Indoor African Milkweed- plant rotting?

BettaFishObsessed
Member
Hi, so i got this african milkweed from home depot a few months ago, its only like a foot and a half tall and is fine in the pot its in for now. I noticed this morning that one of the stalks has just decided to peace out of living and rot. I dont know how long this has been going on without me noticing, but if i had to guess i would say a week or two? Its weird because its still green and the rest of the stalk is fine, but the base is mushy and i can put my finger through it if i wanted to. It started falling over this morning and thats how i noticed. What is this, and what do i do?
 
barbiespoodle
Member
Don't know what an African Milkweed plant is, but to me it looks like one of the euphorbia's and I'm sure I spelled that wrong. Euphorbia's do have a milky sap, thus milkweed, which is another reason I think that is what it might be.

The plant is savable. Dig it out, cut above the part that is rotting, making sure you take off the soft area even if it means cutting into living parts. Then take what is left and just lay it in some dry spot, even just on a paper plate next to a window to get light. And even natural light is not a must, just better for the plant, it can be in any out of the way place that gets some sort of light.

What you want to do is make sure the cut part has dried and callused over. If you try to plant again before the cut is totally dried and callused over, water in the plant will just cause the rot to start over again. It's the drying and callusing over the cut part that keeps the water out that causes the rot.

Once this is done, just put the cutting into a well draining soil and lightly water, wait until the dirt is completely dry and then only water enough to make the soil damp.

This is how I propagate my orchid cactus, take a cutting, and then do as I said above. I've even let cutting sit in some forgotten corner for a couple months before I remembered them and planted them. Euphorbia's take the exact same care, a lot of euphobia's are sold as cactus for this reason.

Interesting side note, your Christmas pointsettia is actually a euphorbia.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
Don't know what an African Milkweed plant is, but to me it looks like one of the euphorbia's and I'm sure I spelled that wrong. Euphorbia's do have a milky sap, thus milkweed, which is another reason I think that is what it might be.

The plant is savable. Dig it out, cut above the part that is rotting, making sure you take off the soft area even if it means cutting into living parts. Then take what is left and just lay it in some dry spot, even just on a paper plate next to a window to get light. And even natural light is not a must, just better for the plant, it can be in any out of the way place that gets some sort of light.

What you want to do is make sure the cut part has dried and callused over. If you try to plant again before the cut is totally dried and callused over, water in the plant will just cause the rot to start over again. It's the drying and callusing over the cut part that keeps the water out that causes the rot.

Once this is done, just put the cutting into a well draining soil and lightly water, wait until the dirt is completely dry and then only water enough to make the soil damp.

This is how I propagate my orchid cactus, take a cutting, and then do as I said above. I've even let cutting sit in some forgotten corner for a couple months before I remembered them and planted them. Euphorbia's take the exact same care, a lot of euphobia's are sold as cactus for this reason.

Interesting side note, your Christmas pointsettia is actually a euphorbia.
I believe it is a euphorbia, not 100% sure though. Thank you by the way! I understood the part about cutting above the rotting part and propagating it, but how should i remove the rot from the bottom of the stem? Should I dig that part up and cut off as much as it is rotting? Im not sure how far down it is. After i cut it off, do i have to leave soil off of it for a few days as well if i have to cut down to or into the roots? Thank you!
 
barbiespoodle
Member
You have to cut the leaf itself above the rot. It's the cut end of the leaf that will send out new roots once it's callused over and planted.

The most important part is making sure the cut has completely dried and callused over since water getting into the leaf will start the rot again.

You can also dig up the roots to see if there are any offshoots that might be savable

I went to youtube to make sure my info was correct and I now know what an African Milkweed Tree is. Turns out I knew what it is, just not what it was called, lol.

Anyhow, go to youtube and just type in euphorbia propagation or AMT propagation. That way you'll be able to see the steps to take.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
You have to cut the leaf itself above the rot. It's the cut end of the leaf that will send out new roots once it's callused over and planted.

The most important part is making sure the cut has completely dried and callused over since water getting into the leaf will start the rot again.

You can also dig up the roots to see if there are any offshoots that might be savable

I went to youtube to make sure my info was correct and I now know what an African Milkweed Tree is. Turns out I knew what it is, just not what it was called, lol.

Anyhow, go to youtube and just type in euphorbia propagation or AMT propagation. That way you'll be able to see the steps to take.
Okay, thanks!
 
barbiespoodle
Member
Hope it works out for you, imho, they are beautiful plants. I have a large collection of cactus and succulents and I sure wouldn't mind adding one of those to the mix.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
Hope it works out for you, imho, they are beautiful plants. I have a large collection of cactus and succulents and I sure wouldn't mind adding one of those to the mix.
Thanks, also i agree, they are beautiful plants! I also have a large collection of succulents, plants are awesome lol
 
barbiespoodle
Member
BettaFishObsessed said:
Thanks, also i agree, they are beautiful plants! I also have a large collection of succulents, plants are awesome lol
Sometimes I don't know which I love more, my plants or my aquariums. I over winter a large collection of plants and now that the weather is finally getting good here in northern Ohio, I'm really getting the gardening bug. Having 4 acres I also am enjoying all the outdoor plants, I just plain love plants.

And I have made my aquariums into gardens of a different sort to enjoy through the winter months. Not only are all my tanks planted, and I do fuss over those plants, but I also have various plants that have their roots in the water and leaves outside (pothos, spider plant, dracenia) and the tank that has a grow light by it also has a lovely little cycleman, lucky bamboo and an impatient in a poodle planter (note my name, lol) sitting on top.

And yea, cactus and succulents are a particular fav of mine, especially my orchid cactus.

Forgive me, but I have to show off pics of my babies, aka, orchid cactus, plus one of my desert type cactus, orchid cactus are a tropical cactus,but the desert type cactus is another one of many I get to bloom every year. The orchid cactus started as little cuttings that I had to let callas over before I planted them, which is why I gave you the advice I did.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
Sometimes I don't know which I love more, my plants or my aquariums. I over winter a large collection of plants and now that the weather is finally getting good here in northern Ohio, I'm really getting the gardening bug. Having 4 acres I also am enjoying all the outdoor plants, I just plain love plants.

And I have made my aquariums into gardens of a different sort to enjoy through the winter months. Not only are all my tanks planted, and I do fuss over those plants, but I also have various plants that have their roots in the water and leaves outside (pothos, spider plant, dracenia) and the tank that has a grow light by it also has a lovely little cycleman, lucky bamboo and an impatient in a poodle planter (note my name, lol) sitting on top.

And yea, cactus and succulents are a particular fav of mine, especially my orchid cactus.

Forgive me, but I have to show off pics of my babies, aka, orchid cactus, plus one of my desert type cactus, orchid cactus are a tropical cactus,but the desert type cactus is another one of many I get to bloom every year. The orchid cactus started as little cuttings that I had to let callas over before I planted them, which is why I gave you the advice I did.
Oh wow those cacti are beautiful! I love cactus flowers, so pretty! I would love to have roots of plants in my tanks, but i have lids on my tanks due to the fact that the fish i have love to jump lol
 
barbiespoodle
Member
BettaFishObsessed said:
Oh wow those cacti are beautiful! I love cactus flowers, so pretty! I would love to have roots of plants in my tanks, but i have lids on my tanks due to the fact that the fish i have love to jump lol
Hear you there. In my 55 gallon community I also have jumpers so that one is covered. But in the 3 that are basically set up to be shrimp tanks, the shrimp love to graze on the plant roots so I have a nice balance of aquatic life getting the benefit of the roots and the actual plant decorating the exterior of the tank.

My growing season has only just started. But I finally pulled all my plants out of the back room where they over wintered and a couple of my desert cactus went into full bloom mode. The tropical cactus should start setting buds when I get a chance to repot them in a couple weeks when I have my vacation.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
Hear you there. In my 55 gallon community I also have jumpers so that one is covered. But in the 3 that are basically set up to be shrimp tanks, the shrimp love to graze on the plant roots so I have a nice balance of aquatic life getting the benefit of the roots and the actual plant decorating the exterior of the tank.

My growing season has only just started. But I finally pulled all my plants out of the back room where they over wintered and a couple of my desert cactus went into full bloom mode. The tropical cactus should start setting buds when I get a chance to repot them in a couple weeks when I have my vacation.
Thats awesome! I love cactus flowers, theyre so pretty!

Also, so with my african milk tree i cut off the stem like an inch above the rot, then left it to dry out and callous and it did, then started to rot again? Should I try again or is there just something wrong with the stem?
 
barbiespoodle
Member
You got me on this one, I'm not sure what advice to give you since I'm only speaking from my personal experience and I'm not what you would call a cactus/euphorbia expert, just someone who has managed to raise both.

You can try to cut again above the rot and hope things turn out.

Recently my research into growing potatoes from cutting up potatoes did suggests that the cut part be dipped into sulfur to stop rot. I'm wondering if this would also help with your cutting. I've never done that and have had my potatoes grow, but you might be an extreme case and sulfur is cheap at any garden center or places like home depot.

I just wish I knew for certain in your case. All I know is what I have done with my cactus/succulents.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
You got me on this one, I'm not sure what advice to give you since I'm only speaking from my personal experience and I'm not what you would call a cactus/euphorbia expert, just someone who has managed to raise both.

You can try to cut again above the rot and hope things turn out.

Recently my research into growing potatoes from cutting up potatoes did suggests that the cut part be dipped into sulfur to stop rot. I'm wondering if this would also help with your cutting. I've never done that and have had my potatoes grow, but you might be an extreme case and sulfur is cheap at any garden center or places like home depot.

I just wish I knew for certain in your case. All I know is what I have done with my cactus/succulents.
Okay, thank you! Ill try that : D even if it doesnt work out, the plant still has 4 other stems that werent rotting so itll be alright
 
barbiespoodle
Member
Throwing all my good thoughts your direction. As a plantaholic, I know there are times where you worry over a favorite plant as much as you do a cherished pet. I must of cried a gallon of tears when a fav was stolen at the county fair after it won first place. The so and so's even took the ribbon.
 
  • Thread Starter
BettaFishObsessed
Member
barbiespoodle said:
Throwing all my good thoughts your direction. As a plantaholic, I know there are times where you worry over a favorite plant as much as you do a cherished pet. I must of cried a gallon of tears when a fav was stolen at the county fair after it won first place. The so and so's even took the ribbon.
Omg thats horrible, who would do that? Im sorry that happened to you : (
 

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