Euphorbia bongolavensis Rauh
Euphorbia bongolavensis is a small shrub that grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. The main stem stops elongating by forming short, densely crowded shoots bearing clusters of leaves, creating an open umbrella-like crown. Though not really a succulent but a very slow-growing xerophyte, Euphorbia bongolavensis is a real must-grown by the succulent enthusiast. It has uniquely colored leaves with a red base and the rest of the leaf green to bluish-green depending on how much sun or shade. The stem resembles a Commiphora or Bursera with its peeling bark. The flowers are reduced in size and aggregated into a cluster of yellow flowers.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 36 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Euphorbias are very easy to care for. These plants require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. 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. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.
These succulents can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). They are 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
It is endemic to Madagascar.
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