Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Native to West Africa and the Canary Islands, this species of euphorbia has a tree-like shape.
Wolfsmilk is easy enough to prune to create a succulent bonsai. This will require no wiring when it is being trained.
All that is required is to prune and remove all the unwanted shoots and branches to get the desired shape. Usually, this will be more or less a spherical bonsai.
This plant is easy to grow from seeds and cuttings. Young plants propagated by either method can be used to create a succulent bonsai.
For a bonsai potting mix, this prefers to have some sand in the mix to improve the drainage. One part sterilized loam, two parts sand, and two parts peat is considered a suitable mix for wolfsmilk bonsai.
Though it could be repotted at any time of the year, you will probably want to do this in the spring or early summer. When you are repotting, the roots will need pruned back a little as well. But, donít overdo this.
After the repotting is completed, allow the plant to rest for several weeks before you begin a normal watering schedule.
Fertilizer should be applied about once a month during the growing season. A regular soluble indoor plant fertilizer should work fine. There are also special bonsai fertilizers available as well. Halt the fertilizer applications during the winter as the plant will typically be resting during this period.
A regular watering schedule works very well. But, this does depend on the room or outdoor temperature. Normally, in warm rooms it would need watered every seven to ten days from the spring through the late fall. Then, reduce the frequency of watering to about every two to three weeks throughout the winter months.
Sometimes, this species will drop its leaves. Should this happen, postpone all watering until new growth begins to appear.
So far as its cultural needs are concerned, wolfsmilk bonsai needs bright light at all times during the year. For the summer months, this succulent bonsai can be placed outside. In cool climates, it can usually take full sun outdoors. However, in hot areas, semi-shade would be preferable.
Regarding temperatures during the plantís winter rest, this can be anywhere between about 46 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
When pruning is done, milky white latex will ooze from the stub. Keep a damp cloth handy as you prune so you can wash this off. Donít allow this to dry on the plant as it can be unsightly. Pruning can be done on an as needed basis whenever the shoots and stems grow long enough to need it. Typically, this will be between spring and early fall.