How to Care for and Cultivate Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin

Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin is named for its fleshy stem epidermis, which resembles the scales of a fish. It belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family and the Euphorbia genus, and is a succulent plant.

Morphological Characteristics:
Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin has fleshy roots, and its stem initially forms a spherical or flattened spherical shape, gradually elongating into a cylindrical shape. The epidermis is gray-white or grayish-green, presenting a scale-like structure, resembling fish scales. The small flowers are inconspicuous, emerging from the upper scale layer of the plant and intermittently blooming during the growing season. There is also a variant of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin known as 'Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin Variegata'. Due to its abnormal apical meristem, it grows in a linear fashion, causing the plant to curl horizontally. Initially, its form is fan-shaped or cockscomb-like, and after many years of growth, the plant becomes twisted and spiral-shaped, displaying remarkable resilience.

Growing Environment:
Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin is native to southern Africa and prefers warm, dry, and sunny environments. It can also tolerate partial shade but dislikes cold temperatures and waterlogging. Its main growth period is from April to October. It should be kept outdoors in a sunny location, even during the peak of summer, without the need for shading. Insufficient light may cause the plant to become elongated and weak. However, plants grown indoors or in low-light conditions should not be suddenly exposed to direct sunlight to avoid scorching the epidermis. Watering should follow the principle of "water only when dry, and water thoroughly" to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and even complete plant decay. Therefore, it is essential to avoid prolonged exposure to rain, especially during extended periods of rainfall. While prolonged drought will not kill the plant, it may slow down or halt growth. During the growing season, apply diluted organic liquid fertilizer or compound fertilizer approximately every 20 days. After October, stop fertilizing. During hot summers, ensure good ventilation to prevent the environment from becoming hot and humid. In winter, Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin enters a dormant state. It should be kept indoors in a well-lit location with temperatures above 5°C, and watering should be strictly controlled. However, it should not be deprived of water for extended periods, as this can cause the plant to become shriveled, with the roots losing their ability to absorb moisture. Once the climate warms up in the following spring, it may take a long time for the plant to recover its growth vigor, or it may even lead to death.

Potting and Disease Management:
For vigorous-growing Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin, repotting should be done every 2-3 years in spring. The potting soil should be loose, well-draining, and contain a moderate amount of limestone with a certain particle size. A mixture of three parts peat soil or humus soil, two parts pumice or coarse sand, and one part slag, sifted and mixed with a small amount of bone meal or other limestone materials, can be used for potting. When repotting, trim away any rotten roots and cut back excessively long roots before planting in fresh potting soil. The main diseases and pests affecting Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin are stem rot caused by water accumulation in the scales and damage from red spider mites due to poor ventilation and dry air. Improving the cultivation environment can help prevent these issues.

Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, or grafting. Seeds should be sown as soon as they are mature. After sowing, cover the seeds with glass to maintain moisture. After germination, use chopsticks or wooden sticks to support the glass to ensure ventilation and prevent seedling rot. Small bulbs will grow at the base of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin, which can be detached during the growing season. After absorbing excess white sap from the wound with absorbent paper, let them dry for 3-5 days before planting in well-draining soil or other suitable media. To accelerate growth, robust varieties of Euphorbia from the same genus, such as Euphorbia milii or Euphorbia brasiliensis, can be used as rootstocks. Grafting is performed using the small bulbs of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin as scions, grafted onto the rootstock during the growing season using the cleft grafting method. The rootstock should be robust and mature but not overly tender. During grafting, avoid rainy seasons or continuous rainy weather, and refrain from getting the grafting wound wet to prevent rotting and graft failure. Once the scion has grown, remove it, dry the wound, and then plant it ("pot squatting") to develop roots before potting it, becoming a beautiful specimen plant. The cultivation management of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin Variegata is similar to that of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin. For propagation, the fan-shaped fleshy stems can be cut into pieces, ensuring each piece has a growth point, and then grafted using the same method as Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin. The scale-like structure on the surface of Euphorbia Piscidermis Fish Skin makes it unique among various ornamental plants, and its forms range from the common spherical and cylindrical shapes to double-headed and variegated forms. It can be potted and placed on window sills, balconies, and other locations for leisurely observation, allowing one to appreciate the unique charm of the plant. It can also be displayed in succulent plant exhibition areas or collected in xerophyte gardens.