Around 2 weeks ago I noticed that the big and old Baseball plant (Euphorbia obesa) was leaning to one side of the pot and I use a rock to give it support to stand straight. At that time I thought the plant was still hard to touch. But today I noticed that it had unusual colour and when I touched the bottom part it was very soft.

It makes me sad as we have had it for many years. When we bought it around 20 years ago, it was in a pair, a male and female. The female one was long gone with the same rotting problem. So far we had bought another young pair. Euphorbia obesa is quite rare here in Melbourne and it is hard to get. If available, they are not cheap at all.

I took it out of the pot, and the soil was not even wet at all. I still don’t understand what actually has caused the rot.  At first I cut a bit of the bottom part that was very soft and mushy, but the top section was still soft and after sterilizing the knife I cut the top part where it is still hard to touch. I will keep the top section with the hope that the wound will be dry off and can be replanted. I sprinkled the wound with cinnamon powder to seal it. They say that cinnamon works wonder against fungal problems and widely use to help sealing cutting section in plants.

I am not sure if this method is correct or if it will work. I just gave it a try. I was left with no choice, if I leave it without getting rid of the rotting part, I am sure the plant will die anyway.  Just wait and see. If it works….. it will surely a miracle.

Rotting Euphorbia obesaRotting Euphotbia dissected

Euphorbia obesa - Sealed the wound with cinnamon powder

Update February 8, 2016:

One week later, the top cut section has started to dry and kind of shrinking in. I saw online that people did this to cactus, but I am not too sure if it will work with baseball plant. Will it grow roots? I will wait for a few more days and then I will stand it on dry pebbles. Hopefully roots will eventually grow.

Euphorbia obesa top section a week later.

February 9, 2016:

I decided to stand the cutting on dry pebbles, no water at all. It looks OK. Strangely the tip is not tapered anymore, now it is more rounded. Is it possible that it has grown already with no roots? How strange! Hopefully it will grow roots later on.



UPDATE 24/06/2017: IT DOESN’T WORK !

I just saw this post appear on the top posts list, so might as well that I make an update.

Although the method of rooting cuttings from certain other cacti (like for example San Pedro cactus/Echinopsis pachanoi) will work, it seems that it will not do with Euphorbia obesa. At first the cutting stayed fresh for quite a while, but on the end it shriveled and dry. No roots grew at all, so it has been a while since I throw it way for good. Yes I lost this old and precious Euphorbia, but the other two small ones are doing alright.