Botanical Name — Euphorbia inermis
Common Name — Medusa’s Head or Green Crown
Plant Family — Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia inermis is native to the eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a small geophytic species, both a caudiciform and medusoid Euphorbia. It has many branches that radiate from a central stem which resembles a spiral when viewed from above.
- Euphorbia plants do best in full sun, at least 5 to 8 hours a day. Avoid intense afternoon sun. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure and direct sun.
- Euphorbia inermis prefer warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s. It can become stressed if left in conditions of extreme temperatures or intense sun.
- These plants are not cold hardy, if grown outdoors migrate these plants to a sunny spot indoors when night time temperatures drop below 55 ºF.
- Native to arid and sub-tropical climates Euphorbia inermis are drought tolerant plants. Their soil should be allowed to dry out entirely before watering thoroughly.
- Water less in the dormant months when it's resting. About the only way to kill this plant is by over watering especially in winter.
- Euphorbia inermis grow best in a fast draining soil mix. Use cacti or succulent soil, or amend potting soil with sand or pumice up to 50% to improve drainage.
- The Caudex is a tuberose root stock which is an underground water-storage organ so it is very resistant to drought.
- In optimal conditions, the plant will flower in spring and summer. Each branch crown will be covered with fragrant, pure white or yellow flowers.
- These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.
- Can propagate by seed or branch cuttings.
- Sow freshly harvested seeds in a gitty, well-drained mix. Keep soil moist and provide ample humidity to encourage germination and seedling growth.
- Let branch cutting callus for a couple of weeks before planting.
- These plants are quite resistant to pests and diseases. Root rot can become a problem if the plant is overwatered and will quickly kill the plant. Plants weakened by root rot are more susceptible to common pests, so always err on the side of underwatering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Little maintenance is required to grow these plants. Pruning is only necessary if parts of the plant are unhealthy or damaged.
- All Euphorbia plants contain a poisonous sap that is very toxic if ingested and highly irritant if contacted with skin. Keep out of reach of pets and children. Wear gloves and take great care when handling this plant.