Euphorbia Trigona Care: A Quick Guide

Proper Euphorbia Trigona care can reward you with splendid flowers, which is not too demanding even for the inexperienced.

euphorbia trigona care

Euphorbia Trigona is a mesmerizing combination of cactus and succulent characteristics.

It’s essential to understand its unique traits to ensure its proper care. Treat it like a cactus, and you might encounter some issues.

But fear not! Our comprehensive care guide will steer you in the right direction.

Essential Facts about Euphorbia Trigona

Before diving into caring for Euphorbia Trigona, let’s consider some crucial points:

  • The plant may bloom with small white or yellow flowers when grown outdoors.
  • It can be treated as a cactus, thanks to its branching structure, making it a statement plant for any home.
  • Euphorbia Trigona belongs to the Euphorbia genus and the Euphorbiaceae family. These plants exude a white sap when cut or broken, which is sticky and can be toxic or irritating to the skin.
  • The sap can cause severe skin and eye irritation and gastric distress if ingested. Keep it away from children and pets, and always protect your eyes and skin when handling this plant.
euphorbia trigona care

Embrace the Beauty with Care

While the thorns of Euphorbia Trigona will naturally discourage unwanted contact, it’s important to note that this plant doesn’t enjoy being touched or played with.

Its latex sap is not only unpleasant to taste but also highly irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.

But, fear not! This adaptable houseplant offers uncomplicated care requirements. In return, it rewards you with fast growth and year-round interest.

Buying Euphorbia Trigona Plants

Euphorbia Trigona comes in two main varieties, both captured in the first photo of this article.

The all-green variety, known as E. trigona, showcases a vivid lime green hue. It might have some mottled patterns on the stems but is otherwise quite plain.

euphorbia trigona care

On the other hand, E. trigona rubra (also called Royal Red) boasts a rich and varied color palette.

Its leaves and stems display deep red tones, resembling burgundy. The intensity of the coloring can vary depending on the light levels provided.

Both varieties are stunning due to their upward growth habit and thick triangular-shaped stems.

However, finding these houseplants may prove challenging.

The good news is that they are easily propagated and grow rapidly, making them reasonably priced when you do come across them.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore how to care for and grow Euphorbia Trigona correctly.

Euphorbia Trigona Care

euphorbia trigona care

Light and Climate

This succulent thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Placing it near a southern-facing window indoors or in an outside spot with partial sun is ideal.

While full sun works as long as the summers aren’t scorching, you may need to water the plant more to offset excessive sunlight.

Euphorbia Trigona enjoys a dry or arid climate and can tolerate fairly high temperatures.

However, it cannot survive the cold, with temperatures below 10°C being detrimental.

If you live in an area with hot summers, ensure the African Milk Tree receives indirect sunlight or partial shade to prevent overheating.

Avoid overly humid environments, as it may lead to fungus or pest problems.

Keep in mind that Euphorbia Trigona must spend winter indoors. Temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius are fatal for this plant.

During winter, place it in a cool spot and water it sparingly, allowing the soil to almost dry out.

euphorbia trigona care

Pruning and Maintenance

Euphorbia Trigona doesn’t require pruning solely for appearance, but you may need to prune damaged branches.

To do so, use a sharp utility knife to snip off the damaged branches about 3-5 cm below the affected area.

Remember to wear protective gloves, as the sap of the African Milk Tree can cause allergic skin reactions.

The cut branch will heal in a few days, and a new branch will grow in its place.

With its hardy nature, Euphorbia Trigona resists diseases and pests with proper care. Avoid overwatering and ensure the plant receives ample sunlight and air circulation.

Weakened Euphorbia Trigonas may become vulnerable to mealybugs.

If you notice cotton-like threads forming on the plant, wipe them off with a paper towel soaked in alcohol.

For severe infestations, remove the insects and spray the plant with a natural insecticide.

euphorbia trigona care


Being native to Africa, Euphorbia Trigona can withstand intense heat and partial sun. Place the pot in a warm, sunny location.

While this succulent isn’t drought-tolerant like a cactus, it dislikes wet soil!

During spring and summer, lightly moisten the soil. If the top few inches feel completely dry to the touch, deep watering is necessary.

However, ensure the plant doesn’t sit in water or soggy soil, as it can lead to root rot.

As with all succulents, good drainage is crucial.

Check that your clay pot has drainage holes, and consider using a mixture of garden soil and sand or a specialized succulent and cacti soil mix.

More About Euphorbia Trigona

euphorbia trigona care

The Triangular Marvel

The name “Trigona” stems from the plant’s three distinct sides, creating a striking triangular effect (if it has four sides, you may have a Euphorbia Acrurensis instead).

The sides of the stems round out slightly as they reach the edge, forming a ridge.

Along this ridge, two thorns emerge every centimeter or so, with leaves growing in between.

Ever-Changing Leaves

The teardrop-shaped leaves of Euphorbia Trigona are a temporary delight, usually lasting only a season or two.

Inadequate care may cause the leaves to drop prematurely.

However, even a leafless stem remains a stunning and eye-catching houseplant.

euphorbia trigona care

A Plant of Many Names

Euphorbia Trigona goes by several folk names, including friendship cactus, good luck plant, or good luck cactus (possibly due to its green color, associated with fortune).

It is also known as candelabra cactus and cathedral cactus.

In Conclusion

African Milk Tree plants, like most succulents, are incredibly easy to care for. Besides their low maintenance, they offer numerous benefits.

These plants can purify the air in your home, improve humidity levels, and create a more joyful atmosphere.

Their beauty effortlessly enhances any space, be it a desk, table, or bookshelf.

So why not invite the captivating Euphorbia Trigona into your life?

With its architectural allure and straightforward care requirements, it’s sure to be a remarkable addition to your indoor garden.