Characteristics of milkweed
Euphorbiaceae are found on all continents, although most of them come from Central Africa. All of them are united by one common quality - the resulting poisonous milk at the site of breakage. This juice can cause burns and inflammation of the mucous membranes, which is why you must wear gloves and be extremely careful to work with it. All 2000 species are completely different: they are distinguished by their shape, size and appearance. Today, resinous euphorbia or otherwise euphorbia resinifera has become popular for growing in apartments.
Euphorbia resiniferous is a branched perennial shrub reaching a height of about 1 m and a width of about 2 m. It has the shape of a pillow with vertical fleshy stems, each of which reaches an average of 60 cm in height. Quadrangular and even square, they are more like a cactus. The color of the stems varies from light green to blue, depending on the growing conditions.
The serrated ribs are dotted with short but extremely sharp spikes up to 0.6 cm long. The density of their arrangement from each other is 1 centimeter. And the euphorbia has small, brown leaves that fall very quickly from it. During flowering, the tops of the plants are covered with small flowers, three on each stem, so they are called trichotomizing plants. Inflorescences are elementary and unisexual, in most cases yellow-green in color. After the inflorescences bloom, fruits are formed that have 3 nests located in slightly flattened boxes.
Where does it come from and what does it need
The motherland of the milkweed of tarry is Morocco, where you can admire it directly on the slopes of the Atlas mountains at an altitude of 1, 500 m above sea level. There it grows in carbonate soil, but in fact it is not too picky about the soil, and still needs moderate watering and infrequent top dressing. This decorative handsome man successfully grows in a temperate climate right in the open ground, and in harsher terrain only indoors. Yes, at rest, he can survive even the cold, but needs warmth. It adapts well in different conditions, but it is the sun that helps to develop and maintain the corresponding pillow shape and contributes to its proliferation.
Why is the euphorbia resinous named that way? The whole thing is in his many milkmen, with whom he is literally permeated. If damage occurs, then white juice begins to ooze out of them - milk that freezes under the influence of air. Thus, a special lump resin is formed on it. These fragile pieces of gums are small enough and yellowish. They are collected by hand. The whole secret lies in the composition:
- juice consists of 60% of resins;
- of which 20% - euphorbon;
- about 20% are gums and mucus;
- up to 10% of minerals;
- in the region of 12%, potassium and calcium in the form of salts.
Use in homeopathy and how it propagates
Euphorbia with success and has long been used in medicine. It used to be one of the ingredients of laxative drugs and as a skin irritant in veterinary medicine. Today, tarry euphorbia is used to treat a variety of skin inflammations and diarrhea. Outwardly effective against abscesses, which is why it is part of ointments and plasters. For the treatment of animals, it is often combined with a flypan.
The tarry euphorbia breeds in several ways:
- dividing the bush.
In the first case, the cuttings are cut, they are dried a little in the fresh air. The place of cut, from where it was taken, is covered with finely crushed coal so as not to damage the mother plant, they begin to root. There are two ways to do this:
- collect water in a container and place the stalk there until the roots are formed;
- immediately land in the ground.
When deciding to propagate the tarry euphorbia by seeds, one must be prepared for the long journey. In a small size, a pot of soil mixture is sown with ripened seeds, generously watered and covered tightly with a film, after which they begin to wait for emergence. As soon as the first small sprouts become noticeable, the film must be removed immediately.
The best and fastest way to propagate milkweed is by dividing an existing bush. This should be done only in the spring, before the beginning of its active growth, slowly separating parts of the bush from each other and planting in separate pots. Such manipulation is allowed to be carried out annually, it takes place without harm to the plant. So the probability that he will be accepted is very high. But, in his reproduction, we should not forget that the resiniferous euphorbia is poisonous, and therefore it is important to wear gloves to work with it and avoid getting its juice on the mucous eyes, nose and mouth!
If we talk about the peculiarities of care, it must be mentioned that resinous euphorbia has only recently been encountered very rarely. And only recently have flower growers been able to appreciate its unpretentiousness and ease of care, which radically changed the situation, and now it can be more and more often found in apartments and houses. In the cold season, the bush is able to withstand a temperature drop of up to 12 ° C, and in summer it feels great at 26 ° C. In the most severe winters, you need to take care of heating the pot with the plant.
For milkweed, the dairy plant plays an important role in growth and development. The light should be bright enough, but at the same time scattered. Watering is carried out only with settled, soft water at room temperature. This should be done sparingly, and for the winter, generally be reduced to a minimum. Absolutely not sensitive to air humidity, which means that it does not need spraying. Surprisingly, it is a fact: the euphorbia resiniferous is indifferent to the composition of the soil in which it is located.
For beginner gardeners, tarry euphorbia is exactly what you need. Without requiring much effort and time, he will appreciate the rapid growth and gentle flowering, and most importantly, he will not stop the desire to breed indoor plants in the future.