Euphorbia Resinifera Care: Growing the Resin Spurge

Euphorbia resinifera is a low-growing evergreen, succulent. Resinifera has a thick four-sided stem and resembles a cactus but isn’t a cactus. 

This plant belongs to the sizeable Euphorbiaceae family. It’s characterized by erect, bluish to lime green stems with spines spreading across its sides. Euphorbia species from this family vary and range from annual, perennial, and biennial.

Euphorbia resinifera cactus with flowers closeup
The renis sprunge Euphorbia resinifera with flowers | FomaA-Adobe

It originates from the slopes of the Great Atlas range in Morocco. It has one of the lengthiest histories of plant cultivation.

Euphorbia resinifera [U-FOR-bee-a re-sin-i-FER-a] is grown for landscape and houseplants use.

The plant goes by several common names, including:

  • Resin spurge plant
  • Euphorbium
  • Moroccan mound plant.

Euphorbia Resinifera Care

Once growing, Resin spurge is very self-sufficient and easy to manage. It needs little care to become established.

Size & Growth

The resin spurge is a dense, slow-growing shrub reaching 24″ inches tall. Multi-stemmed cushion-shaped clumps grow to 5′ feet wide. With time, the plant mounds branch out and spread.

Euphorbia Resinifera grows in a USDA growing zone 9 to 11.

It’s generally leafless, dull green-colored, with photosynthetic stem, and medium-coarse texture.

Flowering and Fragrance

Resin spurge rarely flowers.

But, the flowers are usually small, simple, and bright yellow whenever the plant produces them. The fruit type is a small capsule with one seed.

The plant has no strong essence, but it can be slightly aromatic with a feeble taste.

Light & Temperature

Euphorbia resinifera plants will grow in full sun, unlike many other plants and a few other Euphorbia species. In hotter climates, provide afternoon shade to protect from scorching.

Resin spurge plants enjoy average daytime temperatures of 80° degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures rise over 80°, they need more frequent watering for proper growth.

Watering and Feeding

Like many succulent Euphorbias, Resinifera is very drought tolerant and useful in xeriscaping.

Once established other than rainfall, the plant requires little to no water.

Young plants need a weekly watering routine during the hottest summer months. 

Whenever the soil dries several inches below the surface, use supplemental water.

When watering, deep water without allowing plants to sit in wet soil. Wet feet encourage the chances of root rot.

If your Euphorbia Resinifera is growing in a pot or the soil lacks essential nutrients, feed with a balanced fertilizer at 1/2 strength every month. 

Identify plants needing more fertilizer by checking out their leaves. A plant with yellowing leaves at the end requires fertilizer.

Soil & Transplanting

The plant needs well-drained soil. Wet soil encourages the plant to rot, especially if it’s for a prolonged period.

Resin spurges prefer slightly alkaline soil. A neutral soil works too, but somewhat alkaline soil is best.

Organic fertilizers, organic material, and compost help Euphorbias grow well. Add some of these to the first planting hole.

When growing plants in containers with drainage holes, use a cactus/succulent potting mix. 

If container plants spend summers in the garden, mix at least 50% mineral content (pumice) to increase drainage.

When growing in a container, plants need more frequent watering. In hot weather, sometimes two or three times a week.

Grooming and Maintenance

The good news is that there’s very little maintenance required with this plant and little to no pruning that you need to do. 

How to Propagate Euphorbia Resinifera

They can grow from seed. But, seeds are rare, and they hardly germinate.

Stem cutting is the most appropriate method.

NOTE: Use Caution – The Resin spurge has a highly toxic latex that affects the eyes and skin. The milky sap helps prevent insects and animals from preying on it.

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the stem from an established plant
  • Wash the stem cutting segment of latex before drying.
  • Allow the stem to dry overnight or for a few days
  • An unsealed cutting when planted will rot fast
  • Plant the stem cutting in a seed-starter soil or cactus potting mix
  • Place the potted cutting in bright indirect light until roots form 

Contact with skin or eye can cause irritation and blurred vision, respectively. Flush with water immediately contact is made during propagation, watering, or maintenance.

Euphorbia Resinifera Pests or Diseases

Euphorbia resinifera has a way of defending itself against pests. Its milky sap and spiky texture help to attract prey.

Root rot can occur when plants are saturated for long.

Mildew can affect plants if it lacks good air circulation.

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