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Euphorbia acrurensis

Desert Candle Cactus

About Desert Candle Cactus

My botanical name is Euphorbia acrurensis but I am also known as Desert Candle Cactus. I have slender ribbed stems that grow like a chandelier and produce small oval leaves on the perimeters. I am native to South and West Africa but I was grown in Florida and am so happy to be going to my new home.  

Indoors I can grow to be 5-8 feet tall and will add exotic look to your home. Here are some care instructions and tips that will be useful as I get acclimated to my new home and grow with you for many years to come.

Choosing the Right Location

Style

My energy is exotic, masculine, sculptural and chic. You can place me in living rooms, hallways, bedrooms, offices, conference rooms, or anywhere with plenty of light. If you place me against walls such as room corners, rotate my container so all plant gets even light. You can also place me on terraces, balconies as I am resistant to salt and wind.

 

Light

I will be happy indoors where I can get bright, indirect light. However, I am very strong and resilient so I could tolerate medium light or even full sun outdoors. Make sure that I receive bright light daily. As I grow to be over 5 feet, the weight may lead me to slant toward the direction that I am getting the most sun. If you see start to see me slant, rotate my container the opposite direction.

 

Temperature

Indoors in a Floridian home, I will be happy in an environment that is controlled around 77° F (25° C). Make sure that I am not in direct line of contact to air conditioning or heating vents. I would not like to receive cold or hot air blown at me.

 

Outdoors

I am resistant to wind, so feel free to place me in my container on balconies, terraces or backyards as long as I have some shade. I can also thrive in direct or full sun.

How and When to Water

When it comes to watering me, below are some helpful suggestions for you to follow. Keep in mind that every plant, like every human, is unique and our needs change over time.

Depending on where you end up placing me, I may get more or less thirsty and would require watering with more or less frequency. The humidity in the room, the time of the year, and the amount of AC/Heating, among other factors will all affect my watering needs. Fortunately, it’s easy to figure out what to do as I will show you how I feel; you just need to check up on me once in a while.

Start by watering me once a month. Use a spray bottle, watering can, or measuring cup to water me with approximately 8 ounces (236 ml) of water per session.

Pour water slowly all around the center of the plant so that it filters down the base. Watering is no good to me if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving my central roots dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Slower watering is usually more effective. The key is to ensure that water gets to my root zone. Sometimes it is helpful to prick little holes into the gravel and soil with a dull knife or the end of a pencil and pour water inside to assure it goes down well.

Check up on the same day each month by inserting your finger into the soil about half an inch and feel the moisture level. You should also make sure that the blades and stems are soft and spongy before you water. Once we do this for a few months, you will get the hang of it and you can determine the best watering schedule for your light, temperature and moisture conditions.  

You should also make sure that only person is in charge of my care schedule. This way, we can form a loving relationship and I don’t get watered more or less often than I need to be.

Feeding

You can use diluted cacti fertilizer once a month or during the growing season of spring through early fall. Too much plant food causes excess salt build up in the soil that can result.

 

More Tips

When the stem grows, the stems get heavier tend to face towards the ray of light. Rotate the container to prevent leaning.

It is normal for the leaves to shed. New leaves will grow at the top of the stem in a couple months.

In nature, I can grow to be as tall as 30 feet. Indoors in a container, I will grow fast and can get to be 5-8 feet. New pale green shoots will grow from the base.

If you see rotting at the base of the plant or the stems are no longer spongey, you may have overwatered. You can try to dry out the soil by opening up the top dressing and letting it air out. If you still find too much moisture, you can cut the stem with a clean corrugated knife and replant the stem in new, drier soil.

As I grow older, I am able to tolerate more full sun and direct light.

Use distilled water rather than tap water to prevent the build-up of minerals.