Many people recognize the common name of the Euphorbia obesa, also known as the baseball plant, but not everyone knows how to care for this succulent houseplant.
With thick stems and round leaves, it’s easy to see why this plant earns its nickname, but these features also make Euphorbia obesa care a bit different than other plants in the family Euphorbiaceae, such as Croton alabamensis.
Baseball plant (Euphorbia obesa) is one of the easiest succulents to grow as long as it has proper care and sunlight. This slow-growing succulent has small white flowers and can grow up to two feet tall, making it an attractive addition to your home décor or garden.
Euphorbia obesa care should be fairly simple, especially if you are used to caring for other succulents. The most important part of baseball plant care is to keep your potting soil lightly moist at all times without letting it dry out completely between waterings.
If you find yourself in need of some tips on how to care for your baseball plant, then you’re on the right page!
Origin and descriptions
If you have a knack for horticulture and love to grow exotic plants but are tired of your home looking like a jungle, then consider growing Euphorbia obesa.
This is an easy-to-grow African cactus that only requires half a day’s sunlight to grow. It can survive in temperatures as low as -3 degrees Celsius.
It has succulent leaves with sharp edges that resemble a baseball bat or club, hence its name. You can also call it a baseball plant or club moss tree because of its distinctive appearance.
Euphorbia obesa is typically grown indoors, where it can reach up to 3 feet tall if left undisturbed.
To keep it healthy and vigorous, prune off dead branches occasionally. The more space you give it, the more room there will be for new growth and thick foliage. With proper care, these plants can live up to 30 years!
Euphorbia obesa propagation
A great thing about Euphorbia obesa is that they can be propagated easily from cuttings. Take a cutting of 3-5 inches and strip all but 1 leaf away. Place in potting soil and keep indoors at 70 degrees or above.
It will root quickly and then when it’s ready, move to a larger pot with soil. The best temperature for your plant to develop good roots will be between 70-75 degrees.
Once you have moved your plant outdoors, make sure you water it every 2 days during hot weather. If you live in an area where temperatures get below freezing, bring it inside before frost occurs.
You do not want to lose any leaves because if you do there will be no new growth until next year. When bringing back inside after frost has occurred make sure that you allow your plant to acclimate slowly over a few days before watering again.
This will help prevent shock which could cause more harm than good! As far as fertilizing goes, once you have moved outside, start using a weak solution of Miracle Grow to feed your plant monthly. I use one teaspoon per gallon of water and apply it once a month.
Euphorbia obesa care information
Euphorbia obesa plant will grow to around 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. It can be kept smaller by trimming or pruning it from time to time. This species of euphorbia likes bright light but not direct sunlight.
They do well in small pots that are placed on sunny windowsills. Keep them away from drafts, however, as they are sensitive to cold temperatures. Allow soil to dry between waterings and never allow water to sit in their pots for long periods of time; they are prone to root rot if overwatered.
Euphorbia obesa plant requires bright light. Place it in an east- or west-facing window and move it to a location away from the direct sun if it starts to turn yellow. If you can’t provide bright light, place it under grow lights.
Try to keep that temperature above 50 degrees F but below 80 degrees F. If your house is particularly cool, place the plant on a warm plate beneath a fluorescent bulb for a few hours every day.
The Euphorbia obesa requires well-draining soil. You can use a regular potting mix or, even better, use a mixture of sand and loam with no compost. Your best option is to go to your local garden center and buy professional soil that has already been sterilized.
This will eliminate any chance of introducing disease into your plant’s root system. Remember, healthy roots equal healthy plants!
As with most succulents, Euphorbia obesa appreciates a good soak in warm water every 2-3 weeks. It’s also important to make sure that your Baseball plant is kept well-watered at all times as it tends to lose its leaves quickly if it dries out. However, it should not be kept constantly wet either or it will likely suffer from root rot or other fungal infections.
It should be allowed to dry out slightly between watering on average. Overwatering can lead to root rot and the eventual death of your plant. If you notice any wilting, give it more water!
Baseball plants require fertilization every two weeks. Use a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio. During its growing season, in summer and fall, use 1/4 cup of fertilizer for every 6 feet of plant height.
In winter and spring use 1/8 cup of fertilizer for every 6 feet of plant height. Use liquid organic fertilizer to prevent buildup on your soil’s surface.
Euphorbia obesa do best in temperatures between 60-70 degrees F. This gives them an ideal environment to thrive and grow. Their ideal room temperature is around 65 degrees F.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight at all costs, as it will burn their leaves. If you have no choice but to place them outside, make sure they are placed away from direct sunbeams and that their soil does not get wet for extended periods of time.
Euphorbia obesa loves humidity. During dormancy, keep it at a temperature of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain it at about 90 percent humidity. To do so, place a humidifier nearby or use damp pebbles to add moisture to its environment. Damp pebbles are available online for purchase.
Also, keep an eye on your plants throughout dormancy because they need more water during dormancy than in active growth periods.
Dead or damaged branches should be removed from your euphorbia obesa to maintain its overall appearance. Cut back dead wood with a sharp, clean blade in early spring before new growth appears. This will promote healthy regrowth and keep it looking vibrant year after year.
Prune away older branches for an exciting new look. Cut about one-third of an older branch at a 45-degree angle toward its base, then prune back the remaining limbs at a similar angle.
When to repot
Repot in spring and summer, only when your baseball plant has outgrown its pot. It needs a lot of space to grow, so repot it into a pot with at least two-thirds more volume than the current container. Use fresh potting soil that drains well.
Re-potting is also necessary if you notice roots growing out of drainage holes or around the edge of the pot; these are signs that your plant is root-bound.
If you have an older Euphorbia obesa, it may have grown too large for its container and will need to be re-potted regardless of whether or not it looks root-bound. Always use a clean container when re-potting; never move your plant from one dirty container to another without thoroughly cleaning first!
During dormancy, your baseball plant will lose all its leaves, except for one or two near its crown. In its dormant stage, you can usually see through a baseball plant’s trunk: only green stems and soil should be visible.
If you notice other parts of your plant – such as blackish spots – it could mean that your baseball plant is being attacked by mealybugs or scale insects. Check them out and remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol if need be.
Flowers & fragrance
The bright orange color of its flowers makes it a wonderful addition to an indoor garden. Flowering can last for about 6 months, so you can enjoy its beauty for quite some time.
And if you really want them to shine, be sure to water them with a fertilizer that is rich in phosphorus, such as our 5-10-5 product. This will help promote strong blooms and healthy growth.
The growth rate is slow to medium. Baseball plants can take up to 2 years from seed to flower, so don’t be disheartened if it takes a while for your plant to grow.
However, once they do begin flowering, you will be showered with blossoms. While many of these plants are self-pollinating and cross-fertile, you can also cross-pollinate them using another individual as a pollinator.
Euphorbias are toxic to pets and humans. If ingested, contact a veterinarian or your local poison control center. Euphorbias should be kept away from pets and children. Some varieties have sharp spines and may present a choking hazard for small children.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Euphorbia obesa will thrive in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 11. In areas with lower temperatures, it can be grown as a houseplant.
Pests and diseases
Although Euphorbia obesa plants are not typically prone to pests or diseases, there are a few exceptions. Take care when planting them next to chemically treated lawns, as they may absorb some of these chemicals through their leaves and stems. Be sure to check for aphids and scale insects regularly when your plant is outdoors during warm months.
Aphids appear as small black dots on your plant’s leaves, while scales look like tiny brown bumps on its stem and underside of its leaves. If you notice either pest, use an insecticidal soap spray to wipe them off.
Baseball plants look great in a terrarium or container on your porch, but they’re a bit finicky to grow. Euphorbia obesa are members of a toxic family—the milkweeds—and contain poisonous latex. To make sure your baseball plant is healthy, don’t break off leaves on your table.
If you do get sap on you, wash it off quickly with soap and water and immediately seek medical attention if any symptoms appear.