Fishbone Thistle Cactus - Euphorbia polyacantha

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Euphorbia polyacantha (Euphorbus' plant with many thorns)

Common Name
Fishbone Thistle, Fishbone Cactus, Fishbone Thistle Cactus

Native to South Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia

This Euphorbia grows in the mountains of Northeastern Africa, where it is used to scarce rainfall and plenty of bright sun. As a houseplants, its deep green flesh and grey spines help it stand out, as well as the interesting shapes it grows into as new branches reach out in different directions. Add this interesting cactus to your collection, give it plenty of light and not too much water and it may even reward you with bright yellow flowers in spring!

Euphorbia like bright light, and can cope with direct sun; choose a window that gets a few hours of direct sun in the morning or evening for best results.

This cactus cannot cope well with having constantly moist soil, so make sure it dries out totally between waters. If your plant is in a position with less direct light, be extra careful not to overwater it!

This cactus is adapted to arid (dry) conditions so does not need a humid location at all. If it's getting dusty feel free to hose down to clean, just make sure it can dry out quickly.

Use a well-draining soil designed for cacti and succulents, usually a mix with added grit and sand. Repot every three to four years in spring as the plant grows.

Feed every two in spring and summer; reduce to every three in autumn and winter.

Average temperatures of 15-32°C are fine; make sure it doesn't get colder than 12°C in winter.

No, this plant is toxic to pets and small humans, as well as having sharp spikes!

Sprouts Top Tips
If you notice brown discolouration on your Euphorbia's stems, check closer before you act; if it is soggy you may need to take cuttings to save it, but if it is 'corking' and the brown is more like hard scabs, this is natural and not a concern.


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