Have you ever seen a succulent with leaves and these with white veins? Well, that’s what Euphorbia leuconeura is. Do you know her? It is a threatened plant because it is losing its habitat in Madagascar. But what if you had it in your collection?
Below we will talk about it, its characteristics and the care that you should provide it if you are going to take care of it.
How is the Euphorbia leuconeura
Euphorbia leuconeura is better known as Madagascar jewel and, as we told you before, it is a plant that is in danger of extinction because it is losing its habitat (rocky areas, where it grows among forest undergrowth). It is native to Madagascar (hence its name) and is usually kept there as an indoor plant.
It grows up to almost two meters, as if it were a branched tree. The leaves are dark green, however, they attract a lot of attention because these, when they are young, are full of white veins. That means that, when they are adults or older, that characteristic will disappear.
Another important curiosity to take into account is that she is told that she is a “spitter”. It’s not like I’m going to spit poison on you or anything like that. But it does shoot the seeds, sometimes several inches from the plant. Hence, it is called that because it is capable of spreading several meters around it. And it is that its bulb-shaped growth has it in the center, where it blooms and casts its seeds.
The plant is perennial, although it sometimes loses its leaves in winter to sprout again in spring (especially if the temperature drops below 10 degrees).
You do have to be careful because, if you break something from the plant, the white liquid that comes out is toxic, as well as irritating in contact with the skin, and can even promote tumors. That is why it is recommended to wear gloves and even glasses to prevent the liquid from coming into contact with the person.
Euphorbia leuconeura care
Now that you know the Euphorbia leuconeura, would you want to have it in your collection? It is not a “usual” plant but it does not stop being pretty. Actually it is, and you would just have to be careful with that problem with your liquid (so as not to put your health at risk).
It is not easy to find the care, so we give you a summary of all that you should take into account so that it does not die.
location and temperature
The first thing you should know is that Euphorbia leuconeura is an indoor succulent. This does not have to be outside, but it develops much better inside the house. Accept both a semi-shade and a full-shade location, although we recommend the former more than the latter.
You must make sure that there are no drafts since it does not tolerate them at all well. Even so, you could have it both in a pot and planted in the garden (for example next to a terrace or on a balcony where you have a large planter).
As for the temperature, euphorbias in general withstand temperatures very well, both high and low. However, in the case of Euphorbia leuconeura we have found data that warn us that, if the temperature drops below 10ºC, it may run out of leaves, although they will return again in spring.
In general, your ideal would be between 25 and 32ºC. But it can tolerate a few degrees more heat.
The Euphorbia leuconeura is a plant that does not cause too many problems for the soil you use because it tolerates slightly acid, neutral and slightly alkaline (not extremes).
What you should keep in mind is that it requires good drainage. So our suggestion is a mixture with a universal substrate, some peat and a lot of drainage (perlite, bark, etc.) that helps to oxygenate well.
You must bear in mind that, in a pot, it needs one that is deep to be able to develop and grow the meters it should (that is at least 24 to 30 centimeters).
Euphorbia leuconeura is a plant that tolerates excess water much better. That means that, if you go too far, nothing will happen to it (if it is sporadic, of course, because if it happens often, you can make its roots rot).
So, watering it once a week is more than enough. Yes indeed, you must make sure that the substrate is dry to do so.
In the case of autumn and winter, you may have to space the waterings even more. In fact, they even come to a stop as this helps it to enter the rest period and it will have a better chance of succeeding if the earth is dry (you should not worry because it can withstand long periods without water).
Another point to consider is humidity. It is necessary that it has between 30 and 60% if it is indoors.
Once a month, during the spring and summer, you should add a little fertilizer to give it more nutrients. Yes indeed, if you just planted or transplanted it, then better wait a few months to do it because it already has the nutrients it needs (it is better to leave it for the following year).
In general, Euphorbia leuconeura is not pruned. But it may be the case that you find yourself with damaged stems. If that happens, grab some gloves and goggles before handling it to avoid irritating your skin or causing health problems. You have to cut them from the base.
Other than that, you don’t have to touch the plant at all.
The reproduction of Euphorbia leuconeura occurs through seeds. These are “spit out” by the plant itself several centimeters from it. And these are the ones that are planted and in 3-4 weeks they should sprout and grow from there pretty quickly.
We are not going to tell you that it is easy to find a Euphorbia leuconeura, because since it is disappearing, it is complicated. But the truth is that it is not expensive if you find it (usually outside of Spain). Would you dare to have it?