Baseball Plant: Easy Growing and Caring
The baseball plant (Euphorbia obesa) is a succulent perennial native to the Cape Province, South Africa. Since their discovery in the late 1800s, baseball plants have grown in popularity as houseplants due to their short and unique appearance.
Although baseball plants are actually considered an endangered species in their native habitat due to unsustainable harvesting, they can be easily found in garden centers.
Today, national and international legislation prohibiting the harvest of baseball plants has been enacted in an effort to protect the remaining native populations of baseball plants.
These long-lived, slow-growing succulents are characterized by a bulbous shape, V-shaped markings, and seam-like ridges that resemble seams.
Instead of branches or leaves, the plant consists of a single wide stem body from which the flowers sprout.
Baseball plant care
Baseball plants are relatively easy plants to care for, as long as their needs for light and water are met.
They thrive if grown in a standard thick potting mix formulated for cacti and succulents and placed in a location that receives plenty of sunlight or constant bright indirect light.
They are slow-growing plants that can fill your pots before they need to be replanted. Few houseplants require less care than baseball plants.
In their native habitat, baseball plants are used to a lot of direct sunlight. When grown indoors, baseball plants should receive at least four hours of direct sunlight a day, if possible.
Loss of color and pattern, as well as loss of shape, are indications that your baseball plant is not getting enough light; Ethiolated growth ("stilt") is another indication.
Place your baseball plant in a south or east-facing window of your home to ensure it receives adequate sunlight.
Baseball plants require thick, well-draining potting soil to thrive and should be planted in a potting mix intended for cacti and succulents.
Cactus soil is available at most commercial nurseries and garden centers, but if you don't have one available, you can easily make your own by mixing 3 parts regular potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand, and 1 part perlite.
Baseball plants, like most succulents and cacti, cannot tolerate excess water. Water the plant only when the soil is completely dry.
Baseball plants require more water during the spring and summer months, and significantly less water during their dormant period in the fall and winter months.
Temperature and humidity
Baseball plants appreciate warm temperatures. When grown indoors, the average home temperature is more than sufficient.
However, be careful to avoid placing your baseball plant in cold drafty areas as it can inhibit growth. If grown outdoors, they can tolerate occasional temperatures of up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like most succulents, baseball plants do not require regular fertilization, as they are used to growing in nutrient-poor soils.
However, fertilizing your baseball plant in the spring can help it grow during the peak of the growing season. Make sure to use a cactus / juicy fertilizer for best results.
Propagation of baseball plants
Like other Euphorbia species, the baseball plant is difficult to propagate from seed, as male and female plants require cross-pollination to produce seeds. Also, the seeds grow very slowly.
Euphorbias like E. obesa, which have a single stem structure rather than individual branches, are usually spread by the first decapitation of the plant at ground level.
When new small growth structures emerge around the remaining root body, each new displacement can be carefully cut and replanted in a thick planting mix of cacti and succulents.
These are tall growing plants and it can take up to eight years before they mature into flowering plants.
Baseball plants are well suited to any potting mix formulated for cacti and succulents. They do not require frequent replanting and should only be replanted when the plant's girth is pressing against the edge of the pot.
Protective gardening gloves should be worn at all times when replanting baseball plants, as their sap can irritate the skin on contact.
We hope you enjoy this video about Euphorbia obesa - Baseball Plant from South Africa:
Source: Dan Kennedy
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