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Euphorbia lactea

Euphorbia lactea


Origin of the Euphorbia Lactea

The Euphorbia Lactea is native to the tropical regions of Asia, and warm of this continent, mainly in India and Sri Lanka and also occurs in Florida and other tropical areas of the world.

It has been introduced throughout the world for its ornamental value and easy cultivation, creating dense shrubs in freedom.

It is also known as, Tree of dragon bones, candelabra cactus, candelabra plant or Cardón.

There are spectacular varieties , such as the Euphorbia Láctea cristata.

Characteristics of the Euphorbia Lactea

It belongs to the family of the Euphorbiaceae .

It is a bright, very branched, 3-sided, succulent and markedly ringed plant with a very whitish and green ornamental marbling.

All parts of the Euphorbia Lactea are considered poisonous, especially the milky sap.

It is a tall shrub, dark green, very branched and thorny, with a distinctive silhouette that grows to more than 3-6 m in height (or more), but rarely in culture.


Stems, erect, approximately 5 cm in diameter, constricted in oblong green segments.

Center of the segments visibly pale often with white ornamental color and lime green marbling marked.

Ribs: 3 (or 4) slightly winged, sinuous

Leaves, has only the smallest sign of leaves at the tips of growth in summer.

The leaves are rudimentary, circular, reddish, up to 3 mm in diameter, deciduous,

Spines: tiny but sharp, paired, very divergent along the margins and are usually 2 to 6 mm long.

How to care for a Euphorbia Lactea

This plant is not resistant to temperatures below 5 ° C and most can grow in pots (excellent plant in pot ) or plant in very protected places.

The Euphorbia Lactea, is of tropical climate, is one of the few columnar Euphorbias that grow exceptionally well in very humid climates.

It can be kept in full sun or in semi-shade, but because of its variegated shape, it is better to be protected from the strong sun during the hottest hours of the day.

It is suitable substrate for this plant is a mixture formed by equal parts of clay and sand.

Succulent Euphorbias in greenhouses, apparently rarely, are affected by diseases caused by fungi .

This is a slow-growing plant, the ridge forms have a particularly slow growth.

It responds well to warmth, with its period of active growth in the last months of spring and summer.

How to fertilize a Euphorbia Lactea

For its fertilization , diluted liquid fertilizer can be used in the irrigation water every 15 days or using organic fertilizer, the amount depends on the format.

These operations should be performed in the months of growth of the Euphorbia Lactea (spring and summer) and in a less strong dose in autumn.

How to water a Euphorbia Lactea

For irrigation, the substrate should be dry and should be watered about three times a week, during active growth, in summer.

In Winter it is best not to water them that is, they should be suspended or restricted once during the winter.

The most common failure in the growth of the Euphorbia Lactea is watering, especially during the winter months.

He likes porous soil with adequate drainage.

How to reproduce the Euphorbia Lactea

It is propagated by cuttings or stakes, while marbled and crested forms are difficult to grow on their own roots, and are usually grafted for convenience into Euphorbia Canariensis or Euphorbia Resinifera.

It is recommended to take Euphorbia cuttings in spring / summer, when the plant is growing, so that they have a better chance of success.

The key is heat and good air circulation.

These cuts must be submerged in hormones , although it is not essential.

Keep them there for a period of 3-4 weeks, before planting.

Then plant in a pot and do not water abundantly (stay slightly humid) until the cutting is well established.

They will take root very well, if we put the pot outdoors during the summer.

Next, we attach an explanatory video on how to cut the Milky Euphorbia, all have a similar method.



As with all other varieties of Euphorbias, when a plant is damaged, it emanates a milky, white, thick sap.

This sap is known as latex.

This latex is poisonous and particularly dangerous to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

It is extremely irritating to the tissues of the mucosa and capable of causing temporary blindness if it touches the eyes.

Beware of children at home and take precautions when handling this species. Therefore, pay close attention not to be affected in the eyes or mouth.

Cultivated plants should be handled with great care.

Other varieties of Euphorbia Lactea


Euphorbia Trigona (African milk tree)

Euphorbia Trigona (African milk tree)

Vertical gardens