Euphorbia Problems


I’ve attached a few photos of my cactus that I’ve had for 10-12 years. My friend gave it to me as a joke because I kill everything, including ivy, thinking that maybe I could keep it alive by just leaving it alone. So for those 10-12 years it sat in the same window and never moved until 2 months ago when I switched jobs and it came with me. It’s been getting brown spots like I tried to show in the picture. This office may be a little colder than the last one but no more than 5 degrees-the sunlight may also not be as direct -instead of sitting on the sill it’s on a cabinet behind it and a little to the side. Also, I’ve never repotted it because I don’t know what to get or how to do it.

euphorbia2 euphorbia

I’ve tried researching online but I haven’t been able to identify the type. So, my 2 questions are: Do you know the type/name? and is it dying? If so, (my 3rd question I know) what can I do to save it?

I appreciate any and all advice!
Thank you,
Laura

Laura,
Your plant is a Euphorbia, possibly Euphorbia hermentiana. While not in the Cactus Family, it is very hardy like a cactus as you have experienced for the last decade or so.

It’s a little hard to tell from the photos, but there is some rot, and maybe a lot spreading through the plant, but maybe not. If the problems are isolated it should be able to come through.

The first problem is that it has never been repotted. Euphorbias are remarkable in being able to stay underpotted for so long! But not for ever. Add in the move, and many plants will experience shock from a move, and that can be enough to cause these problems.

These Euphorbias can handle bright indirect light, so the new location should be fine. But you will need to reduce the amount of watering for the lower light levels.

I recommend spraying the rot portions with a good quality organic fungicide; we sell Monterey Neem Oil.

The big problem is going to be repotting, which can cause more shock. You may want to try to stabilize the plant before repotting. Then you can follow along here: How Do You Repot a Euphorbia?

Good luck,
Peter


    
    
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