Euphorbia ingens (Cowboy Cactus Plant) 101: Care and Propagation Simplified

Have you ever come across a plant that looks like a cactus tree? Well, let me introduce you to the Euphorbia ingens, also known as the Cowboy Cactus Plant. This fascinating succulent has a slim, green trunk with branches that grow almost parallel to it, creating a crown-shaped foliage at the top. Along the length of the branches, you’ll notice ridges appearing every 2-3 inches, accompanied by spines along the sides.

But that’s not all! The Cowboy Cactus Plant bears fruit in the shape of a capsule, which turns a beautiful reddish-purple color when it ripens. Originally from Africa, this plant is also commonly referred to as a candelabra tree.

If you’re intrigued by unique and exotic plants, then the Cowboy Cactus Plant is definitely worth exploring further. Its striking appearance and interesting characteristics make it a standout addition to any garden or succulent collection. Get ready to embark on a journey into the enchanting world of this remarkable plant!

euphorbia ingens

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Euphorbia ingens Care Guide

Let’s take a closer look at how to care for the Euphorbia ingens, also known as the Cowboy Cactus Plant.


The Cowboy Cactus Plant loves sunlight! It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. However, if the sun in your area is too strong, it may need some shade in the afternoon. To determine if it’s getting too much sun, check for burns or yellow coloring on the plant. If you’re growing it indoors, place it near a window that gets lots of sunlight, preferably a south-facing window. Alternatively, you can use a special grow light for succulents.


During the active growing season, which is from spring to fall, the Cowboy Cactus Plant needs regular watering. Make sure the top two inches of soil are never dry. This usually means watering once a week. The plant is great at tolerating drought because it comes from semi-arid and rocky regions. However, try not to let the soil dry out completely. Even in the worst-case scenario, water the plant at least once a month. In winter, only water the plant when it starts to wilt.


Since the Cowboy Cactus Plant is a type of succulent, it doesn’t need much water. Therefore, it requires well-drained soil. You can create a suitable soil mix by combining regular potting soil with sand. If you choose to use perlite, mix it with the potting soil and sand in equal amounts. Alternatively, you can use a commercial succulent potting mix.

cowboy cactus plant


Although the fertilizing needs may vary depending on the species, a small amount of organic fertilizer or compost is generally beneficial for the Cowboy Cactus Plant. Dilute the liquid fertilizer before applying it to the plant during its growth period, which is between spring and fall. In winter, the plant is dormant and doesn’t require as much fertilizer. If your plant is in a container, it will need more fertilizer than those planted in the ground. If you notice yellow leaves at the bottom, it’s a sign that the plant needs some fertilizer.


The Cowboy Cactus Plant is relatively easy to grow and can adapt to different climates. It prefers air with at least 50 percent humidity throughout the year. However, if you’re growing it indoors, it can tolerate drier rooms. For optimal growth, the temperature should be between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Pests and Diseases

The most common pests for the Cowboy Cactus Plant are spider mites and mealybugs. It’s important to deal with these pests promptly to prevent infestation.

euphorbia ingens

Cowboy Cactus Propagation

You can propagate the Cowboy Cactus Plant using either seeds or stem cuttings. Propagating from seeds is more challenging as they take time to germinate. To try this method, follow the steps below:

  1. Obtain commercial sand mix and coarse sand.
  2. Mix the commercial sand and coarse sand in equal amounts.
  3. Plant the Cowboy Cactus Plant seeds in the mixture.
  4. Ensure there is enough warmth for germination.
  5. Growth may occur within a couple of weeks, but it could also take 2-6 months.

The easier way to propagate is through stem cuttings:

  1. Prepare a clean and sharp knife.
  2. Select a healthy stem near the plant’s branching point for cutting.
  3. Make a clean cut, ensuring the cutting is at least a few inches long.
  4. Allow the cut end of the stem to dry and callus for a few days.
  5. Fill a pot with well-drained soil or a succulent potting mix.
  6. Create a small hole in the soil and insert the cut end of the stem.
  7. Gently press the soil around the cutting to secure it in place.
  8. Water the soil lightly, ensuring it is moist but not waterlogged.
  9. Place the pot in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
  10. Mist the cutting occasionally to maintain a slightly humid environment.
  11. Keep the soil slightly moist during the rooting process.
  12. After a few weeks, roots should begin to develop from the cutting.
  13. Once the plant has established roots, reduce watering and treat it as a mature Cowboy Cactus Plant.

Remember to be patient during the propagation process, as it may take some time for the new plants to establish themselves. With careful care and attention, you can successfully propagate the Cowboy Cactus Plant and expand your succulent collection.