Coming in many varieties, Euphorbia do require different care depending on type. We look at different varieties and basic care techniques as well as varieties available for sale.
With species grown as indoor plants as well as some excellent garden varieties the genus Euphorbia has a lot to offer gardeners and landscapers alike.
Sometime called ‘Spurges’ this useful group of plants offer attractive flowers from late winter to spring depending on the variety as well as the species. This is a very large genus (over 2100 species across the world), the best known is probably the Poinsettia or Euphorbia pulcherrima.
From this indoor plant with soft foliage we can move to E. millii more commonly known as crown of thorns, a prickly plant with wonderful flowers, also suited to growing indoors.
Popular garden species are long lived and easy care, they look good planted in containers and can also be mass planted in the garden border.
With such diversity in appearance and growth habit, Euphorbia provide gardeners and landscapers with a range of attractive and hardy plants. Suited to both container growing as specimen plants as well as for planting in the cottage garden in general they are easy care and drought tolerant.
From low growing species to large tree like specimens all species produce a milk like sap which is generally toxic, we always handle these plants with protective gloves. The species have very different appearance and growth habit and you may well be surprised as to just how diverse the genus is.
Some species look more like cactus, others are great foliage plants and can be mass planted in the garden.
Use them in front of an evergreen hedge to provide contrast and texture.
A wide range of plant forms are available, from annuals and perennials, shrubs to and trees, consequently cultivation requirements vary greatly, so seek specific information when purchasing.
In general a well drained soil in an open sunny position, remember the latex like sap of all euphorbia is poisonous so be careful when handling.
Basic Care Instructions
- A position in full sun is best.
- A well drained soil is essential for most species.
- Some moisture during long dry periods will be needed for most species.
- Fertiliser requirement is low for most varieties.
- Pruning will depend on variety. Some benefit from regular pruning, others require little to no pruning at all.
- In containers, a well drained potting mix is essential for all.
The sap that they exude makes them almost pest free, so these hardy plants make an excellent choice for many garden situations.
Temperature tolerance are perhaps the most telling, some do not cope well in any area with cold wet winters, others do not seem to mind.
- E. characias ssp. wulfenii
- E. x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow‘
- E. obesa
- Poinsettia E. pulcherrima and in its natural habitat can reach 4m.
- E. milii (crown of thorns) can reach 2m, but remember that hybrid varieties are generally smaller growing.
- E. myrsinites is know as ‘donkey tail spurge’.
- E. supina or ‘creeping spurge’ is regarded as weed by many.
- E. caput medusa is the medusas head euphorbia
- E. ‘Diamond Frost’ is a long flowering cultivar developed from E. hypericifolia ‘inneuphe’
Euphorbia plants are available for sale from the following participating nurseries.
Succulent nursery for drought hardy plants. Includes: Adenium, Agave, Alluadia, Aloe, Anecampseros, Crassula, Euphorbia, Gasteraloe, Haworthia, Kalanchoe, Ledebouria, Portulacaria, Sedum, Senecio and many others.
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
Large variety of Epimediums, Woodland plants and Herbaceous perennials
Mail order or nursery. We do not send to Tasmania or WA