Euphorbia tigrona also known as the African milk tree, cathedral cactus, friendship cactus, good luck cactus or Abyssinian euphorbia is a rapid-growing, drought-tolerant, flowering succulent plant native to Central Africa. Many people often get confused that the African milk tree is a cactus, but actually, it is a succulent plant that looks like a cactus.
The stem of this plant is triangular-shaped and has thorns and leaves on the ridges. A single main stem grows upwards up to 4 to 9 feet tall forming many secondary branches. It requires minimal care and watering to grow, therefore if you are new to the world of gardening, then you can start by growing the African milk tree plant in your garden.
African Milk Tree (Euphorbia Trigona) Plant Care Guide
Follow these guidelines carefully to care for African Milk Tree (Euphorbia Trigona) Plant.
- Sunlight: The African milk tree plant is popular as a houseplant, but it can grow in bright direct as well as indirect sunlight. However, during hot summer days, you can keep this plant in indirect sunlight.
- Soil & Potting Mix: This plant grows well in sandy soils, but it can grow in a wide range of soils. For best results, you can prepare a potting mix with 40% soil + 30% river sand + 30% neem cake fertilizer or cow dung manure. If you planting them in clayey soils, then water very little and let the soil dry completely before the next watering.
- Watering: Euphorbia Trigona is a drought-tolerant plant and, therefore does not require frequent watering. Whenever the potting soil becomes completely dry, water gently and make sure that after watering, water comes out of the drainage holes at the bottom properly.
- Fertilizers: From spring to summer season, you can apply a handful of cow dung manure or vermicompost once a month. It does not require heavy fertilizing and will keep growing even if you don’t apply any fertilizer to this plant.
- Pruning: The roots of this plant don’t grow much deeper but the top grows very tall along with secondary branches and becomes heavy. Therefore, you can prune with a pruning shear out the side branches to maintain equal weight on all sides of the plant. Make sure to wear gardening gloves while pruning this plant as it contains thorns.
- Potting & Repotting: You can transplant the African milk tree plant anytime in a year, as it has a shallow root system, therefore you do not need to repot often. However, after every year or two, you can transplant them to a larger pot from spring to summer to promote new growth.
- Pests & Diseases: Generally, they are not much affected by pests, but in worse conditions, pests such as mealybugs can damage your the African milk plant. You can either use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or neem oil spray to control these pests. Avoid overwatering or waterlogging to protect your plant from root rot or other fungal diseases.
How To Propagate The African Milk Tree plant?
You can propagate the African milk tree plant from stem cuttings very easily. Anytime from spring to summer with the help of a clean pruning shear or knife take stem cutting from the base of the 4 to 6-inch secondary stems. You can directly plant them in the pot or for better results, rinse them with cool water and towel dry.
Keep cuttings under shade for 4 to 7 days, then plant them in 4 to 6-inch sized pots and water gently. Within 14 to 21 days roots will start developing.
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