image closeup of african milk tree plant

African Milk Tree Care – Euphorbia Trigona Grows Really Fast!

Last spring, we bought a small African Milk Tree Plant in a little 4 inch pot and it has grown so quickly, springing up to about 15 inches high already. Its growth rate was surprising since we thought it would be years before it got very big. Surprise!

image of houseplant African milk tree

It is the Euphorbia trigona “Rubra”  we think, because of the reddish leaves. New ones are a scarlet red almost and African Milk Tree care couldn’t be easier. It just wants a place in bright indirect light for at least 4-6 hours a day and then needs to be watered sparingly. It is almost a set-it-and-forget-it plant.

image of new growth

This one has grown well over the past 9 months. My daughter just turns it occasionally so that the growth will continue straight up.  Watering too much could make the large stem go top-heavy and then fall over. Keeping it on the dry side is best. Water only when it is very dry.

Caution: This plant has milky sap which comes from the plant when it is broken or cut perhaps by a child or a pet. The sap can irritate/burn your skin perhaps causing blistering rash. Be careful if you should get sap on your fingers or hands, and be sure not to rub your eyes.

African Milk Tree Care - These Grow Really Fast - 5 inches to 15 inches in 8 months!

Here are tips of African Milk Tree Care

  • Drought tolerant -water only when dry
  • Sunny indirect light
  • Can grow 6-8 feet tall
  • USDA Zones 9b to 11, grown as houseplant too
  • Toxic sap – handle with care, can cause irritation, careful with children & pets
  • Propagation from stem cuttings
image of African milk tree leaves

How to Propagate

As with most succulent plants,  if you would like to make new plants, a stem cutting will root. Carefully (sap is toxic!) slice a stem or branch across and lay it aside to callous over for a day or two. Once dried and calloused, plant the cut side down in fresh well-draining soil for several days. After it has settled, water slightly and give it a few weeks to set roots. There’s a new plant!

Enjoy for many years to come. I hope you have a large spot for it!

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