Characteristics of the succulent plant Euphorbia stenocardia
Euphorbia stenocardia is a shrub succulent plant (it can become a small tree) native to Madagascar that is currently in danger of extinction in its natural habitat due to the expansion of agricultural areas and urbanization. It is a plant used in many countries in natural fences because its thorny bearing prevents the easy entry of property intruders. It is also grown in pots as a collection plant since it has very slow growth.
This species is characterized by forming very branched and rigid succulent stems (green-grayish coloration) (the new shoots are a little more flexible but will harden in a short time) that together can reach more than 3 meters in height and occupy + / – 2 meters in diameter. Conical tubers of +/- 3 cm long are formed during the growth of the stems that end in very sharp spines; the tubers are generally arranged alternately on the stems (sometimes opposite). After the plant overcome the60 cm high, the base of the stems tends to thicken and become woody (the stems begin to signify). In this species no true leaves are formed; The stems are responsible for the realization of photosynthesis. Like all Euphorbiaceae, this plant has a very corrosive milky latex inside its tissues that can affect the skin and eyes in case of direct contact.
The flowers are unattractive this species and only occur in large plants; flowering occurs only in plants planted in direct soil (it is very rare that it blooms in pots). The flowers are minimal and are arranged in inflorescences into that arise in the apical areas of the stems. Each inflorescence has small reddish bracts.
Tips for the cultivation of the succulent plant Euphorbia stenoclada
Euphorbia stenocardia is a very resistant plant and requires very little care. It is suitable for people with few experiences in the cultivation of succulents. Then your basic care:
It requires full exposure to sunlight. Tolerates perfectly the intense summer sun and even, it will favor the growth of the plant. The culture in the shade can cause a complete stoppage of growth. In small plants, it is recommended to provide some hours of partial shade during the summer.
Thanks grow under the influence of temperatures that are near or above 28 °C. You can tolerate short periods of cold in which temperatures are near 0 °C.
It is essential that the substrate to be used has perfect drainage because it is very susceptible to root rot due to prolonged water logging. A mixture of 1/2 of coarse sand and 1/2 of disinfected garden soil is ideal for this species.
It is a plant that needs very little water to develop optimally and for this reason, it is very susceptible to excess irrigation. Small plants should be watered once a week in the warmest periods of the year. In winter, a monthly watering can be carried out or even not irrigated. Larger plants (greater than 1 meter) can survive with water from occasional rainfall.
Pests and diseases:
It is very rare to find pests attacking this species although some cochineal can affect it if the plant does not have an adequate state of health.
Direct contact with the thorns of this plant can be very painful for both people and pets. A strong blow against the foliage of this plant can cause wounds that can also be affected by latex. Use caution when handling and planting it only if there is a space in the garden that does not pose a risk to humans and pets.
By tender cuttings +/- 10 cm long. They can take more than a month to root.