Botanical Name — Euphorbia stellata
Common Name — Spurge
Plant Family — Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbia stellata is native to the eastern Cape Providence of South Africa. At one time named Euphorbia procumbens because of the flat two angled branches which lay flat on the ground. It is a small geophytic species, both a caudiciform and medusoid Euphorbia. The caudex is frequently elevated in cultivation.
- 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 stellata 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 obesa 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 stellata 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 a water-storage organ so it is very resistant to drought. In cultivation caudex is raised over the ground so that it can be seen and is especially cultivated for its looks.
- These plants produce small greenish yellow flowers during the spring and summer time.
- 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. Brach cuttings will eventually form a caudex.
- 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.