Sweet Tabaiba (Euphorbia balsamifera)

Euphorbia balsamifera is a succulent shrub

La Euphorbia balsamifera it is a succulent shrub that you can plant in your dry garden or in a pot. It is very resistant to drought and even withstands the wind from the sea without problems, which is why if you live on or near the coast you will not have to worry about anything.

In addition, its crown branches a lot, and from them sprout leaves that, although they are small, are so numerous that they make it look increasingly dense. Dare to discover it.

Origin and characteristics of Euphorbia balsamifera

Sweet tabaiba is an evergreen shrub

Image - Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

It is an evergreen plant known as sweet tabaiba that we can find in the Canary Islands, in Africa (specifically in the Sahara) and in Arabia. It lives in regions where it rains little and it is very hot, with maximum temperatures that are around 30-50ºC maximum. It grows to about a meter in height, and has a rounded, wide and compact crown since it branches from almost the base.

Unlike other euphorbias, our protagonist produces inflorescences with a single terminal flower. This is yellow and small, about 1 centimeter in diameter, and sprouts during the spring.

What uses does it have?

La Euphorbia balsamifera it is a plant that can be used both in a garden and in a pot. In the garden it will be beautiful in the rockery for example, or in the area where you have cacti and other succulents. If you prefer to have it in a pot, it will beautify your patio or terrace.

But in addition, the indigenous tribes of the Canary Islands, specifically the Guanches, are believed to have used the sap to keep their teeth clean. Today it is still highly appreciated; in fact, it is the natural plant symbol of the island of Lanzarote.

How do you take care of sweet tabaiba?

Euphorbia balsamifera is a succulent plant

Image - Wikimedia / Frank Vincentz

La Euphorbia balsamifera it is a very interesting plant. It is suitable for beginners, as it can (and indeed should) live with little water, so it needs little maintenance. But just in case you have doubts, we want to help you. We are going to explain everything you need to know to keep your tabaiba sweet:


This is a plant It must be put in an area exposed to the sun directly. It is very important that it does not lack light, otherwise it will not grow as it should and we could lose it. Therefore, it is best to have it abroad.

It does not have dangerous roots for other plants nor can it break anything. Now, if it is going to be planted in the ground, we do advise that it be placed half a meter or a little further from walls or walls so that in this way it can have a normal development.


  • Garden: it grows in sandy soils and can also do so where there are many stones. In those heavy and compact soils you have to dig a hole of about 50 x 50cm and fill it with soil for succulents.
  • Flower pot: the substrate to be used can be one specific for cacti and succulents (for sale here). You also have the option of mixing peat with perlite in equal parts. Of course, the pot must have holes in its base.


Irrigation of the Euphorbia balsamifera it must be very scarce. Only during the summer will we have to be more vigilant, but still You just have to water every time the soil is very dry. It is a plant that resists drought, but if it happens that it receives more water than it needs, it could have a hard time since its roots are not prepared to withstand excess water.


Do you want it to grow a little faster and not lack any nutrients? If so, you have it easy: fertilize it with a fertilizer for succulents (for sale here) in spring and until the end of summer. But follow the instructions for use, because if the dose is higher than indicated the roots will burn, and if it is lower you will hardly notice its effects.

If it is in a pot, use a liquid fertilizer so that it can be absorbed faster and without the characteristics of the substrate changing. If you have it on the ground, you can use any type of fertilizer (liquid, granular or powder).


Euphorbia balsamifera is a perennial plant

Image - Wikimedia / Jose Mesa

To propagate sweet tabaiba, what is frequently done is cut a branch in spring and plant it in a pot with peat mixed with 50% perlite. It is placed in a place where there is a lot of light but not directly, and it is watered every time the substrate looks dry.

The plant produces seeds, but it is difficult to get them since they are small and have a short life. In case you are lucky enough to acquire them, plant them as soon as possible in pots with succulent soil in a sunny location.


It is a shrub that resists very mild and occasional frosts of up to -2ºC.

Did you know the Euphorbia balsamifera?

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