Cactus and Succulents forum: Euphorbia tirucalli growing lots this week.

Views: 353, Replies: 14 » Jump to the end
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Image
GardenGems
Oct 15, 2019 1:06 AM CST
Hello,

My Euphorbia tirucalli, 'Sticks on Fire', I started it from a small cutting in January. It has put on a tremendous amount of growth in the last week. 1/3 or more is new growth. The closest limb, a branch starting from the very bottom is all new, the parts that are bright yellow are all new. One weeks growth. I thought they were a summer grower, but mine went dormant this summer and is now growing. It seems to be happy.

If I understand correctly the colour gets better in fall and winter. I was thinking after it slows down, moving it into the window directly behind where it is now. That way it gets less light and is cooler by the window.

Thumb of 2019-10-15/GardenGems/0de605
Thumb of 2019-10-15/GardenGems/077ca2
Thumb of 2019-10-15/GardenGems/0dd4a4

Cheers,

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Oct 15, 2019 12:00 PM CST

Moderator

I am always curious to see what plants look like growing under different conditions than the ones here.

This Euphorbia seems to grow year round in our climate, though more in the winter because that's when we get our rain. The fiery color is amplified by stress (typically sun exposure or cold). It's stronger here during the summer, due to sun and drought.

More growth is not necessarily better in containers, because this plant has a tendency to get leggy and fall over, when given insufficient light. The shorter the internodes, the better.
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Image
GardenGems
Oct 15, 2019 5:42 PM CST
I was intentionally trying to get it to get bigger. I was in the process of moving it towards a winter sleep, when it started all this growth.

No, worries about it falling over or getting too leggy. I try to keep all my plants on the small size, by pinching, pruning and removing off-sets. I just don't have the space. And just don't want any large plants.

I will probably not get the red colour from this grow light. I tried putting it closer to the light at the end of summer, but instead I burned it/bleached it out. I believe getting damaged it what caused it to decide to shoot up new growth. That and in early September I moved it from a plastic pot into terra cotta pot of the same size, but I did replace all the old soil with new. Not the ideal time, but I wanted to get all of my plants that were still in plastic in clay before winter. I know, I pick up the watering can too often.

I ordered new lights, a better brand, maybe I can get both more intense colour and tighter growth. This past summer, we planted a bunch of tender succulents in our outdoor succulent garden. This was not one of those plants, but it will be next year. When I dug those this fall, there was a noticeable difference in growth from same plants that remained inside.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Oct 15, 2019 7:12 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds like a plan. Thumbs up Yes, putting succulents in the ground for the season (and then retrieving them afterwards) can result in surprisingly quick growth some times. Do be careful when it comes pruning time, as this plant produces a noxious (irritant) sap that you should try to avoid getting on your skin (or especially in your eyes).
Name: Debbie Diamond
Metairie Louisiana
Image
hardwarechick
Oct 18, 2019 5:09 PM CST
My euphorbia tirucelli (spelling?) went through a growth spurt too. They're in bright morning sun and bright evening sun but the tips haven't turned red. When I purchased them they were labeled "sticks of fire". This is two different ones. Duh! Oh well. This is another plant that I had a bunch of until hurricane Katrina took them. Broke my heart but now I'm starting to accumulate them all again. One by one. Grin
Thumb of 2019-10-18/hardwarechick/9b8aaa
Thumb of 2019-10-18/hardwarechick/f3b3fc

Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Image
GardenGems
Oct 21, 2019 4:43 PM CST
Chick nice plant.
I got my new grow light and it has made a significant difference in the colour of my plant. The light also gives off what appears to be a pure white to the naked eyes, but is actually made up of a few different colour diodes. Most of the plants seem to like it, except all the aloes, even the ones near the fall off point leaves have curled. So, I moved them to another area.
Thumb of 2019-10-21/GardenGems/dd82e9
Thumb of 2019-10-21/GardenGems/136a04
Thumb of 2019-10-21/GardenGems/117a05

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Oct 21, 2019 4:50 PM CST

Moderator

It's a good sign that the leaves of that Kalanchoe in front are (half) red.

Your growing area is immaculate. Thumbs up

Beginner_Gardener
Aug 16, 2020 1:14 PM CST
Hello guys,

I found this thread as most appropriate and recent to share some photos with you, and ask for advice for my new Euphorbia Tirucalli.

I got it as a gift two weeks ago and only watered it once, but I noticed that some branches started to dry and I don't know what could be the problem. I don't know if the problem was started even before my friend gave it to me, or I started it with the first watering. Regardless, there is some damage done.

I attached my photos.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thank you!
Thumb of 2020-08-16/Beginner_Gardener/0b05b2
Thumb of 2020-08-16/Beginner_Gardener/a11519

Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
Plant Identifier Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Image
mcvansoest
Aug 16, 2020 1:39 PM CST
I suspect this was an issue in progress probably due to too much water. Plant needs a bigger pot, and better soil. If you keep it inside water only when almost to just dry. Make sure the pot it is in has a drainage hole and the plant does not sit in standing water long ie. if you keep it indoors and you have a dish under the pot to catch extra water running through the pot empty that.
Once you have done this give it lots and lots of light, direct sun light is preferable. These plants will try and grow huge as they are actually trees. I have on growing in the full sun here in the Phoenix area. It is 7 ft tall and gets most of its water from the watering I do to plants around it, I do not really specifically water it even when Ts are 110+ for weeks at a time.
It is what it is!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Aug 16, 2020 1:49 PM CST

Moderator

I agree

Lots of light is key, and maybe there's a preexisting overwatering issue. It looks okay to me otherwise, but you should definitely get a good watering schedule worked out. Ideally the soil should be totally dry or almost dry at depth when you water. Try to water to saturation (and avoid standing water afterwards, as Thijs mentioned), then allow the soil to go dry (not just at the surface) before watering again. A proper wet-dry cycle is good. It will probably take longer for the soil to go dry during late fall and winter, given the lower light. So maybe you might want to water more often during the summer compared to winter. You kind of have to tailor it to conditions unless those conditions are really even and regular year-round, like they are here in the coastal subtropics.

Here is another recent thread about this plant with more info and pictures.

The thread "What happened to our little pencil cactus?" in Cactus and Succulents forum
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 16, 2020 1:51 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2329301 (10)

Beginner_Gardener
Aug 16, 2020 2:47 PM CST
Thank you @Baja_Costero and @mcvansoest for the fast reply and good advice! I will look into the thread you mentioned here Smiling

I will definitely try to work out a proper watering schedule and replant it in a bigger pot. What kind of soil do you recommend?




Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Aug 16, 2020 3:06 PM CST

Moderator

Everybody has their own recipe but I like a mix of 50% organic (compost and cocofiber) and 50% rock (pumice). You can substitute perlite, or lava rock, or fine gravel for construction (a variety of things work in that size range) depending on what is easily available to you. Avoid fine sand. Many/most commercial cactus mixes are good in principle but they tend not to have enough rock in them by my standards.

Regarding watering, here are the two boundaries to know about. There is no particular advantage to allowing the soil to sit bone dry for any extended period, though succulents are often very drought tolerant. There is however a risk of rot (proceeding through the roots into the stem) if you do not allow the soil to dry out enough often enough. Now we can't see the soil at the core of a pot with our eyes (hidden from view by more soil and a plant on top) but there are various ways you can try to figure out soil moisture down in there. Sometimes just lifting the pot is enough if you can judge by weight. Or you can try and see how much water the soil will absorb when you think it's dry, and that will tell you how far it was from saturation in the first place. Some people like to stick a bamboo chopstick in there for a couple of minutes and see if it comes out moist or with wet soil stuck to it. I would try to avoid doing that every single time you water as you will eventually do harm to the roots. Experience (and close observation of the plant) will teach you how close you are to this theoretical comfort zone.

Beginner_Gardener
Aug 18, 2020 10:39 AM CST
Thank you @Baja_Costero for your detailed explanation. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether I should remove all of the old soil and replace it with a new one?

I bought a compost, however, when I took out the plant from the pot I noticed that the soil is very tightly connected to the roots and I'm afraid that I will damage them if I remove the soil.

Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Image
plantmanager
Aug 18, 2020 11:48 AM CST
I'm sure Baja will be back with a detailed explanation, but I just wanted to say that I don't disturb the roots very much. If things are really hard and tight, I take a knife and score it a bit. Then I fill in with the new soil around it, but don't add any new soil on the top. The top level has to remain like it used to be. I only go with pots one inch larger than the one they were in. You don't want a pot that is too large or they try to fill it with roots and the top doesn't do much!

I have some of these plants, and they can get very large. You don't have to hesitate to trim them up.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Be a superhero and wear a mask
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Aug 18, 2020 5:13 PM CST

Moderator

Karen has given very good advice all around. Don't touch the sap if you prune, it's not good for you, and wear some glasses for protection because the sap may come spurting out under pressure and you definitely don't want it in your eyes.

If the old soil is radically different from the new soil, maybe consider soil removal. If it's just a little bit less rocky or whatever, I would leave the root ball intact. You have more to lose than to gain from lots of root wrangling when there is not a clear objective or a clear difference between the old and new soil.

Two things I would bear in mind.

One is that some of the new soil will go underneath the current rootball (as well as around the sides of it) and that is the place where moisture tends to accumulate the longest, and be released the latest. That's where good drainage is probably most important.

Two is that even small steps in pot size (like the inch increments in width that Karen mentioned) tend to result in large increases in actual volume. It's not always obvious from a casual glance, but volume is a cubic thing and diameter is a linear thing, so small increases in diameter can result in large increases in volume.

I spent the time to figure this out in a practical way for myself, and what I learned was given the series of pot sizes that I normally go through, one at a time (4 inch, 5", 6", 8", 10"), each step up results in about a 2-fold increase in volume, more or less. That means you are probably going to put about as much new soil in there as there was old soil from before, and that means you are tipping the overall balance strongly in your favor (drainage, breathability) every time you move your plant to a bigger pot and use proper soil in the process.

Finally, very importantly, don't water immediately after repotting. Wait a few days to a week, depending on how much damage the roots may have endured.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 18, 2020 5:15 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2330826 (15)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Cactus and Succulents forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "Jacob's Cattle Beans"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.