Euphorbia ingens or Candelabra Tree is a spiny, succulent tree native to South Africa. Plants in nature will reach up to 30 feet (9 m) tall, branching into an obconic crown. Branches are erect, constricted, 4-angled with wavy ridges. Spines are in pairs along the ridges and minute. This in an impressive plant to grow and has easy culture requirements. NOTE: One should take care when handling this plant as the milky sap is extremely poisonous. The sap will cause blisters on the skin, and if it gets into your eyes it will cause blindness.
Blooming: Our plants have never produced blooms.
Culture: Euphorbia ingens need full sun and a well-drained soil mix. We use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts coarse sand with small gravel added to insure good drainage. Plant are watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. Once new growth starts in spring, we fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. This is done only once a year. The plants are moderately slow growers and it will take some time for them to branch and look good. Since they are native to equatorial areas we do not subject the plants to any cool dormancy period.
Propagation: Euphorbia ingens is best propagated from cuttings or from seed when available. Cuttings should be taken carefully so not to get any of the milky sap on you. I like to seal the cut end with charcoal dust to stop the leaking of sap. Cuttings are allowed to harden off before planting, a period of one to two weeks should be sufficient.
Euphorbia ingens was featured as Plant of the Week August 11-20, 2009.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.