Euphorbia abdelkuri (Milk-bush) is an extraordinary candelabra-like succulent plant. It has pale greenish-grey, ash-grey to tan, columnar, more or less cylindrical shaped stem, somewhat constricted at intervals, spineless, simple, branching from the base or occasionally splitting dichotomously, which seems like a grey candle with whitish-grey melted wax on it. Generally, it has 6 ribs with a somewhat wrinkled, worn-looking ‘skin’ with slightly raised conical tubercles. Often skin peels away revealing greener tissues beneath. The color of the new growth is grey-pink to dark brown and it will then turn to the grey tan color. The leaves are very small and ephemeral.
The inflorescence is very simple cymes, contracted from the base of the tubercles born towards the top of the stems and the flowers are small, turbinate, about 5 mm in diameter on 8 mm long peduncles. Nectar glands are yellowish. The pedicel is very short. The Latex of the plant is yellow viciously acrid and toxic.
Species: E. abdelkuri
Scientific Name: Euphorbia abdelkuri Balf.f.
Common Name: Milk-bush
How to grow and maintain Euphorbia abdelkuri:
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.
Euphorbia abdelkuri 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, which can potentially kill it off.
It prefers an optimal temperature 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.
Euphorbia abdelkuri can be easily propagated by grafting or cuttings, but it may be propagated from seed sown during spring or summer.
Euphorbia abdelkuri are grafted on more vigorous and simpler stocks that are simpler to keep, grow faster, and produce more blossoms and seeds. The technique of grafting euphorbias differs little from that of other succulents, with the exception of one significant aspect. The latex must be washed or showered off until hardly anything remains. After the latex flow has stopped, a further 1-2 mm slice can be taken from both surfaces without a new latex flow starting. Both scion and stock need to be at the start of the growing season.
The stock should be cut as near as possible to the growing tip, as here the vascular bundles are dense and not yet woody and will feed the scion in the most ideal manner. Where possible stock and scion should be of similar diameter. The cut surfaces are held together with elastic bands in cross style, over the plant top, and under the pot. The plants should be left in an airy and shady place for 7-10 days before the bands are taken out.
Euphorbia abdelkuri is grown almost exclusively grafted on Euphorbia canariensis which proven to be the ideal grafting stock. The grafting is very successful, new grafts often show growth within 3 weeks.
Pests and Diseases:
Euphorbia may be susceptible to mealy bugs, scale insects, occasionally spider mites.