How to Grow Pedilanthus - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Bush Category   /   2022

Pedilanthus, also known as slipperflower, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Euphorbiaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. The genus includes about 75 species, which are mostly shrubs or subshrubs, but a few are lianas. They are characterized by their unique flowers, which have a slipper-like shape.

How to Grow Pedilanthus - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Pedilanthus plant? Because they have shallow root systems, they are very easy to grow in small pots and containers. They are not at all fussy about the type of potting mix used. You can use a cactus mix or a regular potting mix with added perlite or pumice. I find that they do best if allowed to dry out between waterings. Water them only when the potting mix is completely dry. They will tolerate some shade, but do best in bright, indirect light.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The average height is 60-80 cm. Large specimens are not too decorative.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? When provided with the proper amount of water and sunlight, Pedilanthus plants can grow up to 15-20 cm per year. The amount of water and sunlight required may vary depending on the variety of Pedilanthus plant.

Pedilanthus Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Bush
Family Euphorbiaceae
Origin Tropical and subtropical regions of America

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? The average lifespan of a Pedilanthus plant is 20 to 30 years. However, with the right care, they can live much longer. One of the reasons why they have a relatively short lifespan is because they are often grown in pots and containers. This can cause them to become root-bound, which can restrict their growth and ultimately lead to their death.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? The plant should be in 77 degrees in summer and in winter the plant should be protected from cold air.


What about the humidity? Eventually, you will see the leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off. The plant is telling you that it's not getting enough humidity. You can increase the humidity around your Pedilanthus by setting the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Be sure to replenish the water in the tray as it evaporates. You can also mist your plant daily with room-temperature water.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? When grown under bright light, the colors on the leaves of the Pedilanthus plant are more vibrant. The plant can tolerate some direct sunlight, but it does best on a west-facing window where it will receive bright light but with some protection from the hottest afternoon sun. In bright light, the leaves of the Pedilanthus often develop a red rim.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Pedilanthus? Common ly, the plant is not too demanding on soil conditions. Good drainage is however required. The recommended soil mix is: 3 parts garden soil, 1 part peat, and 1 part sand. This will provide the ideal drainage and fertility for the Pedilanthus plant.

Watering Time

How much I must water Pedilanthus? The plant needs to be watered every day or every other day. The leaves may start to turn yellow if the plant is not getting enough water.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. The best time to fertilize your Pedilanthus is from spring to autumn, every 3-4 weeks. For best results, use a liquid mineral fertilizer with a reduced nitrogen content, and dilute it twice as much as recommended. An organic fertilizer is also suitable for Pedilanthus plants.


How to reproduce Pedilanthus? Eventually, you will want to propagate your Pedilanthus plant to create more plants like it. The good news is that this is a very easy process that can be done with just a few simple tools. All you need is a sharp knife, some peat and perlite (or sand), and a container to plant the cuttings in. It is best to do this in the springtime. First, take your sharp knife and cut off 8-10 cm long cuttings from the plant. Make sure that each cutting has at least two pairs of healthy leaves. You will need to cut off the lower pair of leaves before planting the cutting. Next, take your container and fill it with a mixture of peat and perlite (or sand). It is best to do this in a greenhouse, but if you do not have one, you can cover the container with polyethylene. Make sure the temperature is between 73.4-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have prepared the container, it is time to plant the cuttings. Take each cutting and dip it in water for a few seconds to wash off the milky juice. This will help the cutting to root better. After you have planted the cuttings, you will need to wait 2-3 weeks for the rootlets to appear. Once they have appeared, you can plant up to 3 cuttings in one pot. Reproduction by seeds is rarely used, but if you do choose to do it, you will need to plant the seeds in the springtime. The best way to do this is to sow the seeds in a mixture of peat and perlite (or sand). Once the seedlings have germinated, you can transplant them into individual pots.


Why Pedilanthus won't bloom? Since this plant blooms in winter, the flowers are not very showy. They are small and nondescript, and are collected in umbellate inflorescences. However, there are two bright-red bracts at the base of the inflorescence, which are rather decorative.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Pedilanthus? While the plant is growing, you can only replace the top layer of the earth. If you transplant it too often, the plant will not do well. It is best to transplant in spring when the roots are growing. Put the plant in a close pot so it will not be disturbed.

Caring The Pedilanthus

How to care the plant? Unless you want your Pedilanthus to grow into a large, shrubby plant, it's best to give it a little shaping and pruning. You can do this by pinching back the growing tips of the plant. This will make the plant branch out and become fuller. Be sure to do this often, as Pedilanthus can grow quite quickly. The plant does not like drafts and gas combustion products, so keep it away from any windows or vents where these might be present. When watering your Pedilanthus, be sure to use tepid water and allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Pedilanthus plant? When taking care of him, you need to be very careful and attentive, as it is very capricious. The most common problems that arise when caring for a plant are: leaves turn yellow and dry out, leaves turn green, their petioles do not develop, all the leaves can fall out in winter.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Pedilanthus poisonous? So, be extra careful if you have pets or animals around this plant. All parts of the plant contain a poisonous, milky white sap. if any part of the plant is ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes death. The sap can also be harmful if it comes into contact with skin, causing irritation and blisters.