why should you never touch a baseball plant

its foliage:  The blue-green leaves are deeply notched into five lobes, each of which has attractive wavy edges.

Winter-deciduous if the weather becomes cooler.

If you decide to risk keeping baseball plant in its pot over the Winter, withold water until the plant responds to longer days in late Winter and Spring by starting to produce new leaves. Learn more about stinging nettle, hogweed, the aptly named “pain bush”, and other plants you should think twice about touching. If the caudex would be safe from falls, or being pocketed by pranksters, why not display it resting on a shelf, on a little stand? Unless you're gardening in the subtropics or tropics, then, you'll normally set the plant in full sun for the maximum growth and vigor.Bring the plant into shelter weeks before any danger of frost; even the cooler nights of late September will feel like Winter to this heat-lover.

We tend to think of plants as only being dangerous if they’re poisonous, but there are some plants that are dangerous even to touch. It is endemic (it cannot be found anywhere else) for the Cape province in South Africa.

When the plant is ready, it will produce new leaves.

By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica.Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Do not water. Only then should you respond with a light watering. All Winter long? Melissa Petruzzello is Assistant Editor of Plant and Environmental Science and covers a range of content from plants, algae, and fungi, to renewable energy and environmental engineering. Virtually any topic for the virtual learner.

When baseball plant is in growth, provide full sun and all possible heat in any but the hottest climates, where it also thrives in part-shade.Grow baseball plant as you would a cactus:  Plant in a pot only very slightly larger than the diameter of the caudex. Also known as the baseball plant, Euphorbia obesa is found only in the Great Karoo region of South Africa.Unsustainable harvesting by collectors and plant exporters almost resulted in the plant becoming extinct. Tall stalks of bright red flowers appear as long as the weather stays hot and dry.The coolness of Fall hustles baseball plant back into dormancy. The leaf is palmate: The lobes and the spaces between them are both so wide that the leaf would be circular if unlobed.its flowers: Four-petaled and coral-red, the flowers are accented by a cluster of yellow anthers.

As a result, national and international legislation have been enacted to … Sculptural: the baseball-sized caudex is the plant's calling card. if the soil is absolutely dry, you can store the plant still in its pot.

The flowers are part of an inflorescence, but unlike that of its easy-going habit: Baseball plant expects to dry out between waterings. If you want, you can prune off the dead leaves before storing. If you overwintered your baseball as as bare caudex, repot it in late Winter or early Spring—as before, in a shallow pot filled with well-draining soil—and set the pot in all available sun and warmth.

Even so, let the plant dry out before watering again.After all danger of frost or even cool nights has passed, baseball plant can be set outdoors for the Summer. With no watering needed until late Winter or early Spring—and, if Summer brings any rain at all, none then, either—you may need to water your baseball plant only three or four times a year: During the month or two between resumption of active growth and when it's finally warm enough to set your plant outside for the Summer. Pink and blue would be anathema; white or grey irrelevant; burgundy a pleasure.Indoors or out, associate it with other heat-loving species that also sing the praises of red, orange, burgundy, and yellow.

Just don't use baseball plant to practice your throws.Its woody base is known as a caudex.

Never try to push the plant along by watering it, which will only cause rot. Baseball Plant (Euphorbia obesa) Native to South Africa, this unusual round succulent has alternating ridges and furrows, resembling a baseball. Nonetheless, be sure to let the plant dry out between waterings.Fertilize once a month when the plant is in active growth. Practice "leading from behind," watering and fertilizing only in response to increased growth, not in advance of it. If you have any doubt that the soil isn't fully dry when the plant enters dormancy, don't risk caudex rot:  Unpot the plant—by now nothing more than the dead-leaved and nearly rootless caudex—and store it dry and warm, as you would, say, a gladiolus corm. A quirky talent, but not a unique one:  Witch hazel can eject its seeds as far—and the little pods that contain them make a sharp cracking sound as they explode.Like most species and cultivars in the euphorbia family, all parts of On-line and at retailers that specialize in succulents and cacti.Sign up for twice-monthly eNews, plus notification of new posts:

The near-black leafy rosettes of Outside of hot-and-dry tropics, baseball plant can survive year-round only as a container plant that's brought into dry warmth for the Winter. if you find one you could give it to someone who has knowledge of how to care for them. Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.Allergic to bees? Euphorbia obesa care is minimal, making it the perfect houseplant for someone who travels a lot.

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