Euphorbia alluaudii Drake
Cat Tails Euphorbia, Sausage Tree, Stick Euphorbia, Yellow-leaf Bush Euphorbia, Milk Bush, Pencil Tree, Stick Cactus, Stick Plant
Euphorbia alluaudii subsp. alluaudii, Euphorbia leucodendron, Tirucalia alluaudii
Euphorbia alluaudii, also known as Euphorbia leucodendron, is a spineless succulent shrub with narrow, cylindrical, jointed, pale green stems, first erect then arch outwards to form a mass as wide as tall. It grows up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall. The stems are tipped with many green, up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long leaves in summer. They are dotted with brown marks where the leaves were previously attached. At stem tips in spring and summer appear tiny yellow-green flower structures (cyathia) that hold the even smaller flowers. The fruits are red and somewhat heart-shaped.
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 tolerate 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. Feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly if you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor.
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.
This species is native to Madagascar.
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