Euphorbia Problems


Hi,

I love Cactus Jungle (!) and it looks like I’ll be needing to make a trip soon to replace my indoor Euphorbia Ingens. The plant was gifted to me by a friend many years ago when it outgrew his little apartment. It was about 5′ tall at that time and it is now at least 6-1/2′ tall with several branches. It used to produce a multitude of little green leaves and grew a few new “arms” and then about five months ago I swapped it’s location with my Euphorbia hermentiana, so the hermentiana could have the best light for a while (although all the light is pretty good). I was about to swap them around again when I noticed the Euphorbia Ingens was dying. It started getting soft and rubbery at the tips of each branch including the top of the main trunk. Now about 2″ of each branch is very soft and yellow and I’ve noticed a brown creeping area on the largest branch. This is happening pretty fast. I think one of my [bleeping] cats decided to use the trunk as a scratch post as I’ve noticed some old healed pinprick patterns on the base side facing the wall. I don’t know what caused the dying — lack of proper sunlight, cat damage, virus, other. Should I try cutting the plant in half (the bottom half below the branches does not appear to be sick) or simply have a funeral for the entire plant? My camera is on the blink so unfortunately I can’t send a picture!

By the way, the Euphorbia hermentiana is growing insanely large even with pruning new branches and I’ll bring a picture to the store to see if you guys think I should have it repotted. I can’t repot it myself without risking life-threatening injury…and I don’t want to damage this lovely plant.

Thank you,
Regina

Regina,

If all the branch tips are showing signs of soft rot, it sounds like a virus. You could try cutting off all the infected parts, cleaning the cuts with Hydrogen-peroxide and hope it will stop the infection… but if it is a virus it is likely throughout the plant. Please be careful and remember the sap is toxic and you do not want it on your skin or worse in your eyes! Wear chemical resistant gloves and eye protection if you start cutting.

Please bring by photos and we will be happy to give better advice.

Take care and good luck,
Hap


    
    
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