Euphorbia alba (indoor flower): home care
One of the most common ornamental plants in pot culture is white-euphorbia. You will learn how the plant looks, how to care for it, and what conditions to provide for it, from the article.
Botanical description of the plant
Euphorbia or euphorbia (scientific name) forms a thick, rectangular-shaped trunk as it grows. The surface of the trunk is ribbed, consists of 4-5 faces, on the edge of which brown stipules grow with a short fringe. The plant can reach a height of 2 meters in height, while the lower part of the trunk is exposed as it grows. The bare stalk and sprawling large leaves make euphorbia look like a palm tree.
Milkweed species differs from other varieties with a pronounced white veins on the leaves. Bright green, glossy leaf plates are very large - up to 20 cm, elongated-oval in shape with long petioles.
In early spring, light green buds with white filiform petals appear in the leaf sinuses. The flowers are small and against the background of large, bright foliage are almost invisible.
Around the middle of August, the flowering period ends; in the place of wilted inflorescences, seed boxes ripen. A fully ripened box bursts and literally shoots seeds, scattering them in a radius of about half a meter.
Important! To prevent seeds from germinating in adjacent flowerpots, the box should be removed until it ripens completely.
Benefit and harm in the apartment
When buying a white-veined euphorbia, many think about the question: is it possible to keep it at home. On the one hand, there are many superstitions testifying against this flower, on the other, there are many signs that speak in its favor.
You can have a different attitude to popular beliefs, but you need to know the danger of the poisonous juice of milkweed. Getting on the skin of the hands, it causes serious burns, can cause blindness in contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes. Doctors recorded cases of poisoning that led to a coma. Therefore, it must be kept away from animals and young children who, out of curiosity, can taste the plant.
Did you know? In ancient India, poisoned arrows were made using milkweed juice.
However, it can be beneficial. Traditional medicine is known for its properties:
It is not difficult to create a suitable microclimate for white-bellied euphorbia. However, for this you need to follow some rules.
Check out the features of cultivating such types of milkweed:
You need to place the plant near a light source. Windows of the south-west and south-east direction are best suited for this - here the lighting will be quite bright. From direct sunlight, the flowerpot should be shaded so that ugly burn spots do not appear on smooth leaves.
In the warm season, the pot can be taken out to fresh air, however, the euphorbia must be protected from draft. On cold nights, it is better to put the plant back in the room.
In the warm season, the temperature is + 20 ... + 25 ° С. Exceeding the values threatens wilting foliage and a delay in the flowering period. In winter, the flower is kept at a temperature of + 18 ° C, a temperature below + 15 ° C is considered critical. A sharp decrease is fraught with decay of the root system.
Euphorbia alba prefers moderate humidity of 40–50%. In winter, he is not afraid of the proximity to heating appliances, provided that he is not too close. An air spraying procedure is appreciated, but not required. A warm shower in the summer and wiping the leaves in cold weather will help to remove accumulated dust from large sheet plates.
Care procedures do not cause questions even for a beginner. The plant is unpretentious and not capricious.
From March to August, euphorbia is watered once a week. Starting in the fall, watering is reduced to 2 times a month. When watering, use the method of irrigation of soil coma; water should be at room temperature, standing. In winter, during the period of rest, it is only necessary to ensure that the soil lump does not dry out completely. To do this, once a month, the soil in the pot is sprayed, trying not to get on the foliage.
For fertilizer, it is recommended to use special liquid mineral complexes for cacti and succulents, for example, Pokon. Top dressing is introduced in March, when the plant begins to grow. In the first month, the procedure is performed 2 times. From April to August inclusive, top dressing is applied once a month. In winter, the plant does not require additional nutrition.
Learn more about the features of dressing indoor plants.
How to crop
The flower needs annual pruning, which is carried out after it fades. The stem may not withstand the heaviness of large leaves with thick petioles, therefore it is shortened by 10–15 cm. The too branched apex is cultivated by truncation by 3–5 cm. All sections must be wet from the protruding juice and treated with crushed activated carbon.
How to transplant
A young, actively growing specimen is transplanted annually, adult bushes - every 2-3 years. The procedure is carried out in the spring. For transplant take a new tank, 3-4 cm larger than the old pot in diameter. The earth mixture is prepared from the following components in equal parts:
- leaf soil;
- coarse river sand.
Important! Work with the plant is carried out exclusively with gloves, it is also advisable to protect the eyes from accidental splashes of juice. Technology Procedure:
- Expanded clay is placed at the bottom of the tank with a layer of 2-3 cm as drainage.
- A hill of soil is poured.
- Place the succulent on a hill of soil and fill it with earth, evenly distributing it throughout the tank.
- The soil is slightly tamped.
- If necessary, create support from the sticks or support the stem with stones.
- The transplanted plant is kept at a temperature of + 18 ° C.
- Care procedures are not performed during this period.
Video: Transplantation of white-milked milkweed
How to propagate
Euphorbia propagates both by seed and vegetatively.
In May, the plant has a peak of active growth of lateral shoots, at which time cuttings are carried out. The reproduction process looks like this:
- A sterile sharp knife cuts the shoots, almost under the stem.
- The slice on the stem is cleaned of juice and treated with crushed coal.
- Cuttings for a day are placed in a container with warm water.
- After this, a section is sprinkled with charcoal and left for another 2 days to form a film.
- Rooted seedlings in a mixture of sand and peat (in equal parts).
For self-collection of seeds, the box is twisted by turning clockwise around the axis. They begin sowing in early spring. Ripe seeds are ground with coarse-grained sand to disrupt the integrity of the shell and ensure germination. Did you know? In the history of the Ancient World, the doctor Euphorb is mentioned, the court healer of the king of Numidia, who, according to legend, discovered the healing properties of milkweed. This is where the second name of this flower came from.
- In loose moist soil evenly distributed on the surface of the seeds.
- Sprinkle them with soil, a layer of no more than 5 mm.
- Crops are covered with a greenhouse and placed in a cool place (+ 16 ... + 18 ° C) for 2 weeks.
- Every day the greenhouse is aired, the soil is sprayed and condensate is removed from the film.
- After 2 weeks, the crops are placed in standard conditions.
- Fortified seedlings with 2-3 strong leaves dive into separate containers.
Possible growing difficulties
Euphorbiaceae can be affected by diseases and insects, which are attracted by the succulent and fleshy leaves of the plant. Symptoms of the lesion and treatment methods:
- Gray rot - manifests itself in the form of plaque on the stem of a grayish-green color. Damaged parts must be cut off and treated with activated carbon. The plant is treated by spraying, using the drug "Fundazole". To prepare a solution, 1 g of the substance is diluted in 100 ml of water, the resulting solution is adjusted to a liter volume.
- Late blight - the symptoms of the disease are inhibition of the plant, fading leaves, a deformed stem. The disease affects the root system of the succulent, so a diseased plant needs a transplant. Damaged root sections are removed, the sections are treated with charcoal and dried for about an hour. The plant transplanted into new soil is treated with the Mikosan preparation (50 ml per 1 liter of water).
- Bacterial spotting - affects leaves and stems with dark wet spots. Sick parts of the plant must be removed, then treat the flower with the drug "Oksihom" (2 g per 1 liter of water).
- Spider mite - a spider web in the axils of the leaves and black small dots on the foliage will tell you about the appearance of the pest. Processing is carried out in stages: first a warm shower with a soapy solution, then spraying with Akarin (1 ml per 1 liter of water). After 10 days, the procedure is repeated if necessary.
- Mealybug - when it appears on the green parts, white sticky spots remain. Greens are wiped with a cotton swab dipped in medical alcohol. The topsoil needs to be replaced. Then treat the bush with the preparation “Aktara” (1 g per 1.25 liters of water), spray the foliage and spill the soil. Repeat in 12-14 days.
- Scaffold - leaves brown stains on leaf plates. Against an insect, they are treated with Aktara (1 g per 1.25 L). They process green mass, with an interval of 10 days, another 2-3 procedures are performed.