How to care for and propagate Euphorbia horrida African Milk BarrelEuphorbia horrida African Milk Barrel care and propagation informationPin

Euphorbia horrida

African Milk Barrel

This African milk barrel has a grey-blue wavy ribs. As it grows, it forms clumps at its base which can be propagated. Watch for flowers at the end of the stems occurring in the summer.

Quick Look:

  • Full sun to partial shade

  • Typical water needs for a succulent. Do not overwater

  • Plant grows up to 5′ (1.5 m) tall
    Plant grows up to 6″ (15 cm) wide

  • Zone 10a (Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)

  • Not cold hardy

  • Propagation by stem cuttings and seeds

  • Can be toxic to humans and animals

  • Winter dormant

Care and Propagation Information

General Care for Euphorbia horrida

Euphorbia horrida is a barrel cactus that grows well in container gardens. It can also be grown in rock gardens, however as it can be toxic to people and pets, be sure to plant in an area that does not get a lot of foot traffic.


Euphorbia horrida has typical watering needs for a succulent. It's best to use the “soak and dry” method, and allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

It can be prone to root rot, so be sure to only water when the soil is completely dry.

And be sure to get our FREE watering cheat sheet so you can learn how to tell if your succulents are getting too much water (and how to save them if needed).

Where to Plant

Euphorbia horrida is not cold hardy, so if you live in a zone that gets colder than 30° F (-1.1° C), it's best to plant this succulent in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in full to partial sun.

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How to Propagate Euphorbia horrida

Euphorbia horrida is a quick grower, and will produce offsets that sprout up around the base of the plant. Use care when removing these offsets. Follow the directions in this post to learn how to handle a Euphorbia safely.

Please keep in mind Euphorbia horrida is toxic. Take precautions when handling this succulent.


To remove a clump for propagation, you will need nitrile dipped gloves, silicone tongs, and a sharp knife.

Using the tongs, gently pull one of the cylindrical stems away from the main cluster. If you are not able to break it off without pulling up the rest of the plant, use the knife to cut through the stem.

Allow the end of the stem to callous over for several days before placing in well-draining soil.


Seeds can be collected from the fruit of a mature Euphorbia horrida. Sow your seeds in a well-draining soil. You can grow Euphorbia seeds outdoors if you live in an zone above 9a. If you live in a cooler area, you can begin sowing indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.

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