Euphorbia Lactea - Plant Care and Growing Guide

Published On: Sep 22, 2021

Euphorbia lactea or spurge plant has more than 2 thousand species. Out of which, almost 1300 are categorized as succulents. People recognize them as plants with fleshy leaves and weird shapes. They look very similar to cacti and can withstand strong temperatures. 

While their shape sets them apart from other plants, they also produce flowers. They bloom mostly in spring or summer and are inactive during winters. 

Euphorbia lactea is also simple to grow and handle. If you have a garden, you can grow these beauties easily. They make for wonderful house plants as well. They do not require special care and attention and are pretty self-sufficient. Too much care and water can in fact destroy these plants. 

In this post, we are going to talk about these plants in detail and share some tips to help you grow and care for them. 

How to Care for Euphorbia Lactea

Plants like euphorbia lactea do not require extensive care, especially after it gets settled. The beginning phase however requires proper attention and care.  It is all worth it because the result always turns out nice and beautiful. 

Soil 

Well-draining soil helps euphorbia lactea live a longer life. The plant isn’t a cactus but using cacti and succulent soil for these plants can benefit you a lot. If you do not wish to invest in additional soil, we suggest mixing it up with perlite for better draining.

For those who don’t know, perlite is a natural mineral that helps with soil draining. It also offers great nutrients that help plants grow better. It is important to know that this plant doesn’t rely on high nutrient levels. In fact, higher nutrient levels can overwhelm it. 

Water

Euphorbias have specific water requirements.  During summers, they require one a week of watering with regular monitoring to ensure it doesn’t require any more or less watering. 

Remember, if the plant starts turning brown or yellow, it’s a sign that it’s getting more water than necessary. If the plant starts to wrinkle, it means it is not getting enough water. 

During winters, euphorbia lactea may not require any water at all. Just give it some water when the winter season begins and leave it like that till spring. 

When watering euphorbias, always soak the soil fully.  If you have a potted plant, you need to water it till the water starts to come out of the drainage holes. Also, you need to let the soil dry before watering it again. 

Light

For good euphorbia lactea growth, locations with partial shade work the best. These plants also enjoy a fully sunny environment but can get sunburnt.  Like humans, plants can get sunburns too. In plants, these are visible in the form of leaf scorch.

If you intend to plant them indoors, a window that receives good sunlight will do the job. You don’t have to place the plant right by the window, a sunny room will also do the trick. 

Fertilizer

Fertilizers give an additional growth boost to euphorbias especially during the spring to fall season. Avoid adding fertilizers during winters though. When using fertilizers, opt for diluted ones as they help prevent any burns. 

Temperature

Euphorbias are tropical plants. Thus, they enjoy tropical weather conditions. They cannot tolerate frosty weather conditions and should be taken care of during that season. 

When planning them during summers, you should always be on the lookout for leaf scorch. The more direct sunlight it gets, the higher are the chances of getting a sunburn. Your plant requires shade from time to time. It keeps them healthy and alive for years to come. 

Pruning and Propagation - Euphorbia Lactea  

For pruning euphorbia, always use a clean and sharp knife.  Don’t rush with the cutting and focus only on removing the branching pieces of the plant. 

After pruning, go ahead with propagation. It is an incredible way to create more plants of the same species. If you aren’t sure how to begin, just use the pieces you cut off and replant them. Place those pieces in a dry area for a few days and once it is dry, put it in a vase filled with water. 

Wait for the roots to grow in the water. In no time, you will start noticing new roots appearing on the sides or from the same location you planted the pieces at. Replant ane your plant directly into the ground or in a pot and watch it grow! 

Managing euphorbias is super easy. Like other succulents, you only have to watch your plant thrive after a certain point in time.  It only requires proper care and attention in the beginning. 

Different Kinds of Euphorbia Lactea or Spurge Plants You Can Grow

Euphorbia Lactea is available in varied kinds, patterns, and colors. Each type has its own characteristics and care requirements. Let’s have a look at each of these varieties. 

Euphorbia Cristata

Euphorbia Cristata

Also known as elkhorn, crested euphorbia lactea, and frilled fan, this is the most widely known euphorbia lactea type.  It gets all these names thanks to its unique shape. The branches of these plants have wavy patterns, typically in an S-shaped pattern. While other types have thin and long branches growing in multiple directions, this grows in a close-knit cluster. 

Variegated Euphorbia Lactea

Variegated Euphorbia Lactea

This variety is known for its traditional green color and white lines. They also have certain yellow, purple and pink sections that differentiate them from other euphorbias. Most of them have a green base with extra colors popping on their brand tops. 

Euphorbia Lactea White Ghost

Euphorbia Lactea White Ghost

They are a type of Variegated Euphorbia. Unlike most variegated plant types that have additional color, white ghost euphorbia are mostly white in color.

They are different from other varieties because of their sensitivity to the sun as well.  These plants tend to get sunburn more easily than others. Make sure you keep them only in partially shaded spots because they do not well in fully sunny areas. 

Euphorbia Lactea Toxicity

Euphorbia Lactea Toxicity

Keep these plants away from the reach of children. As the name suggests, it is high in toxicity. Even touching them simply can lead to irritation and you wouldn’t want your child to go through that. 

The plant also contains a sap that can lead to severe reactions. Even a slight touch on the sap can lead to immediate swelling, redness, or blisters that will linger for some time. If you find yourself coming in contact with the sap, get rid of it as soon as possible and thoroughly wash that part of your skin.  

Amazing Benefits of Euphorbia Lactea 

Euphorbia Lactea is a special plant. Wondering what makes it special? It’s the benefits it offers: 

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

This plant acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat several conditions such as rheumatic arthritis eczema, fibromyalgia, and body swelling. 

Asthma Control 

Euphorbias are known for their splendid ability to fight against respiratory tract issues such as asthma, flu, cold, chest congestion, and bronchitis.  Professionals term it as a powerful bronchitis treatment method.  Keeping dry leaves of this plant under your head overnight can offer relief. You can also take these leaves in liquid form for best results. 

Enhance Immunity

Viral and fungal infections tend to make our immune system weaker. Using Euphorbia Lactea’s liquid pulp helps strengthen our immunity. It is a proven method that also helps treat inflammation and eye infections. 

Resolves Digestive Problems

Euphorbia Lactea works like magic for treating digestive and gastrointestinal problems as well.  Experts use the entire plant (except the roots) and boil it for about 15 minutes to make a special tea. They advise patients to consume this potion multiple times during the day for treating problems like constipation, diarrhea,  irritable bowel movement, and vomiting. 

Prevent Skin Ailments

Euphorbias play a significant role in treating problems. As per a study, these plants can fight against sin cancers.  The presence of sap in these plants is a remarkable way to kill cancer kills in one’s skin. It also contains ingenol mebutate, which again is an extraordinary method to destroy cancer cells. Several other reports suggest that this plant can also reduce the effect of wrinkles, sunburns and behaves like an anti-age agent.  

Combat Dengue

When down with dengue, people losses an enormous amount of platelets in their blood. Euphorbias help reload the platelets balance and cure dengue fever efficiently. 

Cure Mouth Ulcers

The roots of cactus euphorbia lactea are great for making serums. Gargling with this serum multiple times during the day helps treat mouth ulcers and the pain related to them.

Heals Burns and Blisters

Burns and blisters attract fungus and bacteria.  Thus, they need proper care and treatment and euphorbia offers exactly that! It is capable of treating light as well as harsh burns. The presence of ethanol in these plants helps reduce the effects of wounds. It also contains antimicrobial characteristics that combat infections. 

Insect or Bug Repellent 

The pupicidal and larvicidal components of these plants repel bugs, mosquitoes, and other 

insects. Many studies also suggest that it is one of the finest ways to control malaria. 

Better Sexual Health

Yes, regular consumption of Euphorbia Lactea can improve the sexual health of both women and men alike. It is used as a sexual stimulant and solves problems like impotence, infertility, gonorrhea, and premature ejaculation naturally. 

IN CONCLUSION

Euphorbias are a great choice for those with little or no experience in gardening. They require minimal attention and care. Just make sure you plant them in well-draining and high-quality soil. Let them thrive by ensuring proper soil dry-out time between waterings and giving them ample indirect sunlight. 

Remember to wear gloves while touching these plants though. Their sharp thorns and milky sap can lead to severe infections. So, keep them within a safe distance from your pets and kids.