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Euphorbia susannae (Suzanne's Spurge)
Euphorbia susannae (Suzanne's Spurge) is a small clustering succulent that grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and up to 12 inches (30 cm)…
Euphorbia Species, Suzanne's Spurge
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Suitable for growing in containers
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Soil pH requirements:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
On Jan 24, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
THis is a great little plant for small, neat xeriscape gardens but never looks perfect like it does kept in a pot in a protected environment. However, I have had several outdoors now in a zone 9b and they are doing fine. very slow growing and sucker/spread slowly. Never seen them flower.. maybe too marginal a climate for that.
They do not love the blasting heat, and plants grown in full sun in the ground tend to yellow and burn a bit. and careful with watering during this 'dormant' time, as they will easily rot then. I have rotted a number of these watering them in mid summer. So far, haven't had a problem with rainfall and winter rotting, though.
One of the best and simlest Euphorbias for pot culture, though. grows relatively fast for small size and. read more makes a nice clump of bumpy, harmless columns from a green central 'caudex'.
On Sep 2, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:
Like all Euphorbia HANDLE WITH CARE, the latex/sap is dangerous and can cause skin rash, itching and general discomfort.
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The Euphorbia Suzannae is native to the Cape, in South Africa. Also known by its common name, Suzanne’s Spurge, this is a fast-growing succulent that is relatively easy to cultivate.
The South African climate is known to be mild, with temperatures that seldom fall to extreme lows. Therefore this plant will do well in areas where the weather is balmy and the overnight temperatures are not too low.
The Euphorbia Suzannae is not a very large plant. It seldom grows taller than about 6 inches. This makes it ideal to keep as an indoor plant, and it will do well in pots in the right spot in your house.
This succulent should be handled with great care because it produces latex, which is a whitish sap that is toxic. It can cause a severe allergic reaction if it gets in contact with your skin. It is advisable to wear thick protective gloves when handling the Euphorbia Suzannae
The Euphorbia Suzannae typically grows in small clumps of hemispherical plants. They are not very tall, reaching a maximum height of 6-8 inches. The diameter might grow to a width of 30 inches if the plant is left to spread out.
The caudex, or central axis of the plant, will produce many new stems that will develop and branch out. The stems are brownish-green in color and are short and thick. They are slightly tapered towards the tip.
The stems produce tubercles, or small, round bumps on the surface. These tubercles have rounded tips. The cyathia, or flower heads, are found at the tips of the stems. They have an outer layer that is made up of 4 or 5 overlapping lobes, with a small flower in the center.
The Euphorbia Suzannae will traditionally flower towards the end of fall or the beginning of spring. Once the flowers have died off, you will be able to retrieve the seeds, which are deep red, or sometimes varying shades of purple.
Caring for the Euphorbia Suzannae
The Euphorbia Suzannae is one of those succulents that is very good at taking care of itself. It takes a little bit of nurturing to get it going, but once you have a fully established plant, it does not need much attention from you in order to continue thriving.
The Euphorbia Suzannae needs plenty of sunlight. Like most succulents, this one should be planted in a spot that has full sun to partial shade. They will do best if they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
If you are planting your Euphorbia Suzannae in a bed outdoors, it is important to choose just the right position for it. There is a fine balance between enough sunlight and too much sunlight.
Plants need sunlight in order to produce chlorophyll. By undergoing photosynthesis, plants can absorb carbon dioxide from the air. When the carbon dioxide is combined with the water that the plants receive, it is converted into sugars, which nourish the plant.
If the plant does not get sufficient light, photosynthesis can only occur in a limited capacity. Your Euphorbia Suzannae will then suffer from stunted growth.
On the other hand, if your Euphorbia Suzannae is exposed to much sunlight on extremely hot days, it could get burnt from the sun. Like a sunburn on human skin, this is highly damaging to plants.
If your Euphorbia Suzannae is kept exclusively as an indoor plant, it will be happiest in a warm, sunny room with lots of natural light. If you are in the northern hemisphere, this would be a south-facing room. Your succulent will grow beautifully on a sunny window sill.
If your house does not get enough natural sunlight, it is still possible to cultivate the Euphorbia Suzannae indoors, with the help of a grow light. These lights mimic natural sunlight and are designed for this purpose. They are available from most nurseries and garden centers.
Many people tend to think that succulents need lots of water, but this is not always correct. The Euphorbia Suzannae , like many other similar succulents, needs very little water once it is a fully grown, established plant.
Water it by soaking the soil thoroughly, and leaving it to dry completely before watering again. This should be done approximately once a week.
To test if the plant needs to be watered, either insert a finger into the soil, as deeply as possible or use a wooden skewer. It should be totally dry when it is removed.
If you water again before the soil is completely dry, the roots will constantly be sitting in wet soil. This can cause root rot and other fungal infections, and will eventually destroy your succulent.
The Euphorbia Suzannae , coming from South Africa originally, is used to mild temperatures. It is not hardy enough to withstand extreme temperatures, at either end of the scale.
If you live in an area where the climate is mild, it will do well outdoors. But if the temperature frequently drops below 20° Fahrenheit in winter, it is advisable to plant your Euphorbia Suzannae in containers that can be brought indoors during severe weather conditions.
If frost is expected, your succulents should either be brought indoors overnight, or covered lightly to protect them from the frost. Exposure to heavy frost will kill your plants.
The Euphorbia Suzannae will do well in most types of soil, as long as there is excellent drainage. You do not really need to worry about the PH balance of the soil, but it is essential to use a mix of succulent potting soil, and mineral grit such as perlite or pumice, or even coarse sand.
By combining these elements in equal parts, you will create a soil environment that is conducive to good drainage. Also make sure that your containers have adequate drainage holes at the bottom, to allow excess water to run off freely.
Propagating the Euphorbia Suzannae
The Euphorbia Suzannae is fairly easy to propagate and will grow without too much difficulty. It can occasionally be successfully propagated from seeds, but this is not advisable.
Viable seeds are difficult to acquire. You may go to all the trouble of planting seeds and waiting for them to grow, only to find that they have not germinated.
The best way to propagate the Euphorbia Suzannae is from cuttings. Cut off a piece, using a clean, sharp pair of gardening scissors. Leave it to dry out for a few days, until it forms a callous.
Insert the calloused offcut into a pot of prepared soil, and water lightly every few days. It should soon take root, and a viable plant will start to grow. Once you have a healthy plant growing then you can start to reduce the frequency of watering.
Common Pests and Problems
The most common problems are overwatering, which causes the roots to rot, and bug infestation.
Look out for mealybugs. These tiny little critters are only noticeable because of the fine, powdery white coating that they deposit on the leaves. The actual bugs themselves will be well hidden on the underside of the plant’s leaves.
If you do not eliminate them, they will eventually do so much damage that your plant will start to die off. There are some natural remedies that certain people claim to be effective, but the only really fail-safe method is to use a commercial pesticide.
About Tarah Schwartz
Tarah Schwartz is a freelance writer living in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her life in the desert has inspired a passion for succulents and cacti.
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Plants→Euphorbias→Susanna's Spurge (Euphorbia susannae)
|Plant Habit:||Cactus/Succulent |
|Sun Requirements:||Full Sun |
Full Sun to Partial Shade
|Water Preferences:||Dry Mesic |
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F) |
|Plant Height :||4 inches|
|Plant Spread :||12 inches or more|
Other: In the genus Euphorbia, the flowers are reduced in size and aggregated into a cluster of flowers called a cyathium (plural cyathia). This feature is present in every species of the genus Euphorbia but nowhere else in the plant kingdom.
|Flower Color:||Green |
|Bloom Size:||Under 1" |
|Flower Time:||Fall |
|Suitable Locations:||Xeriscapic |
|Dynamic Accumulator:||B (Boron) |
|Resistances:||Drought tolerant |
|Toxicity:||Other: All members of the genus Euphorbia produce a milky sap called latex that is toxic and can range from a mild irritant to very poisonous. |
|Containers:||Suitable in 3 gallon or larger |
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Disambiguation comment. The common name uses a 'z' in the name, Suzanne's Spurge, whereas the specific epithet uses an 's', viz. susannae. The problem is that a search on a misspelled species name, 'Euphorbia suzannae' lands on a completely different euphorbia species, Euphorbia suzannae-marnierae in the garden.org database. I have seen such a misspelling on a conservatory plant tag, and it may, in fact, be a fairly common mistake. Just be warned.
Spineless South African succulent from the Little Karoo near Ladismith. May grow nearly flat to the ground or form a mound of dozens of small knobby green heads. The tubercles are arranged in 10-16 rows and point downward. The stem usually branches heavily, and can be impressive in old age. Plants are male or female. Fall cyathia are small and greenish or brown, appearing in great numbers near the tip of stems. Male cyathia appear on short peduncles but female cyathia are sessile. Provide excellent drainage and strong light in cultivation. With proper care a long lived container plant. Named after Susanna Muir (note spelling "s" not "z").