House Plants/false cactus?


ok.I have what i think is called a false cactus,it was left out in the cold (frost weather).I live in Southeast Ohio.I want to rescue this plant.It has the brown bark,on base,but it is around 3'tall.the ends have turned white,I think this plant,"bleeds".I don't want to just start cutting.I would love to see it healthy again.I admired it across the street all summer,but when they didn't take it in i had to ask.Thank God they let me bring it home,now if i can save it i will be very happy.So do i cut off the white parts?what about the "bleeding'?  Thank You for any help.      Kathy

Your plant sounds like a Euphorbia lactea...It is in the same genus as poinsettias...They ooze a white milky sap when leaves are broken off or the stems are cut...The sap has a latex base and can cause problems to those people who are allergic to it...
Let it stay a week or 2 inside before you try to trim out the bad spots...Do just a few spots at a time...It will ooze some and then heal over...After you prune a few wait till the spots heal and then do some more spots...
Follow this watering technique...Water by weight...Put a saucer under the pot, water it and let the plant sit in the excess water for 5-10 minutes... After that time pour off any excess water in the saucer and pick up the pot...It should feel heavy...Don't water again until it feels considerably lighter in weight...Indoors check it every 7-14 days...Plants usually die from too frequent waterings, not from too much water at one time...Watering frequency depends on many factors(pot size, sun exposure, wind, day temps, etc.)...
I know your area well...Spent 1967-1971 at OU in Athens...
Hope this helps...Let me know what you think about my solutions to your problems...
Good luck...
Rick in southern NJ  

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Richard Hern


I can answer many common garden center/greenhouse houseplant questions such as , proper care, propagation of, pest problems, identification, growing mediums, construction, etc. & many more..


I currently manage a private 16 acre estate. i am in charge of the general maintenance of buildings and i supervise the landscape maintenance staff. i teach landscape/horticulture evening classes for a community college in NJ. I taught landscape/horticultural classes for a NJ vocational high school for 5 years. prior to that I owned & operated a landscape/garden center facility for 20 + years. My experience is in commercial & residential sales & care of houseplants as well as landscaping.


BS degree in Zoology (Entomology)
Certified landscape/horticulture teacher NJ

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