How To Grow and Care For Euphorbia lactea (Dragon Bones Tree)

Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

One of the best succulent plants that you can grow in your house is the Euphorbia Lactea. Most people refer to it as the mottled spurge and grows in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and plant hardiness zones.

The real deal is in its fleshy stem that looks appealing. You can only see a few leaves during the summer seasons, but they disappear almost immediately.

The plant has an attractive cactus-like stem that does well in moderate moisture conditions. Find out all you need to know about the Euphorbia lactea care.

Planting euphorbia lactea

The plant will do well even in arid conditions because it adapts to semi-arid conditions. When planting the mottled spurge, you need to be accurate in the areas to grow, the seasons, and how you will grow. The article will impart to you all basic planting necessities.

When to plant

when to plant euphorbia lactea

The best season to plant is from summer to spring. It’s a succulent houseplant that can do well in semi-arid conditions, but planting will need special treatment.

You will be planting the plants that you have already propagated. Summer and spring seasons provide the best conditions for its growth.

Where to plant

You need to ensure that you are growing it in suitable soil with a well-draining property. If you will be planting in containers and pots, make sure that it has drainage holes at the bottom. The ground should also be receiving bright indirect sunlight.

Direct light may interfere with its growth, and you will be doing well growing it in areas with indirect light. Slightly sandy soils will be the best for planting the mottled spurge.

How to plant

Spring and summer is the season that will enhance the active growth of the plant. You can opt to plant it indoors or outdoors depending on the state of your region. Carefully remove the plant from a pot and cultivate it when the conditions are suitable.

The soil should also be well-draining and during the warm climates. Water the plants during the growing seasons. When it is winter, minimize watering. Succulent plants only need moist soil. You need not overwater them.

Care for Euphorbia Lactea

care for euphorbia lactea

After planting the mottled spurge, you will have to consider the care tips if you want your plant to blossom. 

Soil and fertilizer

The Mottled spurge needs a semi-strong fertilizer but not in all seasons. The best season when you can apply fertilizer is from spring to fall.

The plant is feeding during seasons. You don’t need a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, because it may burn the roots. The soil type that will be suitable for the houseplant is a well-draining soil. Sandy soils or even the cacti mix are the best.

Sunlight and water

The plant will do well in full sun to partial shade. You can grow indoors, but you must ensure that it gets sufficient light.

You can locate it close to a window that receives light. Water is essential, but not in large amounts. You won’t be watering it every often but rather in summers and springs but in small doses.

Humidity and temperature

The Euphorbia Lactea is a real succulent and will not tolerate high humid conditions. Make sure that it is a low humid region or else you will be forced to grow it indoors in high humid seasons. Extreme cold does not favor the growth, though it may not also survive high temperatures.


The plant is tall but does not have heavy roots. The plant is rarely root-bound and therefore. You will gently remove it from the pot, then get rid of all soil through dusting.

You will then transfer it to a new, bigger pot with fresh soil. The soil property where you will be repotting it will be dry and well-draining.

Dragon Bones Tree Pruning and propagation

Remove the stem cuttings from the mother plant and make them smaller in size. You will then need to apply a rooting hormone, though it may not be necessary. Allow the stem cuttings to wither for two weeks or more.

It will take some time to be callous, after which you will stick them on the soil. The soil should remain moist until the withering stem begins to grow roots.

Dragon Bones Tree Pest and disease

Stem and root rot are famous for the mottled spurge. Fungi is the cause of diseases. You can use a fungicide when the plant already has the disease and take precautions not to overwater it.

You will remove the sick plants when repotting and cutting off the stems and roots affected by the disease. Mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids won’t also miss, but an insecticide will help.

Bottom line

Taking care of mottled spurge is simple. You only need to be considerate to every factor highlighted, and there you are ready for success. The plant is not very demanding, and the fleshy stem will be spectacular for the sight.