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Cactus SucculentHouseplantsConservatory Greenhouse

Euphorbia abyssinica

A tree-like succulent often reaching up to 10m high in its native habitat but more commonly grown as a conservatory or houseplant in this country thus restricting its growth. Individual stems are deeply ribbed with wavy rib edges that have pairs of short spines; if kept moist in a warm growing season, small, narrow leaves may emerge from the top of the stems. Small yellowish flowers are followed by fruits that start yellowish-orange before turning a reddish colour

Synonyms
Euphorbia obovalifolia
Size
Ultimate height
8–12 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Green Orange Yellow Red
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
All parts are highly toxic by ingestion, sap may irritate skin and eyes. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Euphorbia can be annuals, perennials, shrubs or succulents, with milky sap and small flowers held within cupped, often colourful bracts

Name status

Correct

Plant range
NE Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow indoors in equal quantities of loam-based potting compost and grit in full light. Water moderately when in growth and keep dry in winter. In the growing season feed a low nitrogen liquid fertiliser 2 or 3 times. See houseplant cacti and succulent cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown at 15-18°C in early spring or stem cuttings in spring or early summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Patio and container plants
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

No pruning required but can be cut back to restrict size

Pests

May be susceptible to mealybugs, glasshouse whitefly and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews and root rots

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