How To Grow & Care For The Africmilk Tree

African milk Tree

The Africmilk Tree, a remarkable plant native to arid regions of Africa, is scientifically known as Euphorbia trigona. This succulent resembles a cactus with its columnar shape, adorned with pronounced ridges running along the edges and spaced-out spines. Its deep green color and unique appearance make it a sought-after plant for gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike.

Though it may look intimidating with its spiky exterior, the Africmilk Tree is relatively easy to care for. It’s highly adaptable to various environmental conditions and requires minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for beginners. The name “Africmilk” refers to the milky sap contained within the plant, which can be an irritant, so handling with care is advised.

The Africmilk Tree has been cultivated in various parts of the world as an ornamental plant. It’s not only prized for its eye-catching appearance but also for its resilience. Being a drought-tolerant plant, it’s well-suited for xeriscaping and can be a stunning focal point in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Common NamesAfricmilk Tree, African Milk Tree
Botanical NameEuphorbia trigona
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size6-9 ft tall
Sun ExposureFull Sun
Soil TypeWell-drained, Sandy Soil
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaAfrica

Africmilk Tree Care

The Africmilk Tree’s care is marked by simplicity. It’s a drought-resistant plant that requires minimal water, thriving best in full sunlight. The most significant aspects of its care involve providing the right soil type and avoiding overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Indoor growers will find the Africmilk Tree to be a pleasant addition, as it can adapt to the indoor environment quite well. A sunny window will suffice for providing the required sunlight. Regular inspection for pests and a careful approach to watering will ensure a healthy and thriving plant.

Light Requirement for Africmilk Tree

The Africmilk Tree prefers full sun. It can tolerate some shade, but for optimal growth and appearance, a sunny spot is ideal. Indoor plants should be placed near a window that receives ample sunlight.

Soil Requirements for Africmilk Tree

Well-drained, sandy soil is perfect for the Africmilk Tree. A cactus or succulent potting mix is often the best choice. It’s essential to avoid soil that retains too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.

Water Requirements for Africmilk Tree

Watering the Africmilk Tree sparingly is key. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, and then water thoroughly. During winter, the watering can be reduced further, as the plant goes into a dormant phase.

Temperature and Humidity

Africmilk Trees prefer temperatures between 60-75°F but can tolerate slightly cooler or warmer conditions. They are not frost-tolerant, so protection or indoor placement is required in colder zones. Humidity is generally not a concern, as they are well-adapted to arid conditions.


A mild, balanced fertilizer designed for cacti and succulents can be applied during the growing season. Fertilizing once or twice a year, preferably in the spring and summer, will support healthy growth.

Pruning Africmilk Tree

Pruning can be done to maintain the shape or to remove any damaged parts of the Africmilk Tree. Use clean, sharp tools and take care to avoid the milky sap, as it can be an irritant.

Propagating Africmilk Tree

Propagation is typically done through stem cuttings. Cut a healthy stem, allow it to dry for a couple of days, and then plant in well-draining soil. It usually roots within a few weeks.

How To Grow Africmilk Tree From Seed

Growing Africmilk Tree from seed is possible but can be more challenging. Sow seeds in a suitable potting mix and keep the soil lightly moist until germination. Provide bright light and be patient, as this process can take time.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs may affect Africmilk Trees. Regular inspection and appropriate treatment with insecticidal soap or neem oil can manage these issues. Root rot due to overwatering is a common disease to watch out for.

Common Problems With Africmilk Tree

Leggy Growth

Inadequate light can cause the plant to grow leggy. Increasing light exposure can remedy this problem.


Overwatering leads to root rot. Ensure proper drainage and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Sap Irritation

The milky sap can be an irritant. Handle with care and wash hands thoroughly if exposed.

Pro Tips

  1. Provide full sun for vibrant growth.
  2. Water sparingly and allow the soil to dry between waterings.
  3. Use a well-drained, sandy soil or cactus mix.
  4. Handle with care to avoid contact with the irritating sap.
  5. Fertilize minimally during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.