Euphorbia Trigona: Plant Care & Growing Guide

Are you looking for an exotic houseplant to brighten up your house?

Want a super low-maintenance plant because you’re too busy?

If you’re either of the two or both, then you’ve come to the right place!

The Euphorbia Trigona fits both categories perfectly.

We’ve done the work and summarized all the information you need, so read on.

Who knows? You might just find the perfect plant for yourself.

What is Euphorbia Trigona?

The Euphorbia Trigona is a succulent that originates from Central Africa. Naturally, the Euphorbia Trigona grows in thorny and dense thickets in Africa. However, it has adapted to becoming an indoor plant as it is most commonly used for decor worldwide.

The Euphorbia Trigona has an upright stem with ridges where spines and small leaves grow. This plant can grow as high as nine feet outdoors and two to four feet indoors.

If you want to control the growth of the Euphorbia Trigona, you can opt to cut or break off some of its stems which you can use to grow out a new plant to keep or give away to friends.

The Euphorbia Trigona has also been known to have a lot of names. Here are some of them:

  • African milk tree
  • Candelabra cactus
  • Cathedral cactus
  • Friendship cactus
  • Good luck cactus

Uses of Euphorbia Trigona

The Euphorbia Trigona is a unique and beautiful succulent and is mainly used as an ornamental indoor plant in most parts of the world.

However, most people don’t know that this plant has more uses up its sleeve than its beautiful exterior.

In fact, in certain villages in Africa, this plant is used as a hedge to form a barrier and properly divide neighboring properties.

Aside from this, the Euphorbia Trigona also has medicinal uses. Once mixed with palm wine, its latex can cure severe constipation cases.

Varieties of Euphorbia Trigona

Not that the Euphorbia Trigona isn’t already pretty enough, it has a variety called the Euphorbia Trigona Rubra or Royal Red. This variety has a striking red color to its stems and leaves and would make a great addition to your collection.

The Euphorbia Trigona Rubra is just the same as the Euphorbia Trigona. The only difference is in the color of their stems and leaves.

If you have one of these, you may notice that the stems and leaves turn green from red at times. This only means that your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight.

To get back that pop of red color, you simply have to put the plant near a sunny window where it can be exposed to more sunlight.

Common Issues with Euphorbia Trigona

This section discusses the common issues that people have with the Euphorbia Trigona.

  • Toxicity

Most people have to deal with the main issue regarding the Euphorbia Trigona. Its poisonous sap can be very dangerous when ingested or in direct contact with the skin.

Given this, you have to make sure to keep this plant away from your children and pets.

Additionally, you may wear gloves whenever you deal with this plant so that you have an extra layer of protection from its poisonous sap.

  • Bacterial/Fungal Infections

If you see unusual spots or patches on the stems of the Euphorbia Trigona, that could be an indication of a bacterial or fungal infection.

If the infection hasn’t significantly spread, you can cut off the affected area to salvage the rest of the plant.

However, if the infection has already spread, the chances of you saving the plant will be close to zero. So it will be better to just dispose of the deceased plant.

  • Root rot

Another common issue with the Euphorbia Trigona is root rot. This is usually an indication of overwatering the plant.

To avoid overwatering the plant, always ensure that the plant never stands in soggy soil. If you see that the soil is still quite damp, it is better to leave it unwatered until the soil is dry again.

The Euphorbia Trigona requires a good drainage system. So if you can get a pot with drainage holes, that would be much better for its soil.

How to Grow Euphorbia Trigona

Growing a Euphorbia Trigona is pretty straightforward. You need to keep in mind just three things: sunlight, temperature, and water.

  • Sunlight

The Euphorbia Trigona thrives under strong light. However, direct sunlight might be a bit too much for it, so indirect sunlight is the way to go.

If it is planted outdoors, plant it somewhere it can only get partial sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can damage the plant, especially during summer.

  • Temperature

The Euphorbia Trigona likes the humid and dry climate better. It can survive in fairly hot temperatures more than in the cold.

This succulent will not be able to withstand temperatures below 5 degrees. So if you live in a cold place, it is better to keep the plant in a warm place indoors.

You should also avoid watering the plant if you want it to last in cold temperatures. This is especially true during the winter months.

  • Water

The Euphorbia Trigona is pretty drought-tolerant. So if you want to avoid overwatering this plant, you should always allow the soil to completely dry out before you water it again.

Planting this succulent in a pot with a hole to drain out the excess water will be best as you want to avoid soggy soil.

How to Care for Euphorbia Trigona

Caring for the Euphorbia Trigona has got to be one of the easiest things to do as this plant is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can get.

Care and maintenance for this succulent just means two things: fertilization and pruning.

  • Fertilization

Fertilizing this plant is super simple as you won’t have to bother with fertilization during fall and winter.

Although not necessary, you can provide this succulent with a water-soluble fertilizer during spring and summer just to boost its soil.

  • Pruning

When the stems of the Euphorbia Trigona get a little bit too heavy or overgrown, you might want to consider pruning. The branches can later on be used to plant an entirely new succulent.

Another instance when pruning is necessary is when you spot damaged and unhealthy stems. Once you do, make sure to cut them off before they spread and damage their neighboring stems or, worse, even the entire plant.

How to Propagate Euphorbia Trigona

Sharing things with family and friends is said to bring good luck. What better way is there to bring good luck than sharing the good luck cactus!

Propagating the Euphorbia Trigona means you can turn one succulent into many succulents to share.

Here is what you will need to do.

  • Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself as the plant has a poisonous sap that is extremely dangerous to mucous membranes and can irritate your skin.
  • Survey the parent plant and pick out which sections are long enough to be used for rooting.
  • Once you’ve picked a stem that is at least three inches long, grab a pair of scissors or garden pruners and cut the stem from its base.
  • Rinse the end of the stem under running water and allow it to dry out for a couple of days.
  • Once it has completely dried out, plant it in a good soil base that can drain well.
  • Water your new plant and keep the soil moist.
  • After a week or two, fresh leaves should start to grow as a sign that a new plant has been properly established.


  • Why Isn’t the Euphorbia Trigona a Cactus?
  • Although the Euphorbia Trigona looks strikingly similar to a cactus, it is actually a succulent. A cactus has been known not to grow any leaves. So from this information alone, you can already clearly identify the Euphorbia Trigona as a succulent as it grows leaves.
  • Why Is The Trigona Called A “Milk Tree”?
  • The Euphorbia Trigona is also known as the African Milk Tree. This is because its stem exudes a poisonous white sap that looks like milk when broken or cut.

Conclusion: Is the Euphorbia Trigona Right for You?

The Euphorbia Trigona is a unique and beautiful succulent that you can add to your growing collection.

It is easily one of those plants that you can forget about as it is effortless to take care of and maintain.

If you like how it looks and think you have what it takes to take care of it, then what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and make that purchase!

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