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House Plants/euphorbia cuttings


I have a large (4 ft) euphorbia that was given to me with no idea of name.  I have tried to take cuttings several times with no success.  It exudes a white milky substance when I cut it.  I have been told to let it air dry for a week before putting it in dirt and that still did not root.  Any ideas?

Hi Larry,

There are dozens of different Euphorbia species, but the most common ones used indoors are Euphorbia milii or Crown Of Thorns and Euphorbia trigona or African Milk Tree. All Euphorbia species exude white sap when cut. The sap is a mild ski irritant.

When taking cuttings on most Euphorbias, it is important to take tip cuttings that are about 4-6 inches in length. Longer, older cuttings do not root as readily. It is best to let the wound heal over for 1-2 days, so waiting a week may be part of the problem you've had. After the healing has taken place insert the cutting about an inch deep in a porous Cactus potting mix that you keep barely damp. Provide lots of bright light and warm temps.

Success is not always guaranteed, but if you follow my instructions, your chances are pretty good.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

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