A wide variety of plants can be found in the Euphorbiaceae family, including poinsettias and cowboy cactus. Depending on their size and preferences, shrubby hardy types are good garden plants for a variety of environments.
In addition to being easy to grow, euphorbias have a spectacular appearance throughout the year. In addition to providing structure and texture, they are an excellent complement to brightly colored shrubs and perennials.
What you need to know about euphorbia
Euphorbia is the scientific name for spurge. Euphorbia wulfenii, Euphorbia milii, and Euphorbia tirucalli are only some of the many Euphorbia species.
Scale: ranging from low groundcovers up to 1m tall plants.
Arid/semi-arid, sub-tropical, and tropical climates are all types of climates.
Soil: a wide variety of soils, as long as they have good drainage.
Full sun is preferred, but a little shadow won’t harm it.
Flowers bloom in the spring and summer, and their hues vary according to the type they come from.
In most cases, there is no need for feeding.
Young plants need to be watered in order to get established. Much less water is required by mature plants
Appearance and characteristics of euphorbia
Euphorbias are a diverse group of perennial and evergreen shrubs and small trees. Small to medium evergreen shrubs up to a height of 1 meter are the most often grown varieties. Blue-grey foliage is the most common color, but it can also come in cream, crimson, and green hues and combinations of those hues.
In the spring and summer, the plant’s tips produce flowers that range in color from sulphur yellow to lime green. Depending on the variety, pink, cream, red, and purple can also be found.
When a euphorbia is cut or harmed, it releases a milky sap. This sap can irritate the skin, therefore exercise extreme caution when handling it. It’s especially important to avoid getting it in your eyes. When working with euphorbia, wear eye protection and long sleeves and gloves. In addition, the plants are toxic to humans.
Uses for euphorbia
Known for its drought resistance, euphorbia thrives in hot, dry environments. If you use a free-draining potting mix like a cacti and succulent mix, you may grow any of the smaller kinds in a pot.
Caring for euphorbia
The euphorbia will need to be watered regularly for the first few days after planting in order to establish itself. After that, watering can be reduced to once a month at most.
Diseases and pests
Pests and illnesses rarely pose a threat to Euphorbia. Humid climates put it at risk for fungal diseases, so if you want to grow it there, choose a location where it will get enough of sun and a slight breeze.
How to propagate euphorbias
Euphorbia cuttings can be taken in the spring and summer, however it is important to use waterproof gloves when doing this. Pick some 15cm-long, unflowered growth tips for your project. In order to remove the milky sap that has formed on the leaves, cut them and remove the lowest two-thirds of their leaves. Cuttings should be placed in a pot with damp but not wet propagation sand for a few months, until roots have developed.
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An annual euphorbia with bright red young leaves set against dark green older ones, the poinsettia is a holiday tradition.
Succulent desert rose: red and pink blossoms atop a short stem.
Coleus is a popular choice for gardeners because of its wide range of leaves colors and patterns.
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How to grow euphorbias
Use wet but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade for growing euphorbias. Consider using them as a counterpoint to other vibrant hues, or as part of a woodland-themed color scheme. Leaf mold should be used as a mulch every year.
More about euphorbias and how to grow them:
- ten euphorbias to start from
- A slice of euphorbia
- Tips on how to grow euphorbias
Grow euphorbias by following our extensive Grow Guide below!
Where to plant euphorbias
Euphorbias prefer a sunny location and healthy, well-drained soil, however this is not always the case. But there are shade-tolerant cultivars that do well as ground cover under trees and plants.
How to plant euphorbias
For potted euphorbias, dig a large hole and add some compost or leaf mold to the soil. Mulch the area after you’ve planted the euphorbia and water it thoroughly to avoid weeds and retain moisture.
In this article, Monty Don offers his recommendations for the best euphorbia plants, along with instructions on how and where to grow them. Euphorbias can also be propagated from cuttings, as he explains.
Euphorbias, in a zingy lime green, are perfect for filling in any border gaps. There are two outstanding types that Monty Don recommends, as well as instructions on how to grow them and what to watch out for. Euphorbias can also be propagated from cuttings, as he explains.
How to care for euphorbias
Providing the growing environment is ideal, euphorbias do not necessitate any additional feeding or attention. After the blooms have gone, it’s a good idea to trim back flowering stems. The sap of euphorbias is extremely irritating to the skin and eyes, and it is also toxic if consumed.
How to propagate euphorbias
Taking cuttings in the spring is the best way to propagate euphorbias. Keep your hands protected from sap by wearing gloves.
To see how simple and enjoyable it is to reproduce Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii, try taking cuttings in the spring. Keep the cuttings fresh, plant them, and protect your hands from the unpleasant sap by following Monty Don’s advice.
How to take euphorbia cuttings
Take cuttings of euphorbias in spring to discover how simple and enjoyable it is to reproduce the plants. Monty Don provides a wealth of helpful advice on how to keep the cuttings fresh, how to plant them, and what to be aware of.
Growing euphorbias: problem solving
Euphorbia ‘Efanthia’ – Euphorbia ‘Efanthia’ how to grow
Great euphorbia varieties to grow
Euphorbia myrsinites – how to grow euphorbias
- Ascot Rainbow Euphorbia x martini – dark grey-green rosettes of leaves with lime-green erect bracts with a crimson eye. A red-marked, creamy yellow border develops over time as they mature. In the winter, they may also take on a pink hue. The spring flowerheads are green, cream, and crimson in color, with a variety of patterns. It covers the ground in a weed-smothering carpet.
- Plants like Euphorbia myrsintes, which are tiny and drought-resistant, are ideal for edging walks or patios, as well as containers and alpines. Fir cones are lengthy and pale silvery green scale-like leaves cover the stems, making it look like a fir tree. Yellow euphorbia flowers can be seen at the ends in early July.
- E. pasteurii is an enormous evergreen shrub that results from crossing E. stygiana with E. mellifera. It has slender, spherical leaves that are dark green with white midribs and become crimson in the fall. Bronze/green and beautifully perfumed, the flowers of this plant Grow Euphorbia x pasteurii in a Mediterranean style or gravel garden with well-drained soil. In the fall, remove the wasted flower heads.
- Evergreen Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae thrives in shade and poor soil, making it ideal for planting under large trees. Eventually, a low weed-smothering carpet is formed by underground runners. Bloom time for lime green flowers is from early spring to late summer.
- Flowering in the spring are huge dome-shaped, lime-colored blooms on Euphorbia characis subsp wulfenii architectural perennials. In a sunny border or gravel garden, it’s great.