Euphorbia x Japonica
Euphorbia cv. Multiprolifera
E. cocklebur is a hybrid of Euphorbia Susannae and Euphorbia Bupleurifolia.
E. cocklebur is a dwarf hybrid succulent of the Euphorbiacee botanical family. The plant has a short woody turnip-shape caudex. The stems are small and spherical and can reach 4 cm in diameter. Tubercles are dark green and short lanceolate green leaves grow in tuft at the apex of them. In the dormant period, this plant drops its leaves to reduce water loss, and then grows them back in the awakening period.
This is a slow growing succulent but quite easy to cultivate. For this succulent the best sun-exposure is light shade, and the plant does not like temperatures below 8 °C so it needed to be placed indoors. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly from March to November: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow to the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a very fast and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specifics fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. The pot should be quite large and deep because the root is large and tuberose. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Handle the plant carefully and wear gloves because the latex it exudes is toxic. If the caudex will be covered the growth will be lush and fast, although if the caudex is exposed to sunlight the vegetation will reduce in size.
Because cocklebur is a hybrid, in order not to lose the characteristics of the plant, propagation can only be done by cutting. By cutting you can use the offsets that grow at the base of the plant. Cut the offset as close as possible to the base of the stem and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. With Euphorbias is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. To encourage the production of the offsets you can make a cut at the base of the branches.
Species of the Euphorbiacee family normally if are damaged, exude a white milky sap, called latex. Many plants produce latex, but in the Euphorbiacee this latex is often poisonous and may irritate skin. The poisonousness is due to some alkaloids so it is best to keep the plants away from children or pets.
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