Tag Archives: succulent

Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)

crown of thornsEuphorbia milii is a very easy plant to grow, that thrives on neglect and puts out a colorful display of bracts around the unnoticeable flowers. The crown of thorns, generally blooms heavy in the winter and intermittently throughout the year. However when you have a large specimen plant it’s more or less a continuous bloomer. Interestingly enough light during the night time can disrupt the flowering cycle of this plant according to Tropica Nursery.Crown of thorns euphorbia milii

Crown of Thorns sap is poisonous and can be a skin irritant so be careful when trimming or reporting the plant. If you are making cuttings you can use cold water to stop the oosing of the sap from both the plant and the cutting.

There are variety of hybrids available with colors ranging from red , orange, yellow all the the way to white. The bracts can be stripes even dotted. There are dwarf varieties and variegated ones as well. Flowering depends on the hybrid type, not all are prolific bloomers.Euphorbia milii crown of thorns

Requirements:

Watering needs:

This plant can thrive on neglect. It can tolerate dry soil pretty well. Overall it has lower to medium watering requirements. Don’t let the soil be soggy, as your plant will most likely rot. Some of the hybrids however prefer a bit more frequent watering than your tipical succulent plant.

Light:

The higher the better. This plant will grow well on east/west and south facing windows.

Humidity:

Dwarf euphorbia milii
Dwarf Euphobria milii

Euphorbia milii is very tolerant of dry environments and is not needy in any way. It’s pretty much indifferent to the humidity level as you can just as well grow it next to higher humidity plant.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Cactus soil and cactus fertilizer work just fine for Euphorbia milii. You can use a regular fertilizer as well, at low dilution. Be careful during reporting time, I would recommend using gloves or wrapping the plant in newspaper to help with handling it.

Propagation:

Can be propagated though cuttings very easily. As with most succulents, it helps to leave the cutting out a few days to dry out a bit before planting it in moist sand to root. Rooting hormone can be used to speed up the process.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

Euphornia miliiThe plant tolerates well being re-potted lower than the original level it was in its old pot. Euphorbia milli can get leggy and the higher the light, the better the plant growth and flowering habit.

Most hybrids available are very easy to flower, are free branching and have a bushy growth habit in general. If the plant grows leggy don’t feel bad for cutting it back.

 

Ceropegia woodii (Rosery vine)

Ceropegia woodiiCeropegia woodii is a gorgeous small-leaved vine, that is commonly called rosary vine, chain of hearts, hearts on a string and so on, due to the heart shape of its cute waxy purplish-silver leaves. I love how this plant looks. It’s a great addition to any house plant collection. The plant is drought tolerant and doesn’t require much attention, it’s relatively easy to propagate, and I’ve used it in different flower arrangements.

Like other ceropegias, the flowers are odd shape and interesting looking. Once this plant becomes well established it will flower throughout the year.  The flowers are not that noticeable ceropegia woodiion the plant as they are not huge or contrasting to the foliage. They are still fascinating to look at, and either way it’s the leaves that are what makes Ceropgia woodii such a pleasure to grow at home.

This plant is native to South Africa. It tolerates dryer air conditions and drought as well as occasional lower temperatures. There are different cultivars available with different size and leave variegation.

Requirements:

Watering needs:

Ceropegia woodii is a succulent plant that tolerates drought. Medium watering will be just fine for it, and if you forget to water it once in a while it will be no big deal. Do not overwater this plant, as it will rot away. Moist soil is ok, but soggy soil or leaving the pot soaking in water for a long time will kill your plant. I tend to let the plant dry out completely and then soak the pot in water until it gets moist, let it drain well and then repeat the cycle. I do water it more in the summer time.

Light:

ceropegia woodiiThe higher the better, though it will grow and flower in part shade just as well. South west and east facing windows are ideal. I’ve grown Ceropegia woodii on a north facing window for a while to see how it does. It still grows well, but the leaves became lighter and spread farther apart on the stems, and the plant flowered less. North facing garden window is fine for this plant, where it gets very bright indirect light all day. If you take it outside in the warmer months make sure you slowly acclimated it to higher light levels to avoid leaf burn. It grows and flowers great at full sun exposure as well.ceropegia woodii

 

Humidity:
This plant can tolerate lower humidity. If grown around high humidity loving plants, it will be fine as well, and you will just have to water it even less, since the leaves will evaporate less moisture since the air is humid.

Soil Type and Fertilizer:

Cactus soil and cactus fertilizer work fine for this plant, though I’ve used generic potting mix with some sand, per-lite and peat moss as well. Ceropegia woodii likes well draining soil mix.

Propagation:

Ceropegia woodii is very easy to propagate. It forms nods on the stems that you can root in sandy soil. The plant forms tubers as well and you can simply dig one out with the roots and repot it. It is a bit harder to propagate the plant from cuttings that don’t have nodes on them, but one way to do it is to get a bigger cutting and leave it a few days to dry a bit before potting it in moist sand, that will stimulate the need to grow roots and nodes. Once, on accident and I tossed the long stem cutting into a randomCeropegia woodii flower pot with a big dracaena in it (did not even pot it or anything) and a week later I saw the ceropgia growing vigorously under the dracaena.

Other Care Tips and Personal Observations: 

It’s a lovely plant to have and very easy to propagate. Ceropegia woodii is great for hanging baskets and displays itself beautifully. It’s one of my favorite plants. I remember being so excited as a child when I saw one for sale, that my mom had to get it. I love the cute heart shape leaves and I love the color of this vine, it really stands out. If I didn’t have one already, I would prefer Ceropegia woodii for a Valentines day present, rather than cut flowers of chocolates. A great plant to have at home and since it’s not an overly aggressive grower you can easily pot it with other plants and do arrangements.