To have or not to have.
What if all the neighbors around your surrounding area plants this same plant,
Would you consider planting this plant in your garden?
That is the underlining questions that makes my garden.
That question about gardening:
keeping it in common terms - would want to keep my garden different from my neighbors
(OK - I'm repeating myself again)
or consider all those hardy easy plants planted with minimum care.
It would be a folly to purchase this plant,
its so easy to take care & propagate that I think many nurseries
would have wished this planted had spend it days and died
(since this plant is so successful, you don't need to buy this plant a second time)
but I guess its a curse, probably that's why they call it the Devil's Backbone?
(Hmm.. why the Devil's Backbone - expect it to be twisted?)
I had found this huge plant cut and thrown out - more like a castaway.
Its just one plant with many branches - many I mean about 20 or so
(with mini-branches from the secondary stalk)
that's quite heavy for one plant to bear.
Regardless, when I found it it was bare without leaves - just those zigzag branch.
Thought that was exotic - sort of those modern contemporary garden idea theme
- a garden without leaves?
Anyway, I have finally decided to invite this plant in,
no worries about it's survival, very aware that this one never dies,
unless its drowned with tonnes of over watering -
otherwise I never heard this plant had ever died.
The first two pictures where taken near my mother in law place.
Someone had an open concept in gardening without fence - these are by the street side.
I guess it must be the variegated type - Didn't realize that the ones I have was lacking the white & pink tinge - probably the good sunlight may have attributed to the color.
Here are the some detailed description concerning this plant:
Synonym & Name:
Pedilanthus tithymaloides / Euphorbia tithymaloides
One of the things with names is that I had found that botanic names don't seemed to stay permanent and often used interchangeably or with synonym.
Common name:Devil's backbone, Zigzag plant, Jacob's ladder
Japanese Poinsettia, Variegated Devil's Backbone, Slipper Spurge, Redbird Cactus, Christmas Candle
Is Zigzag Plant a Succulent Plant?
Well, it's an Euphorbia species hence very close to a cactus family genes.
It is interesting to know that names of plants seems to live forever with those who had dedicated their lives as doctors and botanist. Personally I find Euphorbia is a bit repulsive to do the toxicity on their milky sap especially the unpopularity of causing almost blindness and skin troubles similar like Dieffenbachia - unless one have found a love-hate relationship with toxic plants.
PLANT CARE & CULTIVATION:
1) DROUGHT RESISTANT - XERISCAPE PLANT
they can withstand without watering at the maximum duration about 2 weeks to a month depending how deep is the roots or the pot size. If the plant gets too dry, the leaves starts to wither and falls off but it won't die and will recover when watered adequately.
Keep it slightly dry, over-watering can cause root / stem base rot.
However if the plant had acclimatized in your garden - it can handle daily watering regime.
This plant is in the Euphorbia family where the sap is toxic.
Do be careful about this:
DO NOT RUB OR TOUCH YOUR FACE
OR RUB YOUR EYES WHEN HANDLING THIS PLANT.
In case if you get them on your eyes,
do rinse with running water for 15 minutes immediately before getting medical help.
Just take short cuttings and press it in the soil but allow the milky sap on cuttings to dry out before planting. You can even leave it out for few days to dry before planting - just as planting any succulent & cactus plants.
( I had kept this aside for few weeks until got the time to purchase the soil & pots - so they are really really hardy plant)
Or if you are short of time, do place the cutting in water and let the milk/sap to dilute in water for few minute. It would be considered safe to propagate in that manner.
Different Types / Cultivars of Pedilanthus tithymaloides
Do click on the names of the plant below for more detailed information concerning this particular plant: