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Euphorbia alluaudii (Cat Tails Euphorbia)

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Scientific Name

Euphorbia alluaudii Drake

Common Names

Cat Tails Euphorbia, Sausage Tree, Stick Euphorbia, Yellow-leaf Bush Euphorbia, Milk Bush, Pencil Tree, Stick Cactus, Stick Plant

Synonyms

Euphorbia alluaudii subsp. alluaudii, Euphorbia leucodendron, Tirucalia alluaudii

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia

Description

Euphorbia alluaudii is an interesting spineless succulent shrub up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall. It has narrow, pale green, cylindrical and jointed stems that rise erectly and then arch outwards to form a mass as wide as tall. The stems are tipped in summer with many, up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) long, green leaves and are dotted with brown marks where the leaves were previously attached. In spring and summer at branch tips also appear the very small, yellow-green flower structures (cyathia) that hold the even smaller flowers and the developing fruit is red and somewhat heart-shaped.

Photo via plantslive.in

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia

Origin

Native to Madagascar.

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