Cactus and Succulents forum→Looking for Eurphorbia Hypogaea Care Tips

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 2566, Replies: 26 » Jump to the end
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 6:53 AM CST
Hi all,

Just got this Euphorbia Hypogaea three days ago.
I've never had one before so I'd like to know how to care for it and make sure it's happy and healthy. My experience is mostly limited to Echeverias and other stonecrop plants.

Also, I've noticed it's been losing a few leaves to wilting/yellowing. Should I be worried?

Thanks in advance.



[Last edited by sech - May 28, 2020 7:14 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254649 (1)
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 7:36 AM CST
Ill give you some universal pointers about euphorbias
-their roots are terrible. I think you can visually see why, but in general: they need coarse draining soil(NOT like echeverias and sedums and other crassulacae). Emphasis on the coarse. This means small gravel, perlite, pumice, crushed brick, baked clay etc... lots of coarse inorganic material to compose the bulk of the soil. Also, extra care during potting. I neednt mention this, but larger holes on the bottom of the pot(and lots of them if you can)...
- they like it moist in winter. They dont have a rest period(like a lot of cacti and succulents), but they do like it dryer in winter, but not completely bone dry as most cacti. Basically half the watering frequency in summer.
-not to bright, not too dark. Euphorbias sun burn easily.
Prefer very bright, but not direct sun, especially suddenly.
Also, dont water for 2 weeks after potting.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - May 28, 2020 7:39 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254682 (2)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 8:50 AM CST

Moderator

Nice plant. Thumbs up

I don't think you can generalize (or universalize) like that about a diverse genus with thousands of species. Euphorbia roots can be really robust. Some Euphorbias react really poorly to winter water. Many Euphorbias do not burn under full sun (there's plenty of them here that get nearly day-long sun with no ill consequences).

The plant in the original post looks good to me. Be careful not to put it in too big a pot. Maybe 4" to start with, wider than deep, with fast draining soil. It may lose some or all its leaves from the stress of being bare rooted and moved to a new home, but that should be entirely reversible once it gets started again. Find a place with lots of light if the plant will be indoors (try to max out the light and place the plant close to a very sunny window) but if it will be outdoors, it will require protection from overhead sun (bright shade or filtered light would be best outdoors, at least for starters).

Wait a week after potting up the plant to water deeply for the first time.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 28, 2020 9:03 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254748 (3)
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 8:59 AM CST
skopjecollection said:Ill give you some universal pointers about euphorbias
-their roots are terrible. I think you can visually see why, but in general: they need coarse draining soil(NOT like echeverias and sedums and other crassulacae). Emphasis on the coarse. This means small gravel, perlite, pumice, crushed brick, baked clay etc... lots of coarse inorganic material to compose the bulk of the soil. Also, extra care during potting. I neednt mention this, but larger holes on the bottom of the pot(and lots of them if you can)...
- they like it moist in winter. They dont have a rest period(like a lot of cacti and succulents), but they do like it dryer in winter, but not completely bone dry as most cacti. Basically half the watering frequency in summer.
-not to bright, not too dark. Euphorbias sun burn easily.
Prefer very bright, but not direct sun, especially suddenly.
Also, dont water for 2 weeks after potting.


Thanks for sharing. Do you think an equal parts mix of pumice, crushed grit and turface would work for it? I make it a standard practice not to water for a week after first potting. Any reason why I should wait two weeks though? This plant is an import and has been in transit for a while so I don't want it to get too thirsty either.
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 9:13 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Nice plant. Thumbs up

I don't think you can generalize (or universalize) like that about a genus with thousands of species. Euphorbia roots can be really robust. Some Euphorbias react really poorly to winter water. Many Euphorbias do not burn under full sun (there's plenty of them here that get nearly day-long sun with no ill consequences).

The plant in the original post looks good to me. Be careful not to put it in too big a pot. Maybe 4" to start with, wider than deep, with fast draining soil. It may lose some or all its leaves from the stress of being bare rooted and moved to a new home, but that should be entirely reversible once it gets started again. Find a place with lots of light if the plant will be indoors (try to max out the light and place the plant close to a very sunny window) but if it will be outdoors, it will require protection from overhead sun (bright shade or filtered light would be best outdoors, at least for starters).

Wait a week after potting up the plant to water deeply for the first time.


Thank you! Looks like a tiny little pineapple Grin
Most of my pots are 3" so I think I'll start there. This plant is imported and has been in transit for 2+ weeks, so I'm relieved to hear it looks fine overall. I grow all of my plants indoors under grow lights so that's where this one will be staying. I've been helping it adjust to my lights by turning down their brightness and increasing the number of hours it gets incrementally.

I'm thinking about potting it in pumice, crushed granite and turface; would that work in your opinion?
Also, how would I pot this little guy? In its listing photo half of its body was planted beneath the soil. Should I plant this way too or leave more of the body exposed?
[Last edited by sech - May 28, 2020 9:15 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254769 (5)
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 9:21 AM CST
I think you would do fine with pumice and turface with a bit of soil mixed in(a bit, like 30-20%). What is crushed grit? Is it fine, is coarse? Is it like sharp gravel? If the later, coarse and sharp, definitely. Unless its made from mostly limestone...then no,...or if its fine and very dusty/sandy...also no.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 9:22 AM CST

Moderator

Take a look at these pictures of Euphorbia bupleurifolia and hybrids for more examples of pineapple-looking plants. I am partial to the leafy tuberculate Euphorbias myself.



The mix which I use is 50% pumice, 50% organic (half cocofiber, half compost). You should be able to make an all-inorganic mix work if you increase the watering accordingly.

Was the plant really buried up to the brown line before? Maybe it was seated right in the soil and there was top dressing (coarse rock on top of the soil) up to the line? I would put it up so the minimum amount of actual stem is buried. You can use top dressing to help keep it upright if you need to.

I don't think there is any advantage to waiting more than a week to water.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 28, 2020 9:23 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254784 (7)
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 9:29 AM CST
@Baja_Costero, again, i generalize because i look at how the average perform. Out of the bunch, e.lactea, e.ingens, e.trigoa, e. resinifera, e. milli, (mild), the medusoid, e. debilispina all got sunburnt...
Like I said, im comparing this to my growing conditions, with acclimation included...
@sech may I add the photo to the DB? Its blank given that the plant is rare...
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 9:32 AM CST

Moderator

E. lactea, ingens, trigona (all tree-like plants when mature), resinifera, milii, and several medusas tolerate full sun here without any problem. The trees tolerate day-long sun with no problem (as one would expect from their habit).
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 9:34 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:E. lactea, ingens, trigona (all tree-like plants when mature), resinifera, milii, and several medusas tolerate full sun here without any problem. The trees tolerate day-long sun with no problem (as one would expect from their habit).


Like I said, my conditions, my data...
7b means theyll be indoors for the winter, so.... more relevant..
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 9:37 AM CST

Moderator

I am still scratching my head at why or how a tree Euphorbia could be sensitive to sunburn, except perhaps in the presence of extreme heat. I would recommend you adjust how you accommodate succulents to the sun to give them more time and more of a gradual progression.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 28, 2020 9:38 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254812 (11)
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 9:40 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:I am still scratching my head at why or how a tree Euphorbia could be sensitive to sunburn, except perhaps in the presence of extreme heat. I would recommend you adjust how you accommodate succulents to the sun to give them more time and more of a gradual progression.


They were adjusted.
This was likely after a wet period, mid summer, didnt happen during spring....
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 9:53 AM CST
skopjecollection said:I think you would do fine with pumice and turface with a bit of soil mixed in(a bit, like 30-20%). What is crushed grit? Is it fine, is coarse? Is it like sharp gravel? If the later, coarse and sharp, definitely. Unless its made from mostly limestone...then no,...or if its fine and very dusty/sandy...also no.


The crushed grit I have looks similar to this:
Thumb of 2020-05-28/sech/49f925 and no limestone as far as what was advertised.

And certainly; you can go right ahead and add the photo to the DB Smiling

Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 10:10 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Take a look at these pictures of Euphorbia bupleurifolia and hybrids for more examples of pineapple-looking plants. I am partial to the leafy tuberculate Euphorbias myself.



The mix which I use is 50% pumice, 50% organic (half cocofiber, half compost). You should be able to make an all-inorganic mix work if you increase the watering accordingly.

Was the plant really buried up to the brown line before? Maybe it was seated right in the soil and there was top dressing (coarse rock on top of the soil) up to the line? I would put it up so the minimum amount of actual stem is buried. You can use top dressing to help keep it upright if you need to.

I don't think there is any advantage to waiting more than a week to water.


Wow, those are all so beautiful! Lovey dubby I can't believe I'm just now stumbling upon these beauties Drooling
How big do they grow usually, or does it vary? I would love to collect more in the future but I want to make sure I have the appropriate space for them.

Oh, that's good to hear. I have both pumice and cocofiber so I'll use those. How often would you recommend watering in this mix? Just as soon as the soil dries up, like I do with my echeveria?

This was the listing photo for this exact plant:
Thumb of 2020-05-28/sech/be18f1
That was my guess too but I wasn't sure because of what I'd seen in the listing photo. My concern was that the stem might rot with subsequent waterings from being buried so deep.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these qs. Just wanna make sure I'm doing everything possible to keep this plant healthy.
[Last edited by sech - May 28, 2020 10:12 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254847 (14)
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
Image
skopjecollection
May 28, 2020 10:14 AM CST
The crushed grit is fine...
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 12:03 PM CST

Moderator

OK, a quick lesson in names. The species name hypogaea means "below the soil" and that combination can be found in terms like "hypogeal germination" which would apply to the species below, which germinates below the soil and sends shoots both upward and downward from there. An uprooted seedling showing hypogeal germination:



Not the best picture but I think you get the point. Gaea was the Greek goddess of the earth.

I have no experience with this species but I looked it up the Euphorbia Journal and here's what I learned. Thank you for the inspiration to look this plant up, it was interesting to read about.

The "almost entirely subterranean caudex" branches underground and apparently only the branches, not the main stem, are typically visible in habitat. Apparently underground growth is an advantage for this species because of the harsh, hot climate where it lives. They say the plant is difficult to maintain in cultivation because of this underground habit (which is rot-prone with excess moisture), and it is typically lifted in cultivation, both to display the stem and to avoid rot issues. You will want to use a mix that is more than 50% inorganic. The grit you have shown should work, maybe with a small amount of organic (like 10% cocofiber) mixed in.

Further advice from the Euphorbia Journal (which I do recommend by the way): extremely rare in collections; not recommended for beginners. Apparently this plant almost inevitably has a short lifespan in cultivation. I have never seen one in real life.

I would try to lift the stem some from where it was before. Maybe not all the way, maybe just below where your thumb is in the picture. Be aware that recently raised stem is extra sensitive to sunburn so you will want to avoid any exposure to direct outdoor sun for the first few months. Normally I would say keep a succulent at the same depth it was previously when you repot, but this is sort of a special case and raising it is specifically proposed as a helpful measure in the book.

It will be important for you to make sure the soil goes dry before watering, and avoid overwatering during winter. This plant is from near the cape in South Africa and it gets some or most of its rain during winter, so I don't think you should keep it completely dry during that period. If you can make sure the soil is dry at depth when you water, you should be okay.

E. bupleurifolia grows to about 10 inches tall and will be content in a 6 inch pot for life (15-20 years). It has been a very easy plant for me to keep and repdroduce, but you do have to make sure you provide good drainage, don't overwater, and are especially careful to allow the soil to go dry before repotting (and allow it to stay dry for a week afterward).

E. x japonica (aka "Cocklebur" = bupleurifolia x susannae) will grow to about 8-10 inches wide given enough time but it requires a shallower pot because its roots are insubstantial. It is very easy to restart from cuttings should you run out of space down the road. The other parent of this hybrid (susannae) is also an attractive plant. Mine is reaching 11-12 inches (many dozens of heads) but it's pretty old at this point.

These 3 plants should be relatively available, and orders of magnitude more common than E. hypogaea.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 28, 2020 12:21 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2254970 (16)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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
May 28, 2020 12:47 PM CST

Moderator

Can you ask the grower for advice?
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 1:01 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:OK, a quick lesson in names. The species name hypogaea means "below the soil" and that combination can be found in terms like "hypogeal germination" which would apply to the species below, which germinates below the soil and sends shoots both upward and downward from there. An uprooted seedling showing hypogeal germination:



Not the best picture but I think you get the point. Gaea was the Greek goddess of the earth.

I have no experience with this species but I looked it up the Euphorbia Journal and here's what I learned. Thank you for the inspiration to look this plant up, it was interesting to read about.

The "almost entirely subterranean caudex" branches underground and apparently only the branches, not the main stem, are typically visible in habitat. Apparently underground growth is an advantage for this species because of the harsh, hot climate where it lives. They say the plant is difficult to maintain in cultivation because of this underground habit (which is rot-prone with excess moisture), and it is typically lifted in cultivation, both to display the stem and to avoid rot issues. You will want to use a mix that is more than 50% inorganic. The grit you have shown should work, maybe with a small amount of organic (like 10% cocofiber) mixed in.

Further advice from the Euphorbia Journal (which I do recommend by the way): extremely rare in collections; not recommended for beginners. Apparently this plant almost inevitably has a short lifespan in cultivation. I have never seen one in real life.

I would try to lift the stem some from where it was before. Maybe not all the way, maybe just below where your thumb is in the picture. Be aware that recently raised stem is extra sensitive to sunburn so you will want to avoid any exposure to direct outdoor sun for the first few months. Normally I would say keep a succulent at the same depth it was previously when you repot, but this is sort of a special case and raising it is specifically proposed as a helpful measure in the book.

It will be important for you to make sure the soil goes dry before watering, and avoid overwatering during winter. This plant is from near the cape in South Africa and it gets some or most of its rain during winter, so I don't think you should keep it completely dry during that period. If you can make sure the soil is dry at depth when you water, you should be okay.

E. bupleurifolia grows to about 10 inches tall and will be content in a 6 inch pot for life (15-20 years). It has been a very easy plant for me to keep and repdroduce, but you do have to make sure you provide good drainage, don't overwater, and are especially careful to allow the soil to go dry before repotting (and allow it to stay dry for a week afterward).

E. x japonica (aka "Cocklebur" = bupleurifolia x susannae) will grow to about 8-10 inches wide given enough time but it requires a shallower pot because its roots are insubstantial. It is very easy to restart from cuttings should you run out of space down the road. The other parent of this hybrid (susannae) is also an attractive plant. Mine is reaching 11-12 inches (many dozens of heads) but it's pretty old at this point.

These 3 plants should be relatively available, and orders of magnitude more common than E. hypogaea.


Wow, thank you for all the excellent information. I had no idea this was such a rare plant.
When I searched up Euphorbia hypogaea on google nothing came up. I was beginning to wonder if maybe the plant name was mislabeled.

Is the Euphorbia Journal available online or is it a physical volume? Also, (and somewhat unrelated) is there a similar resource specifically for Echeveria succulents? I've been collecting them for a while now and most of the manuals and horticultural books I found talked about succulents and cacti at large, concentrating very little on Echeveria in particular.
The reason I ask is because I've been collecting many Echeveria that are Korean hybrids and I'm interested in learning more about them. It's nearly impossible to find a scientific text about these that isn't just something someone posted on a personal blog.

Thanks again for all your help.
[Last edited by sech - May 28, 2020 1:41 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2255040 (18)
Name: Elena
(Zone 7b)
Container Gardener
Image
sech
May 28, 2020 1:02 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Can you ask the grower for advice?


That would be a difficult task since the seller speaks Korean only. Sad
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
May 28, 2020 1:05 PM CST
sech said:Hi all,

Just got this Euphorbia Hypogaea three days ago.
I've never had one before so I'd like to know how to care for it and make sure it's happy and healthy. My experience is mostly limited to Echeverias and other stonecrop plants.

Also, I've noticed it's been losing a few leaves to wilting/yellowing. Should I be worried?

Thanks in advance.





That is a lovely Euphorbia. I do not grow that one, but it reminds me of how my Euphorbia ritchiei, looking like a little pineapple, but it grows succulent, wider leaves more when it is in a cool, part sun area.

Some Euphorbias from what I have seen can take the heat very well, but some like the one I mentioned likes it cool to warm, and always in a very gritty, well draining media. I kept mine in the small container it came in.

I do bring it outdoors here, but in a part shade area, so it will not get too dry roasted. It will easily dry out the leaves it makes when we get in toasty, dry heat wave conditions here. In my area, it can still manage 90F to 100F temps, but got to be in some shade and with stepped up watering.

So pretty much with your plant, use the grittiest media you can find like cacti mix with a good layer of pumice, so you can freely water and let the excess water out. If your outdoor weather permits it, they would grow better outdoors, but watch your temps and humidity levels. My area is different, so over here I can afford to water frequently with our very dry outdoor environment.

It is quite normal too for lower leaves to dry out first. So looking at your plant, I would say it still looks relatively okay.

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« 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 ge1836 and is called "DAYLILY Starling"

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