Euphorbia × japonica
This succulent is a hybrid created by Edward Hummel (1903-1979), a nurseryman, horticulturist, and succulent hybridizer in Carlsbad, California, United States. It is a result of a cross between Euphorbia bupleurifolia and Euphorbia susannae.
Euphorbia 'Cocklebur', also known as Euphorbia × japonica, is a dwarf succulent that develops a short caudex partly underground and produces branches profusely in every direction to form a dense clump. The branches are subspherical, with spirally arranged tubercles, corky scars of fallen leaves, and a tuft of long leaves at the apex, resembling a small pineapple. They are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The deciduous leaves are green, lance-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and about 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) wide. Flowering has not been observed to date.
How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia 'Cocklebur'
Light: This succulent is a sun lover. Place your indoor E. 'Cocklebur' in a sunny window. You may place the pot on the balcony or in the garden from spring to fall. Increase sun exposure gradually to prevent sunburn.
Soil: E. 'Cocklebur' requires well-drained soil. Use a commercial potting mix formulated for succulents, or make your own.
Temperature: High summer temperatures are not a problem, but low winter temperatures can damage or kill your plant. E. 'Cocklebur' can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: From spring to fall, water when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Reduce watering in winter. Give it just enough water to prevent wilting. The best time of the day to water your E. 'Cocklebur' in the warm season is the evening.
Fertilizing: Plants in a pot need regular feeding. Apply a balanced fertilizer in a 10-10-10 NPK formulation, diluted to 1/4 strength once a week during the growing season.
Repotting: E. 'Cocklebur' will benefit from repotting, but it does not need to be repotted every year. When your plant is outgrowing its pot, it is time to repot it in a larger pot and give it a fresh potting mix. The repotting is best done in early spring, at the beginning of the growing season. Wear gloves, protective clothing, and appropriate eye protection when repotting this succulent.
Propagation: This plant is easy to propagate by using stem cuttings. The best time to take cuttings is in spring or summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
Toxicity of Euphorbia 'Cocklebur'
E. 'Cocklebur' produces a toxic white milky sap that may cause burns or irritation if in contact with the skin or eyes. Therefore, it is best to keep this plant away from children and pets.
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