With the autumn at our doorsteps, we`re looking into another colorful season. With their wide diversity in shapes and colors, succulents are a perfect choice for bringing the autumn spirit into your home or garden this year. If you want something different, unusual and eye-catching, Euphorbia polygona, aka “Snowflake” is a great choice. With its shape and bright color, you can make your garden come to life.
African Snow Beauty
“Snowflake” is a native to South Africa. This is a chalky white, columnar cactus with simple or basally clumping stems. Stems are up to 24 inches (60 cm) high and up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. “Snowflake” has deep ribs and dark spines. As it grows, the edges of the ribs can grow either straight or wavy. This cactus is covered in beautiful “heads” that form dark purple flowers in late spring and summer. Also, “Snowflake” has fewer spines that cacti usually have.
This cactus is a perfect addition to beds, Mediterranean Gardens, and borders. You can also use it to add some extra charm to container arrangements. However, you have to be very careful when handling “Snowflake”. All parts of this plant are highly toxic when ingested. Stems of this cactus break easily and the milky sap from them can burn your skin or irritate your eyes.
Grow and Care Tips
“Snowflake” is very easy to grow and take care of. In fact, in most cases, this cactus die from too much care and watering than from neglect. However, it requires some pampering until established, but after that its self-sufficient. Main things you need to give to this plant is well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. Unlike most other succulents, “Snowflake” doesn’t tolerate drought, so keep in mind that you need to water it weekly during summer. Also, this cactus won’t be happy sitting in wet soil, since it’s sensitive to rood rotting. You`ll need to water it when soil is dry fey inches below the surface. Finally, you can’t be wrong with the “soak and dry” method.
To help your “Snowflake” grow healthy, add some fertilizer or organic matter to the planting hole. If you’re planting it in a container or the soil is little poor, its best to feed this cactus monthly with some half-strength fertilizer.
“Snowflake” also won’t tolerate low temperatures. If you live in a zone with the temperatures below 20° F (-6.7° C), plant this cactus in a container you can easily bring indoors. “Snowflake” will do best in full sun or partial shade and you can even grow it indoors as long as it has enough light.
“Snowflake” can be grown from seeds, but they can be difficult to germinate or even find. Its a lot easier to propagate this cactus from cuttings. “Snowflake” is a prolific propagator, which means it`s growing many offsets. However, propagating this way can be tricky, because of the toxic sad coming from the stems. You need to be very careful when removing offsets. To remove a clump for propagation, you will need nitrile dipped gloves, silicone tongs, and a sharp knife. You should gently pull one of the cylindrical stems away from the main cluster using the tongs. If you are not able to break it off without pulling up the rest of the plant, use the knife to cut through the stem. Allow the end of the stem you got to callous for a few days before placing it in fresh, well-draining soil.