We’ve already learned that succulents come in all shapes. color and sizes. However, these plants never cease to amaze with unusual appearance and growing habits. One of those amazing succulents is Euphorbia cooperi aka Candelabra Tree. This unique plant will you a wow effect everyone wishes to reach in their garden.
Candelabra Tree– The Queen Of Africa
Euphorbia cooperi aka Candelabra Tree is a spikey succulent tree. It’s native to Africa, but it can be found all over the world, both as an addition to rock gardens and as an indoor plant. The name comes from two different directions. First, it’s named after Greek physician, Euphorbus, who discovered this succulent in the Atlas mountains. The other part of its common name follows a look of Euphorbia cooperi. With upward branches clumped together and yellow flowers forming on the tree’s ridges like burning candles, these succulents resemble candelabras.
Candelabra Tree can grow to some impressive heights. It can be up to 20 inches (7 m) tall and up to 4 inches (1.2 m) wide. Unlike with common tree Euphorbia, the branches do not split again. Dead branches hang underneath the compact crown for a while. Over time all lower branches shed in a continual process leaving the top branches to accentuate the candelabra form. The solitary trunk of the stems is straight and exposed. Stems can be grey to dark grey or brown with an impressive height of 196 inches (5 m). Round holes on the trunk form where old branches have fallen off. Branches are bright green or yellow-green and end with characteristic rounded, narrowing and widening tops with 4 to 6 inches “wings”.
The ridge of the branches is covered with narrow, dark spines. They grow in pairs, usually up to 0.27 inches (7mm) long. Candelabra Tree blooms from spring to summer with yellowish-green small flowers arranged in 3 parallel rows along the ridges between the spines towards the tips of the branches.
Grow and Care Tips
The most important thing you need to remember when growing Candelabra Tree is to stay away from its spines and toxic latex sap. The latex this succulent produces can irritate skin and cause serious health issues. Having said that, keep your Candelabra Tree from kids and pets. You want it in the area of your garden where your loved ones can access that easily.
Candelabra Tree thrives on neglect. It will take underwatering a lot better then if you overwater. Sitting in a soggy soil may cause root rotting. You should water Candelabra Tree whenever the soil is dry during a growing warm season and keep up with just a few drops every now and then during the winter.
When it comes to soil, your Candelabra Tree will love some standard succulent mix combined with non-organic material such as clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mold. This succulent need well-draining soil in order to grow happy and healthy.
Candelabra Tree isn’t a cold-hardy succulent. If your area is known by temperatures lower than 30° F (-1.1° C), it’s better to plant this succulent is a container you can bring indoor or just grow it as a house plant. Candelabra Tree loves to bath in full sun. If you decide to grow it indoors, make sure its placed near the brightest window where it will get a lot of light. Candelabra Tree will also need a good airflow to prevent pest infections and stem molding.
Candelabra Tree can be propagated from stem cuttings or seeds. However, for the most successful propagating, you should focus on cuttings. As we said earlier, you need to be very careful when handling this succulent. Use some rubber gloves to keep a poisonous latex sap from your hands. Use a sharp, sterile knife to remove the stem from the main plant and allow it to callus for a few days. Then just lay it on a well-draining soil and water whenever the soil is dried out.
If you choose to propagate from the seeds, plant them in well-draining soil and keep an eye on the thermometer. If temperatures in your area are mild to high, you’re fine with Candelabra Tree seeds outside. However, if the temperatures get low, it’s better to start sowing indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.