DEVIL’S BACKBONE

FAMILY: Euphorbiaceae | GENUS: PEDILANTHUS tithymaloides smallii

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Filtered Light
WATER
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

Native to the Caribbean, this bizarre plant is passed from gardener to gardener as a curiosity. It grows 3 ft. tall and about half as wide, featuring succulent, zigzagging stems set with 3- to 6-in.-long, medium green, diamond-shaped leaves. If growing conditions are good, it may produce small red flowers in summer. Commonly grown on windowsills, where it thrives in bright indirect light. Fertilize houseplants monthly from spring through summer with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer; let soil go fairly dry between thorough waterings and provide excellent drainage. Ease up on watering in winter. Easy to propagate by cuttings. 'Variegatus', the most popular form, has leaves variegated with pink and creamy white.

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