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The Candelabra tree is a unique succulent-type plant that can reach 15-25 ft. tall when planted in the ground. It can also be grown in raised planters and large pots where it will mature at smaller sizes. Each stem has several distinctive ridges that have rows of spines; Small clusters of yellow-green flowers accent the vertical ribs of branches in spring.

Candelabra tree is native to coastal and inland parts of South Africa where it grows in dry and rocky habitats. With age, it becomes a sculptural specimen plant that is used as a focal element and in southwestern garden themes on well-drained soils. It is able to store moisture from winter rains and needs only periodic summer irrigation.

Water Needs

The Candelabra tree is best adapted to sunny locations in fast-draining soils and periodic summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule for the Candelabra tree when grown in the Inland Empire. Young plants will benefit from low amounts of supplemental water during the summer to enable faster growth; mature plants can often go year to year upon the moisture from winter rains. Monthly summer watering is recommended when grown in containers.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Low-branching, Irregular branching, Compact
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 15 ft. - 25 ft.
Width: 5 ft. - 15 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Green
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Drought, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Background plant


When pruning any Euphorbia, always wear eye protection and gloves, and avoid contact with the highly irritating white sap. If it gets on you, wash it off immediately. Do not use a chain saw when pruning larger euphorbias, the sap will get everywhere (S). Prune minorly to shape, as needed. Plant and prune in spring (D).



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