Baseball plants are native plants in South Africa, and they are perennial succulents. It has become a trend to grow baseball plants due to the unique appearance and low maintenance they require.
Baseball plants are considered as endangered plants as they are harvested in excess.
However nowadays it has been prohibited to harvest the baseball plants so that they can protect the remaining plants in the natural habitats.
If you are interested in learning about these plants, keep reading the article as I will be covering the caring and the growing tips of them.
How do I identify baseball plants?
Baseball plants have a relatively long-life span, and they comprise of a bulbous shape and v shaped markings. Not only that, but they also consist of ridges.
They have a solitary stem body, and the flowers would arise from that. You could spot the young Baseball plants in round shape.
However, as they grow, they would tend to grow in an elongated and cylindrical manner. Sea urchin plants is a common name which you could use to call them.
Baseball plants are dwarf succulents. To be precise on the sizes, they would be about 8 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter.
However, their diameter could vary depending on their age. In fact, it could vary from 2 inches – 6 inches.
You could spot the young Baseball plants in a spherical shape and as they grow older, they would be elongated and tend to take a cylindrical shape.
They are spineless plants. However, Baseball plant leaves would be minuscule which tend to drop, and you could hardly spot them too.
In addition to these factors, their flower blossoming would also be quite productive in identifying them.
Baseball plants produce dioecious flowers, and they would produce either male or female blooms.
Those blooms would be cup shaped and consist of some hair as well. Not only that, you could identify the Baseball plants blooming from their delicate scent as well.
They would arise from fork branched peduncles. Apart from these, Baseball plants produce seeds which could ripe into small fruits as well.
Baseball plants are slow growing plants.
One look care guide
|Botanical Name||Euphorbia obesa|
|Common Name||Baseball plants, sea urchin plants.|
|Mature Size||8 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter.|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sunlight to partial shade|
|Flower Color||Gray – green colored flowers.|
|Hardiness Zones||USDA hardiness zones 10-11.|
|Native Area||South Africa|
|Average price||$ 15|
Taking care of a baseball plant | 14 Ways
As aforesaid Baseball plants require only a minimum maintenance from you, and they will thrive well if you manage to fulfil their light requirement and water them properly.
As long as you grow them in a well-draining cactus or succulent soil mix and if you have placed them in a spot where they can gain bright and indirect sunlight, Baseball plants could grow vigorously.
Baseball plants’ tough stems are resistant to pests’ attacks and for diseases.
As explained in the beginning of the article, Baseball plants could grow vigorously as long as they get their growing requirement fulfilled.
Baseball plants are fond of plenty of strong sunlight. In fact, when they are in their natural habitat, they could thrive well under direct sunlight as well.
When you grow them indoors, they could thrive well if they can gain at least four- five hours of sunlight daily.
So, a windowsill would suit these plants the best since it is the brightest sunny spot you could find at your home.
On the other hand, when you go ahead with gardening them outdoors, you need to choose a spot where they can gain both full sunlight and partial sunlight.
If you fail to fulfil their sunlight requirement, chances are that they will lose their unique shape and the texture.
Further they will lose the vibrancy in the color as well. Not only that but also, they will become leggy if they lack proper sunlight levels.
Temperature and humidity
Baseball plants require warmer temperature levels to perform well. If you grow them indoors, they can thrive well in room temperature levels.
Having said that, when you grow them indoors, you should not keep them closer to cold drafts etc. as it could badly impact on the growth of the plants.
Baseball plants are subtropical plants, and they would love to grow in temperature levels of 81-95 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to winter temperature levels, they are tolerant of temperature levels of 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baseball plants are not cold hardy plants. Hence, if there is any forecast of extreme winter conditions, possibly the best thing you could do is to shift them indoors.
Is it cold hardy?
Baseball plants are not cold hardy plants.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Baseball plants are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10-11. Having said that, you could grow Baseball plants as indoor plants if you live in other zones.
Baseball plants consist of huge succulent stems, and they act as water conserving parts of the foliage and they can store water in large quantities.
As such , they do not expect you to water them often. In fact, they could thrive without water for some time.
Having said that, you need to water the plants more often i spring and summer than what you do in winter and fall. However, ensure that you let the soil wither during every watering session.
When it comes to watering in autumn, you should reduce watering accordingly. Once a month watering would be adequate when watering the baseball plants during fall and winter.
Baseball plants prefer to grow in the same conditions as in their natural habitat when they grow indoors too.
Hence refrain in exposing them to humid environments. As such make sure that wherever you grow them, it has good ventilation.
Soil Requirement Type / pH
Baseball plants prefer to grow in a soil mix which ideally has a ph. of 6.0-7.0. (Slightly acidic to neutral). The most significant requirement of the Baseball plants is to have good drainage.
Best is to grow them in a potting mix which is available at the stores. If not, you could make a potting mix on your own by mixing perlite coarse and regular potting soil.
You could blend them at a ratio of 1:2:3 respectively. Do not proceed with the regular soil mix as they retain moisture in the potting medium.
Watering the plants properly and growing them in a well-draining soil mix go hand in hand.
Flowering and Fragrance
Baseball plants produce gray – green colored flowers. You could expect them to flower in summer.
Pot size Potting and Repotting
Baseball plants can grow in the same pot for a number of years as they are slow growing. Further make sure you grow them in porous pots as the water evaporation is faster in those materials.
However, if you spot their plant outgrowing from the pots, you may repot them in slightly larger pots. I recommend protecting yourself by wearing gardening gloves as their latex could be irritating.
You do not have to bother repotting them on a frequent basis. However ensure that you repot them once you freshly purchase them from the stores since they would have been grown in poor quality soil.
Once you repot the plants, it will allow the plants to gain fresh nutrients and will provide a fresh start for the plants.
Where to Plant
Baseball plants could be planted in any spot you wish as long as they get strong sunlight levels.
As such if you grow them in a garden, you need to select a spot where they get both full sunlight and partial shade.
In addition to that they prefer to grow in warmer temperature levels as well. As such if you experience colder temperature levels, best is to grow them as indoor plants.
Fertilizer and time of year
Baseball plants do not require fertilizers to grow vigorously and as aforesaid they can grow well in poor quality soil mix.
You could consider feeding them when they are actively growing in spring. To feed them you could go ahead with a succulent fertilizer or with a cactus fertilizer.
That will result in vigorous blooming as well as in firm growth of the plants.
Baseball plants’ dormancy season would be in winter.
Baseball plants could be mildly toxic for pets as well as for humans.
Common bugs and illnesses
These plants are usually resistant towards insect attacks as well as diseases.
However, pests such as mealybugs and scale could create problems for baseball plants. To remedy them, you could simply use a wet cloth and simply wipe them off.
Further you could use a cotton swab which is dipped with rubbing alcohol and remove them too. if the pests’ attacks have spread on a severe level, you could consider repotting them.
Ensure that you are wearing the gloves when interacting with the plants as they have a white sap which could create irritations in your skin. To treat them, you may even consider using insecticides as well.
Special Care tips
Base ball plants require only a minimum maintenance to thrive well. They do not require any special care treatment from you .
You only need to make sure that you water them properly, grow them in a well-draining soil mix and provide them sufficient sunlight levels.
How to propagate baseball plant
You could use the offsets of the baseball plants to propagate them.
It would be challenging to propagate them by using the seeds, as male and female plants need to cross pollinate so that they can produce seeds.
Apart from that their seeds are also slow growing. Therefore, the best way of propagating them is using the offsets. You only need to cut off the offsets and grow them in a cactus or succulent soil mix.
Baseball plant benefits
They would be very handy to use in succulent gardens. Further they would be great as individual plants too.
So before winding this up trust you were able to realize how easy it is to look after these beauties.
In fact, they are an easy going set of plants which grow very well if you provide the same growing conditions as what they get in their natural habitat.
There are only three things they require and as long as they provide them sufficient sunlight, grow them in a well-draining soil mix and water them properly, they will grow to their best.
In addition to these, their flowering activity is also an added advantage of growing these beauties. They will be fantastic additions for your garden as their flowers release a sweet fragrance as well.
So grab your baseball plant and start growing them and do not forget to share the experience with us too.