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Devil's Back

Devil's Back
Posted by Chryse from Georgia on 2002-06-16 11:24:37

Has anyone heard of a plant called Devil's Back? It has a thick crooked stem that oozes a milky substance when cut. I have one that has never been pruned, and it doesn't seem to be growing as well as it used to. Any ideas on how to prune one of these?
  • Pedilanthus
    Posted by Nan from Wi on 2002-07-10 12:48:30

    I think the plant you're referring to is called Pedilanthus tithymaloides, which is also known as 'Devil's Backbone'. They're easily distinguished by that 'zig zag' stem.
    Althought they're considered a succulent plant, they do better with some afternoon shade, and they like to be kept just moist, as they'll lose some leaves when allowed to dry out. They tolerate pruning very well, so go ahead and prune....the cuttings also root very easily.
    Do be careful of the sap...it is poisonous.

    Quoting Chryse: ------------
    -Has anyone heard of a plant called Devil's Back? It has a thick crooked stem that oozes a milky substance when cut. I have one that has never been pruned, and it doesn't seem to be growing as well as it used to. Any ideas on how to prune one of these?
    • Devil's Backbone / Pedilanthus tithymaloides
      Posted by Shana from Arkansas on 2010-11-13 07:33:00

      I've had this plant for over 15 years and it has become very tall and "leggy" The branches seem to hang down. What can I do with the hanging branches? Is there a way to cut it back so that it will become fuller rather than taller.
  • Devil's backbone
    Posted by Will Creed, Horticulturist from NYC on 2002-06-17 21:22:14

    Devil's backbone is also known as mother of thousands and botanically as Kalachoe daigremontiana. They grow leggy when not given enough sunlight. It is easy to propagate new plants from the baby plants that grow on the edges of the leaves. Pruning will sometimes promote branching, but it doesn't always work.

    Quoting Chryse: ------------
    -Has anyone heard of a plant called Devil's Back? It has a thick crooked stem that oozes a milky substance when cut. I have one that has never been pruned, and it doesn't seem to be growing as well as it used to. Any ideas on how to prune one of these?

    Insiders' Plant Information

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