Dead Plant (Euphorbia platyclada) is an ornamental, fleshy, succulent plant. It has weird flattened, mottled, red-brown stems radiating from a raiseable heavy rootstock. It is small leafless, freely branching subshrub up to 50 cm (20 inches) tall. There are both erect and prostrate forms. The branches are very interesting, unique, ugly, with an irregular scab like texture and look dead. These branches are splayed out with fingers dangling like dead weights. The blossoms are small, dull orange-gold or brownish.
Scientific Name: Euphorbia platyclada Rauh
Synonyms: Euphorbia platyclada var. platyclada, Tirucalia platyclada.
Common Names: Dead Plant, Dead Wood Plant, Dead Stick Plant.
How to grow and maintain Dead Plant (Euphorbia platyclada):
It prefers full to partial sunlight. Provides good sunlight at least 3-5 hours of the day, and turn it regularly so that your plant doesn’t begin to grow lopsided.
It grows well in well-draining, gritty soil or cactus potting mix. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil.
You can allow the soil to dry out between each watering. Before watering the plant check underneath the pot through the drainage holes to see if the roots are dry. If so then add some water. Do not water too often to prevent overwatering, that can potentially kill it off.
It prefers an optimal temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 85 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize every two weeks with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer during its growing season in the spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing your plant during the fall and winter months.
It can be easily propagated by cuttings. Take cutting in spring, which needs to be dried out for a couple of weeks in shade before potting. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. Also can be propagated from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate.
Pests and Diseases:
Euphorbia may be susceptible to mealy bugs, scale insects, occasionally spider mites.