A happy obesa family, eh?

We all know about the wonderful Euphorbia obesa, but I wanted to show an in depth post about the family I’m currently growing.


That’s right, its a family.

The adventure began in the year two thousand and fourteen when I stumbled upon an exquisite specimen at a local nursery. I had purchased her for the price of $8.99 and I think that’s a pretty good deal considering she was already of flowering size. I did not know at the time, however, that the males and female flowers on this species are found on separate plants, meaning is dioecious, and that’s rare in the plant world.

So it was frustrating because I had to keep going back to different nurseries, in the hopes that they actually had the plants in stock and that they were actually in flower, because I didn’t want to risk getting two females. I know I was getting plenty of odd looks too, because the event would go something like this;

“Where is your Euphorbia obesa!?”

“Our… what?”

“Bring me to the new succulent shipments, POST HENCE!”

When I get there, I quickly squat down and whip out my handy dandy hand lens to take a real good look at those cyathia (that’s the inflorescence) and after being so excited I look at them dead eyed and simply say, “No.” and walk away. That is, until one day I finally found him, the perfect match! I was so excited to actually propagate them that I didn’t even wait to re-pot, and that’s where he stayed until today! Now a real quick photo album of the processes that happened after…IMG_0901

Male, purchased in 2016


Female, The swollen parts on top is the cyathia that has already been pollinated


Babies growing next to the mother, oddly enough I had collected many seeds in the net that i built to catch them and sowed those in a separate tray, however, only two of the twenty or so seeds i attempted to sow grew. The weird part is this, about a week or so after I attempted to sow them which was precisely four days after the last pod exploded, the seeds that I missed ended up growing in the same media as the mother!

I have two hypothesis for why this may have happened and I’m excited to test both of them. The first is that I fudged the media that i tried to germinate the seeds in. I feel indifferent to this though because the substrate consisted of approximately 40% Cactus soil, 40% decomposed granite 15% lava rock and 5% coarse sand mixed into the top inch, I scattered some seeds around and buried some others because I was/still am unsure as to what depth to bury them. The second hypothesis is that the seeds that grew successfully were aided by the parent plant. We have evidence to support that trees and various other plants communicate through intricate processes in the relationship between roots and the mycorrhizal fungi that help with nutrient gathering in the form of resource sharing (Nature 1997) and that they can also communicate through hormonal responses in the air. So what if the babies sprouted near the mother because she recognized them, shared with them, and that’s why they did better then the ones I tried to grow myself?


I’m doing like a M. Night Shyamalan / Quentin Tarantino thing where I show you then end first, then went back to the beginning, and now we are going to the middle, and then to the end a little bit at the end. So like most re-pots, first we are gonna get the soil away from the roots


Seems healthy enough


Nice! (This is the male) I’m afraid the female isn’t looking quite as hot, It may have been because she’s been in this tiny pot since I got her.


All the seedlings look amazing, maybe growing a little slow from what I’ve been reading. I don’t have optimum lighting for them all year though, as i have to bring them indoors for the winter around late September usually.


Here is the whole family together. Now to prepare the soil, I think because the female was in such bad shape, I’m going to use soil that’s a little less porous this time. 5 parts cactus soil, 3 parts DG, 1 part sand 1 part charcoal 1 part bark humus and one part shale topped with a thin layer of crushed lava rock. A bit much I know but I have to make sure that this lives through the summer heat as well as the winter dryness. This isn’t just a blog, I also go back on old posts to remember when and how I did some things. In other words its not all about you.


Like with most of my cacti and succulents, I’ll hold off on the water for a few days after the re-pot, I’ll also give them a little more shade for two weeks or so.

The whole family is together,

The parents are beginning to flower again,



The second generation is about to start and I think its gonna be a good year.




Author: garesgarden

ISA Certified Arborist, Amateur Botanist, and future Agricultural Engineer.

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