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Cactus & Succulent Garden

Paddle Plant

Paddle Plant

Euphorbia xylophylloides

  • ​​Common Name: Paddle Plant (other common names: Paddle Cactus Euphorbia, Milk Bush, Flattened Pencil Cactus)
  • Scientific Name: Euphorbia xylophylloides
  • Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
  • Origin: Madagascar
  • Height: 6’ – 8’
  • Width: 2’ – 3’ foot stalks and form clumps (offsets)
  • Growth: It grows upward at first, but as it produces new branches the plants will sprawl laterally forming a large irregular mass.
  • Zone: 9B - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – Partial shade
  • Salt Tolerance: moderate
  • Soil/PH/Texture: prefers a rich good draining soil mix that is mildly acidic – mildly alkaline (pH 6.1 – 7.8) (prefer a layer of brick and charcoal pieces, on top of which sandy loam soil is spread but will tolerate any well drained soil mix).
  • Soil Moisture: average, let the top 1” of soil dry out before watering - do not over water because it is susceptible to root rot.
  • Drought Tolerance: high
  • Pests/Diseases: little or no disease or pest problems, Overwatering and/or excessive fertilizing can lead to problems with root rot, plant scales, powdery mildew, succulent mealybugs, and mites.
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance
  • Characteristics: flat stemmed, almost leafless, its new growth tips are yellowish when planted in a shaded area and in the sun they rend to be a burnt orange color, intermediate growth is dark green but later turning glaucous green on the older growth, stems average 4" to 8"+ long and 1/2" to 3/4" inch wide, and are multi-branching, it has thick skin and no spines. New growth is often upright but as it grows, they tend to be pendant. The blooms are pale yellow and appear in late spring – early fall.
  • Propagation: by division at the root or stem cuttings (allow cut surface to dry or callous over before planting)
  • Wildlife: unknown
  • Facts: toxins from the milky white sap in this plant may cause allergic reaction or skin irritation when handling.
  • Designer Considerations: use as an accent plant, in borders, in cactus, succulent or rock gardens, great for xeriscaping, and can adapt to being in a hanging basket or trained upright in form but will require stakes/support. Also makes a great container plant for a deck or patio.