Fancy Silhouettes of Milkweed Star
Euphorbia stellate is easily confused with cacti or other exotics. Its unusual ribbed shoots form bizarre geometric shapes at the top of the caudex trunk. And for every lover there are plants to their taste: either similar to extravagant trees, now - to the "stones" crowned with a cascade of ribbed shoots or root plexus; stellate milkweeds cannot be confused with any other plant. And although they do not have varieties and decorative forms, these euphorbia still offer to evaluate the uniqueness of each individual plant. Succulent membership is easy to guess at a glance. But unpretentiousness, endurance and ease of care of this species of milkweed match its decorativeness.
Bizarre trunks of the most non-standard of kaudeksnyh
Euphorbia stellate (Euphorbia stellata) - one of the most fashionable types of indoor euphorbia. Today it is put on a par with the crested form of milk milk and is offered in flower shops as a special plant. Despite the fact that the cultivation of this species of milkweed is practically no different from any other species, it has its own characteristics, which have led to the growth of popularity in recent years. This is truly one of the most original caudex and succulent plants that can be found. And one of the most unforgettable.
Euphorbia stellates offer to admire their non-standard beauty. Thanks to the juicy, fleshy, albeit stiff-looking shoots, milkweed accumulate water and are able to be content with minimal care. But still the main advantage remains their bizarre appearance. This is a caudex succulent, in which an exotic thickened trunk is combined with cactus-like greens. Young plants look like a rosette of ribbed, V-shaped, curved succulent shoots, in which the caudex is almost completely hidden in the ground. This euphorbia develops in the same form in nature. But the older the plant, the more the caudex becomes denser, starting to rise above the soil and protrude from the pot. Gradually, the plant is transformed, only thistle roots and the base of the thickening remain in the soil (and sometimes roots also partially come out). This milkweed's Caudex, unlike its competitors, most of all resembles not various vessels or balls, namely turnip or radish, and each plant has its own, unique. But at any age on the main stalk of this milkweed, as before, leaf-shaped ribbed stems grow radially, which seem to be hair lying on top of the caudex. The edges of the shoots are decorated with thorns, which complicate the plant transplantation somewhat. The shape of the branches practically does not change, they still bend and show off with a V-shaped section, the same dense and unusual. The saturated green color of the “cap” contrasts perfectly with the light caudex. From afar, it even seems as though one kind of milkweed is grafted onto another. To many euphorbia, the stellates outwardly resemble palm trees, baobabs, the heads of fabulous creatures with unusual green hair or stones, on top of which a bizarre bunch of shoots grow.
The flowering of the milkweed stella usually falls on almost the entire growing season, but the flowers are almost invisible and inconspicuous.
A variety of star milkweeds allows you to choose between larger and more spectacular forms, and miniature plants. Small young milkweed stars with a not yet formed caudex will show their true beauty only after years. But plants already sold with a powerful “trunk” cost a lot and offer a choice between whimsically intertwined or single-barrel forms, different shades of light bark: either whitish and “pebbled”, or more creamy sand.
Like any member of the euphorbia genus, stellate is also a poisonous plant. The toxicity of milky juice should be considered if you have small children and pets, as well as during plant transplantation.
Euphorbia stellate - an original plant that is more suitable for those who love and collect succulents. This euphorbia can become a real star of the collection, eclipsing the original cacti, and the goblet, and its relatives. Thanks to the unusual silhouette, the stellates look great in splendid isolation, suitable for pot culture and dry florariums. But even in groups with kindred cultures, they will not get lost, successfully fitting into any company of succulents.
Care for stellate milkweed at home
Regardless of its shape, the euphorbia stellate is a photophilous plant. For this plant, it is worth choosing sunny, well-lit areas. Euphorbia is not afraid of direct sun, but even with light partial shade it cannot cope.
For star milkweed, any room with a normal room temperature range is suitable. The heat does not affect the decorativeness of the plant; in the warm season, the minimum allowable temperature is 15 degrees. In winter, stellate euphorbia is sometimes recommended to be kept in cool conditions, but such a decrease in temperature is not necessary at all (flowering of stellates is unattractive, so it’s not worth moving plants and removing them to cooler places). But even if you want to achieve flowering, in winter temperatures should not fall below 10 degrees. Optimum performance during the rest period is from 15 degrees.
In summer, stellates can be taken out to fresh air, but only in places protected from precipitation and drafts. Stable conditions are needed for these plants and indoors.
Watering and humidity
The ability of milkweed to be content with minimal watering allows you to grow it even for those who often travel. This plant, like the best of succulents, will forgive the lack of regular procedures. Milkweeds are watered very carefully, after drying the substrate, not only in the upper, but also in the middle layer (soil moisture should be light). This plant prefers frequent watering with a small amount of water, rather than more rare and plentiful. Since September, milkweed is transferred to minimal watering after the substrate has almost completely dried up and only return to the previous regime since March.
When watering, you need to ensure that even the smallest droplets of moisture do not fall on the aerial parts of stellate milkweed.
Euphorbia stellata feels great in dry air. Measures to increase moisture indicators should not be taken for this plant. High humidity and spraying are dangerous and increase the risk of rot spread
Starchy milk feeds
Fertilizers for this type of milkweed are rarely applied, in half reduced doses. From March to the end of August, top dressing is carried out once every 2-3 weeks. For this plant, only special fertilizers for cacti and succulents are suitable.
Transplant and substrate
A transplant of this milkweed is carried out only when it is really needed, the plant becomes closely in the previous container. It is important to carry out a transplant as early as possible, in February-March.
For this type of milkweed, it is preferable to use a special type of soil mixture - a substrate for cacti and succulents. The soil should be light, water permeable, with a high content of sand and loosening additives. If you mix the substrate yourself, it is better to combine equal parts of peat, sand and sod soil with the addition of perlite, vermiculite or brick chips. For stellate euphorbia, a substrate with a pH in the range of 5.5-7.0 is suitable.
The roots of this milkweed sometimes stick out from the ground, not to mention the fact that the caudex constantly rises and mutates. Such "growths" are the main decoration of the plant, which look very attractive. But even if it seems to you that the small spine that appears appears to interfere with the aesthetics of euphorbia, in no case do not hide it. In the process of changing the capacity, it is impossible to deepen the lignified roots back and even slightly deepen the caudex to increase stability: the euphorbia is set at the same level at which it grew in the previous pot.
After planting, it is advisable to mulch the surface of the substrate with stone chips or fine decorative soil.
Diseases and pests
Like all milkweed, stellates demonstrate enviable stamina and endurance. The only thing that threatens the plant's health is rot, which spreads easily not only when the substrate is waterlogged, but also when water gets on the trunk and shoots when watering.
Reproduction of euphorbia stellate
Milkweed can be propagated by cuttings and seeds. A simpler method is the separation of branch processes (cuttings by parts of green shoots, which are cut into small fragments with a sharp knife and rooted in wet sand in greenhouse conditions after processing and drying of sections). They gradually form a rosette and caudex, and transformation into a well-known silhouette usually takes less time than when grown from seeds.
Star-shaped euphorbia seeds are sown in a disinfected substrate or a mixture of sand and soddy soil with the addition of brick chips. Humidification is carried out after sowing, spraying the seeds from the sprayer from above. They do not cover the soil. Germinate seeds at a stable temperature of 21-22 degrees, in bright light, always under a glass or film, subject to daily ventilation. Seedlings are fragile and very sensitive to moisture conditions: they need to be protected from waterlogging and drought.