How To Propagate Euphorbia From Cuttings

Euphorbias, also referred to as spurge, are perennial plants that are simple to grow. They might be landscape plants or indoor houseplants. The euphorbia genus includes small annual plants and enormous, long-lived trees. One of the largest genera of flowering plants, the genus has approximately 2,000 species. The Americas, Madagascar, and Africa are where the majority of the succulent species are found.

Seed Propagation

Although they may be grown from seed, euphorbias can be challenging to germinate. In equal parts coarse sand and commercial seed growing mix, sow seeds in the spring. Germination takes 2 to 6 months in cold weather, but can take place in 1 to 2 weeks in warm weather.

Stem Cuttings

For many species of euphorbias, cutting-based propagation is the simplest and fastest approach. It can also be used to trim an old plant back into shape. Use a clean, sharp knife to make the cuttings. If at all possible, branching species should be clipped at the branching point. Decapitate solitary plants like Euphorbia bupleurifolia or Euphorbia piscidermis to promote the growth of side shoots that may then be pulled off and planted.

Spring, when growth begins, is the ideal season to collect cuttings, but summer is also a good period. Cuttings should only be used in an emergency to save plants with root rot since they have little chance to take root when taken in the fall or winter.

After cutting, the latex must be entirely removed in a glass of water or by spritzing. Quickly following the flow, cold water and a brief contact with a candle or match ignite.

Large-leaved Euphorbias should have the leaves chopped off with a knife directly above the cut. Before planting, the cut surface should be allowed to dry for one or better, several days, for species without leaves. Leafy Madagascan plants just require a little period of drying. Root formation will be aided by applying a hormone rooting powder to the sliced surface. The same planting media used for seeding can be used.

Rooting may take longer than anticipated, but it can be hastened by employing a thermostat-controlled warming pad to raise the soil temperature to about 77 F (25 C). Avoid being in the sun directly. Unrooted cuttings that have dried up can occasionally be salvaged by soaking in water that is at room temperature until they swell back up and can be planted again.

Some euphorbias with side shoots that can be rooted grow as branches and do not take the conventional plant form. This group includes the Medusoid Euphorbias in addition to Euphorbia brevitorta, Euphorbia groenewaldii, Euphorbia tortirama, and other species. These demand for the so-called two-step cutting technique.

Leaf Cuttings

Euphorbia francoisii, Euphorbia cylindrifolia, Euphorbia pachypodioides, Euphorbia ankarensis, and Euphorbia millotii are a few of the Madagascan Euphorbias that have been successfully propagated from leaf cuttings. Rock wool cubes are set on coarse sand in a tray, and leaves are gently removed off the plants—not cut—and placed inside of them. The sand should have water covering its surface (putting the leaves directly into damp sand also works, although with greater losses). Fungicide and hormone rooting powder help the process. The desired outcome should be achieved using both light heat and a chilly position with a plastic cover to boost humidity. The plants are ready to be potted after 40 days because they are sufficiently matured.

Can Euphorbia be rooted in water?

A succulent euphorbia called Euphorbia trigona is grown for its ornamental stems. If it is rooted in water, it will rot and should not be. Take a stem cutting of this plant in late spring or early summer to propagate it.

When taking cuttings, keep your skin and eyes protected because the sap might irritate some people’s skin or eyes or perhaps create an allergic response. The health of the parent plant and the cutting depends on stopping the flow of milky sap. Spray water onto the parent’s wound after dipping the cutting end in water. To prevent infection, allow the cutting to “heal” (dry out) for a few days. Create a container with a peat moss base that has been wet, add perlite for enhanced drainage, and then top it with a layer of horticultural sand or vermiculite to avoid rot. Place the cutting in the potting mixture and keep it at room temperature in filtered light.

For around two months, keep the potting material just slightly damp. By that time, the cutting will have developed roots and new growth. The plant can be replanted in a succulent potting mix and cared for as an adult euphorbia.

How long does it take for Euphorbia cuttings to root?

When the right conditions are present, the majority of the evergreen euphorbia species will self-sow. Young seedlings can be pulled off the plant. Like other perennials, the non-evergreen varieties can be divided in the early spring or the early fall. These procedures can also be used to successfully develop evergreen and woody species from cuttings.

How is Euphorbia Mammillaris propagated?

The thorny bushlands of South Africa are the natural habitat of Euphorbia mammillaris. Near the plant’s base, it develops a stout main stem with tiny, club-like lateral branches. The plant’s variegated variety, which has white and green flecks throughout, is more vulnerable to bright sunlight than its all-green relative.

  • ‘White Rockets’ need a lot of light, ideally at least five hours in direct sunlight. These plants can be grown indoors in a window that faces south.
  • Because variegated types are more susceptible to sunburn than other varieties, if you’re growing this plant outside, place it in a spot with some light shade to shield it from the midday sun.
  • Above 70 oF, Euphorbia mammillaris will flourish in high temperatures. Up to 35 oF, they can tolerate the cold.
  • These semi-arid plants favor dry settings, yet they can also thrive in environments with some humidity if they want.
  • Euphorbias favor arid environments. To water effectively, completely soak the soil and let it air dry in between applications.
  • Water your plants regularly in the spring and summer, and less frequently in the fall and winter.
  • The soil needs to be grittier and drain properly for these succulent plants. The best soil to use is one for cacti or succulents. To increase grit and drainage, soil combinations can be supplemented with sand or fine pumice up to 50%.
  • ‘White Rockets’ normally bloom in the early spring through the first part of the summer. Cyathia are little, yellow flowers that grow at the ends of stems.
  • Although fertilization can be administered to give plants a boost throughout the growing season or to restore depleted soil, these plants normally do not need it.
  • Only during the growing season, use a balanced fertilizer once a month, diluted to half its intensity. During the fall and winter, stop using fertilizer.
  • These plants can be easily multiplied from stems that branch off at offsets. Use cutting shears to separate offsets. Before planting cuttings in soil, give them a few days to callus. After the roots begin to form, keep the soil relatively dry before watering normally.
  • Although euphorbias typically withstand pests and diseases, there are still a few things to watch out for. Pests that are most frequently seen are mealybugs and spider mites. Use diluted neem oil or a pesticide to treat the afflicted plants.
  • Other issues to be on the lookout for include root rot and powdery mildew, which typically result from overwatering or inadequate air circulation, respectively. When growing a plant, always err on the side of underwatering and place it where it will get enough of ventilation.
  • These plants need very little to no upkeep. Euphorbias prefer to be root-bound and have fine, shallow roots. One repotting should be performed every two to three years at most. Put potted plants into a container that is 2 inches wider than usual to give them room to expand.
  • Every Euphorbia plant has a poisonous sap that is highly irritating to the skin and extremely toxic if consumed. Keep children and pets out of reach. When handling this plant, use gloves and exercise extreme caution.

Does euphorbia require direct sunlight?

In general, euphorbias need a sunny location and rich, well-drained soil. Light types, meanwhile, can tolerate some shade and do well as ground cover around shrubs and trees.

How to plant euphorbias

Dig a deep hole when planting euphorbias that have been cultivated in pots and fill it with compost or leaf mould. Euphorbia should be planted firmly, then it should be watered well and mulched to keep moisture in and weeds out.

Here, Monty Don proposes two exceptional euphorbia species and provides planting instructions. Additionally, he offers advice on how to grow euphorbias from cuttings.

How to care for euphorbias

As long as the growing environment is favorable, euphorbias don’t need feeding or special care. After the blooms have faded, blooming stems should be pruned. However, gloves must always be used when working with euphorbias because their milky sap is hazardous if consumed and irritates the skin and eyes.

How to propagate euphorbias

Euphorbias can be grown by taking springtime cuttings. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sap.

By collecting cuttings of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii in the spring, you can learn how simple and gratifying euphorbia propagation is. Monty Don offers advice on how to maintain the cuttings’ viability, plant them, and shield your hands from the irritating sap:

Should Euphorbia be reduced in size?

Euphorbias are a lovely addition to any garden since they add color in the spring and summer and have attractively shaped foliage. They also have vivid, colorful bracts.

Some evergreen euphorbias just require their faded blooms to be trimmed back once they have finished flowering. Others have biennial stems that must be trimmed to the ground after flowering, like several Euphorbia charcacia kinds. Fall is the time to trim down deciduous plants to the ground.

Wear gloves when handling euphorbias because they all have a thick, milky sap that can irritate the skin and eyes.

Euphorbia reproduce in what ways?

The family Euphorbiaceae includes the genus Euphorbia. It is commonly recognized that this genus is one of the most varied in the entire plant kingdom, with approximately 2000 species. Euphorbias can range in size from weed-like, low-growing “spurges to magnificent, cactus-like succulents that can reach heights of several meters. One well-known species in this genus is the Poinsetta (E. pulcherrima), a stunning and well-liked houseplant.

The distribution of Euphorbia includes tropical regions of Africa (where the majority of the succulent Euphorbias are found), Madagascar, and the Americas as well as colder, temperate regions of Asia and Europe. Australia and the Pacific Islands both have euphorbia species.

When cut open, the majority of euphorbia species release a milky latex sap. This functions as both a defense mechanism to stop animals from eating the plant and a natural wound-healing mechanism for the plant. If it comes into touch with skin, it can result in excruciating inflammation and a rash. If consumed, some species’ latex can be quite harmful to people. The toxicities of several species are listed in this helpful resource.

This toxin has a di- or tri-terpene ester chemical structure, depending on the species. The distinctive feature that sets all euphorbia species apart from cacti is their milky sap.

A business in Australia is presently investigating the use of E. peplus sap as a skin cancer treatment. According to the notion, the sap kills the cancerous skin cells and forms a scab that finally falls off.

Due to the diversity of the genus Euphorbia, numerous reproductive strategies are seen. Monoecious plants have blooms on the same plant that are both male and female. Some Euphorbias have male and female blooms on separate plants, or they are dioecious.

This genus was given that name by Carolus Linnaeus in honor of the Greek physician Euphorbus, who is credited with discovering a use for Euphorbia as a medicine (most likely Resin Spurge).

This succulent is also a euphorbia. Take note of how the spines protrude in pairs, similar to the species seen to the right.

This Euphorbia has thick, protective skin and spines. As opposed to a cactus, the spines protrude in pairs.