Sounds like my kind of plant!
But first thing's first -- this Euphorbia is mighty unhappy. It's falling over in it's pot, and obviously has little to no root system in place. And it's really tall, which isn't helping the falling over part. The woman who gave it to me had tied it up to plant stakes and put it in a strawberry pot, hoping that the deeper pot and a little structure would coax it to grow better roots, without success. This tactic obviously wasn't working, so after discovering in my research that I could simply lop it off at any given point without killing it, I decided that I'd give it a trim to take some of the weight off the top, repot it, and give it a new shot at life. The pieces I cut off will be an experiment in propagation. If all goes well, I'll have gotten two plants out of one.
The process was relatively easy and straight forward. Here's what I did:
(WARNING: Wear heavy protective gloves to keep from being jabbed by it's sharp spines and avoid touching the white sticky TOXIC sap that comes out of the Euphorbia).
1. Pulled the entire plant out of it's pot and laid it on a flat surface.
2. Discovered that part of it's stability problem was due to a serious curve in it's main root, and as suspected, no root system to speak of.
3. Prepared a new pot for it with cactus potting soil.
4. Took a really sharp knife and cut each stalk off at the same height -- it's easy to cut as long as it's laying flat and supported surface....pretend you're cutting up a cucumber for your salad (just don't eat it, cause that would be bad since it's toxic).
5. Dipped each of the cut ends in a bucket of cold water to stop the flow of the sticky white sap.
6. Replanted the main part of the Euphorbia in it's new pot so that the plant was pointed upright, while it's curved root was pointing at an angle into the pot. My main concern was to keep the plant growing in a straight and upright position. I figured the root system would work itself out.
7. Placed rocks on the top of the soil around the main "trunk" to give it some added stability while it's getting itself re-rooted and re-established.
8. Left the cuttings and newly potted plant outside for a few hours in partial shade (these guys will get sunburn, so don't leave them in direct sun) so that all the cuts could dry and begin their healing process.
The difference in how this guy looks is amazing -- and it literally only took me 10 minutes for the entire process, start to finish.
While it's position in the new pot isn't ideal since it's so close to one edge instead of being nice and centered in the pot, I think for now it's fine. The cuts will eventually sprout new branches though, which may end up meaning it needs to be repotted again in a larger pot where it can actually be centered (so that the new growth isn't growing way out over the edge of the pot).
Once the cuttings heal up and are ready to be planted, I'll write another post and show you the process.