Euphorbia platyclada Rauh
Dead Plant, Dead Wood Plant, Dead Stick Plant
Euphorbia platyclada var. platyclada, Tirucalia platyclada
Euphorbia platyclada is a succulent plant with weird flattened, mottled red-brown stems that radiate from a raiseable heavy rootstock. It is a small, leafless, freely branching subshrub that grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. There are both erect and prostrate forms. The branches are very interesting, unique, with an irregular scab-like texture, and look dead. These branches are splayed out with fingers dangling like dead weights. Flowers are small, orange-gold, or brownish.
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. 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia.
This species is endemic to Madagascar.
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