbellata Image

Having plants at home has terrific benefits. No doubt why many individuals are starting to invest in having good plants. Among the most popular house plants are succulents. These beautiful creatures are unique and have their own story, origin, and features. Aside from that, succulents are also known as easy to grow and could thrive in almost any situation. This article will talk about a specific type of succulent called Euphorbia Umbellata. Continue reading this article to learn more about Euphorbia Umbellata care, origin, features, and propagation.


Euphorbia Umbellata is native to East Central Africa. Its usual habitat is rocky slopes with open woodland. This plant is also commonly known as the “African Milk Bush”.

Physical Description of Euphorbia Umbellata

This plant can grow up to 12 feet tall with an equal spread. It is a succulent shrub and is mainly cultivated as ornaments. Its leaves are dark green above and pale green underneath, fleshy and spirally arranged and crowded towards the ends of stems. Each leaf is measured to be 7.5 to 10 cm long and 2.4 to 4 cm wide. Usually, the leaves are crowded at the tips of the fleshy branches. Moreover, the flowers are green to yellow-green, concealed mainly by lance-shaped bracts that are purplish-green above and reddish-purple beneath.


Euphorbia Umbellata produces a white milky poisonous sap called “latex”. This can be highly irritating to the skin, cause blindness, and be toxic when ingested. When touching this plant, it is advisable to wear gloves to avoid getting in contact with this latex. Another thing you may consider is to avoid leaving your pets or kids unattended around this plant. This is to ensure that there will be no unnecessary contact between them and your plant as it is harmful.

Medicinal Uses of Euphorbia Umbellata

Despite the plant’s latex toxicity, it also has some medical benefits. It is specifically used to deal with internal parasites. Several drops of latex can be taken to deal with intestinal parasites and tapeworms. Some previous studies have also shown the use of latex in dealing with cardiac problems and excessive menstruation. Some people have also used latex to get rid of warts, sores, or syphilis.

Ideal Sunlight

Euphorbia Umbellata prefers full to partial sunlight. Only a few succulent shrubs can survive shadier conditions. They may survive in a shaded area as long as it has good soil and still gets enough time with sunlight. Euphorbia Umbellata care includes allowing your plant to be sun-drenched all day.


During winter, the temperature should not be less than 10 degrees Celsius. Generally, Euphorbia Umbellata prefers warm to dry temperatures. This plant can be easily frozen in temperatures below -4 degrees Celsius.

Watering and Pot Requirements

Ensure that you are using a proper pot with enough drainage holes. A pot with drainage holes will allow the water to flow continuously at the bottom. This is good for your plant to avoid overwatering. You have to ensure not to soak the roots in water for too long. You may water Euphorbia Umbellata regularly every 7 days from March to November or during its growing seasons. To know when is the perfect time to water your plant, you can check the soil prior to watering. During the winter season, it is advisable to avoid flooding the plant.

Best Soil For Euphorbia Umbellata

It is crucial to choose a well-draining soil mixture. The soil can be composed of a garden substrate with 25% coarse sand and 15% organic matter.

Feeding Euphorbia Umbellata

Feeding Euphorbia Umbellata with fertilizer is not required. However, if you want your plant to flourish, you may feed it once a month during its growing season only. Same with watering, avoid feeding your plant with fertilizer during winter or its dormant season.

Repotting Guidelines

When your Euphorbia Umbellata is starting to grow bigger than its pot, this is now a perfect time to re-pot. Choose a new pot that has an allowance of around 2 cm. This will allow the plant to thrive for a long time in that new pot. It is advisable to do the repotting during the early growing season. As mentioned earlier in this article, don’t forget to wear gloves when handling or repotting this plant. This is to avoid making contact with the latex this type of plant produces.

ALSO READ: Euphorbia Grantii Care, Propagation & More

Propagating Euphorbia Umbellata

Euphorbia Umbellata can be propagated in two ways. The first way is through seeds, and the second way is through cuttings. As we already know before going into the details, propagation through seeds takes patience and more time. We listed down the step-by-step way for both methods for your easy reference.

Propagation through seeds

  • Euphorbia Umbellata has a fruit that shoots away from the seeds it contains. These seeds are small, round, and light. It can reach up to a few meters away and usually have a uniform spread.
  • If you were to propagate through seeds manually, simply sow enough seeds in a sandy loam soil.
  • You may ensure to keep it in a place with a high level of humidity

Propagation through cuttings

  • You may opt to use the offsets that grow at the bottom part of this plant
  • Use clean scissors or a knife in order to cut the offset as close as possible to the base
  • Let the cuttings dry for 2 to 3 days and for these to calloused
  • Once your cuttings are fully dry, you may now plant them on a well-draining soil mixture

Final Words

In summary, Euphorbia umbellata is a beautiful succulent because of its physical features and some medical benefits noted for this plant. It is a lovely succulent that captures the eyes of plant lovers. Euphorbia Umbellata care still takes patience and time, but it will surely thrive once your plant is stable.

Are you interested in figuring out new Euphorbia plants? Here are a few for your next read:

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents