There are about 2,000 known species in the spurge family, and this is one of the easiest to grow indoors. For a succulent shrub, it is not fussy. It readily produces bright green leaves and, from late winter until early fall, clusters of tiny flowers surrounded by two cheery red bracts.
In the form lutea the bracts are yellow. Flowering can be almost continuous if plenty of good, bright light is provided.
In its native habitat the plant grows happily in granite crevices, reaching up to 6ft/1.8m, but as a houseplant it rarely achieves this height.
The woody stems are about as thick as a little finger and carry sharp spines, most of which are around 3/4in/2cm long; wear gloves when handling the plant. The relatively few leaves are bright green, elliptical, and up to 2V2in/6.5cm wide.
POTTING MIX Soil-based, with sand or perlite added .
REPOTTING Every 2 years; once 5 or 6 years old, top-dress it.
PROPAGATION In spring or summer take 3-in/8-cm stem cutting. Dip the cut ends into tepid water to halt the flow of sap, then leave them for 2 4 hours to dry before inserting them into a rooting medium.
KEEPING PLANTS Prune if necessary before new growth appears in spring, but beware: when cut, the plant exudes a poisonous white latex. Do not allow it to come into contact with the eyes or mouth.
Euphorbia Milii var Splendens Euphorbiaceae PLANT CARE
- Full sunlight, but shade it from very strong summer sun.
- Minimum winter temperature of 55 1'/13 C; normal room temperature at other times.
- The plant likes warm, dry conditions.
- Allow the surface of the soil to dry out between waterings; water sparingly in winter.
- Apply a weak liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks while in bloom.
- Leaves appear only on new growth and are not replaced if they fall.
- Move plants that are shy to flower to a brighter location.
- If leaves drop at any time other than winter, the plant may be waterlogged or too cool.