Although “obese” may seem like a rude description, Euphorbia obesa, commonly referred to as baseball plant, does possess a roly-poly look. Almost spherical when young, the succulent becomes more dome-shaped as it ages, using eight to 10 vertical, stitched-looking ribs. Normally a gray-green or blue-green shade, with rust or purple-hued bands for a plaid look, each plant is either male or female and may grow 8 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches wide. As it takes dry winters, this succulent is most frequently grown in pots, even though it can survive outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11.
Sunlight and Blogs
Since the baseball plant often grows in partial shade in its native habitat, put it on a windowsill in which it receives sun for only part of the day, preferably during the morning. Should you move the plant outside during the summer, adjust it to the greater light gradually and position it under the high shade of a tree or tree, where it will get direct sunlight only at times of the day when the sun isn’t directly overhead. If it begins to lose its plaid coloring, then it requires more light.
Mixes and Moisture
Like many succulents, the baseball plant will rot in soggy dirt, so keep it in a clay pot full of a potting mix intended for cactuses. Use a pot with a minumum of one drainage hole. If you do not have such a mix available, you may create your own by combining 1 part of regular potting soil using 1 part of coarse builders or horticultural sand and one part of horticultural pumice or poultry. From spring through fall, water the plant thoroughly about once a week, until water runs in the pot’s drainage holes. At each watering, add a liquid 10-10-10 plant food at one-quarter strength, that ought to be about two drops of this plant food in 1 gallon of water. Stop fertilizing the plant during its winter period, and permit its soil to dry out before you water it.
Pests and Potting
The baseball plant miniature leaves and equally minuscule, sweet-scented, greenish-yellow blooms appear in tubercles around the ribs, with male and female flowers being borne on separate plants. Because this succulent is mostly spherical stem, it seldom suffers from insect pests. If you find any, you need to be able to remove them easily by squeezing them using a cotton swap dipped in rubbing alcohol. Only repot the plant when its girth grows large enough to press against the edges of its current container. Handle the plant carefully, rather wearing gloves, because the white sap it exudes when broken can irritate the skin.
Planting and Protection
If you wish to grow the baseball plant from the ground outside, set it at fast-draining gravelly dirt in a position where it’s going to be shaded within the afternoon. When it is well established, it must require watering just about once every 10 to 14 days during dry periods. A succulent in the ground typically does not need fertilizer, and also you may readily dislodge any insects from its smooth surface using a blast of water in a spray bottle or seams. Only spray or water your plant at the morning to allow it to dry before evening. At Mediterranean-style climates with wet winters, you may have to defend the plant from excessive moisture during its allotted period by occasionally covering it with a makeshift plastic tent or cloche. Don’t abandon the covering in place too long or the accumulation of humidity underneath it may cause the rot you meant to prevent.