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- Euphorbia esculenta Marloth
Euphorbia esculenta Marloth
Kapland 247 1908
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Rudolf Marloth “Das Kapland: Insonderheit Das Reich Der Kapflora, Das Waldgebiet Und Die Karroo, Pflanzengeographisch Dargestellt” Jena 1908 (Text in German).
Cultivation and Propagation: Euphorbia esculenta is an easy species to grow that is suited for any well drained soil in full sun. It is cultivated as an ornamental, and is a particular favourite of succulent plant enthusiasts.
Growing rate: It is a relatively slow growing and long lived plant and once established, it will be content in its position and with its soil for years.
Soil and pots: It likes deep pot with generous drain holes to accommodate its tap root, needs a very airy potting medium very permeable to water which mainly consists of non organic material such us clay, pumice, lava grit, expanded slate and only a little peat or leaf-mould. Re-pot every two years.
Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet in summer. Use preferably a cacti and succulents fertilizer with high potassium content including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer.
Exposure: It can tolerate moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Watering: Water regularly during the active growing season. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Keep almost completely dry in winter. However this spurge will tolerate dryness and can even thrives in poor, dry soils, but do better when grown in nutrient-rich soils with regular watering.
Aerosol salt tolerance: It is salt tolerant.
Hardiness: Some cold tolerance. This spurge has tolerated temperatures down to –6º C and even a little snow. However it can be difficult to get it to look its best without a good amount of heat and sun (USDA Zones 8-11)
Rot: Rot it is only a minor problem with Euphorbias if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Known hazards: As with all other Euphorbias when a plant get damaged it exudes a thick white milky sap known as latex. This latex is poisonous, and may irritate skin. Pay extreme attention not to get any in your eyes or mouth. Cultivated plants must be handled carefully.
Propagation: The plant can be reproduced by seeds or cuttings If you take a cutting from this plant, you will get a strange bunch of sideways 'fingers' that will not come true to the shape of the parent. In this case, wait for seed. If you remove an offset, remember to let it dry for some days, letting the wound heal (cuttings planted too soon easily rot before they can grow roots). Lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the substrate. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward. It is better to wash the cut to remove the latex.
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