How To Grow Euphorbia Plant

The plants belonging to the genus Euphorbia are widespread and very appreciated and can certainly be a good choice to embellish a garden.

Euphorbia Milii

Let's find out therefore what can be precious suggestions to grow them in the best way also in the garden of our house.

What are Euphorbia Plants?

This genus includes plants of many species, think for example Euphorbia milii, Euphorbia trigona, or Euphorbia fulgens, which are rather heterogeneous, or even the Euphorbia pulcherrima, much better known by the name of "Christmas star".

In general, however, the plants of the genus Euphorbia are much appreciated for the bright colors of their flowers, so strongly decorative, even the unusual shape of the leaves, flashy and rounded, is a detail that catches the eye.

Euphorbia plants are quite easy to manage, that's one of the reasons why they are so popular and appreciated even by newbies to gardening: these plants can be ideal both in small urban gardens and for larger outdoor spaces, such as those of a house in the countryside; experts in the field also usually recommend these plants to embellish rock gardens.

Growing Euphorbia plants: useful tips

At our latitudes the Euphorbia grows well indoors, and therefore in pots.

It is in fact a plant that does not tolerate low temperatures, as well as drafts. However, it is necessary to pay attention to direct heat sources, such as radiators.
This doesn't mean it can't be grown in the garden, but with a little more care.

Depending on the species, this type of plant can prefer dry and arid soils or, on the contrary, well humidified ones.

Planting seedlings in the garden should be done in autumn, so that during the winter the roots will have time to grow. Potholes should be dug so that between one seedling and another there is a distance equal to half the final width.

If you choose to proceed with the cultivation in pots, prepare a layer of gravel to be placed on the bottom, so as to ensure proper drainage to the plant. Mix some sand into the topsoil.

The pruning of Euphorbia plants

As we were saying, the plants of the genus Euphorbia have a great resistance, they can adapt in a very versatile way to various climatic and environmental contexts and need a rather limited maintenance, for this reason they can certainly be a good option even for those who have no particular experience in gardening.

A very important maintenance for the Euphorbia is surely pruning, let's find out why.

During the winter months it is quite frequent that Euphorbia plants get damaged in their stems, therefore it is important to remove the stems at the end of the coldest months; the pruning of these plants, therefore, should ideally take place in spring and must be quite vigorous in its execution.

After the flowering, moreover, it is recommended to prune the stems which have faded, so that the plant will always present an impeccable, elegant and harmonious aspect.

Although it is true that the pruning of Euphorbia requires more substantial interventions compared to those required by other plants, it is also true that the performance of such interventions can be easily limited to some months of the year, which contributes to making these plants very suitable for those who do not have a large amount of time to dedicate to their garden.

How to propagate Euphorbia

Spring pruning allows you to recover portions of branches suitable for propagation by cuttings. The segments must be from 7 to 10 cm long. To get them we cut with a knife or a razor blade very sharp: in this way the edge will not be frayed and then easy prey to rot. Let's immediately stop the sap by steaming the cuts with ice water and compressing the area with a wet cloth.

Let the portions of the branch air dry, in a dry room, for about 24 hours. Next, let's place them in jars filled with a slightly moist mixture of peat and sand. Let's bring them in a bright area, but without direct sun and with a temperature of about 20°C. Rooting takes place in an average of one month. Then you can repot them and grow them as adult seedlings, gradually exposing them to sun and heat.

Other valuable information about Euphorbia plant

Euphorbia pulcherrima

A biological characteristic of Euphorbia that deserves to be underlined corresponds to the secretion of a milky sap that is good to keep well away from the skin, as it can have irritating effects.

Those who own a four-legged friend rightly wonder if this sap can be dangerous for pets, but the answer, fortunately, is negative, as the rather intense smell emitted by the plants acts as a natural repellent.

As for the natural lighting, there are no particular indications to give: the ideal location of these plants in the garden is in a place characterized by partial shade, however if you want to exalt the color of the variants with very bright flowers, the ideal is to abound in sun exposure.

These plants should always be placed on a sandy soil that can ensure a good drainage, very important is, moreover, to avoid watering them excessively, as the excessive presence of water will rot the leaves or the whole branches.

Euphorbia are in fact plants which are very much affected by water excesses and, for these reasons, they could also develop unsightly brownish spots: dosing well the quantity of water, therefore, is another small precaution to which we must pay attention.

Varieties of Euphorbia plants

Euphorbias have a dual nature, elegant and prosperous on the one hand and resistant on the other. 

Euphorbia fulgens

It is a shrubby, deciduous species, with thin stems bearing lance-shaped leaves and small clusters of deep red flowers, which bloom in winter. To grow healthy in Florence, it requires protected and very bright positions. During the winter, it must be sheltered indoors, in heated rooms. It does not tolerate temperature changes that can cause serious damage. In order to have a well trained plant it is necessary to make more than one pruning during the vegetative season. Be very careful with watering.

Euphorbia trigona

Also known as African bush or milk tree. It is a succulent plant native to the African continent. It can reach a height between 150 and 240 cm. . Often, the plant has three-sided stems with edges full of thorns. The branches, which can look like cacti, grow vertically. Small leaves cover the edges and ends of the stems. The plant has a deep green color, with slight lighter streaks along the stems. There is also a variety that has dark red leaves, Euphorbia trigona rubra or Royal red

Euphorbia milii

It is a succulent plant with a shrubby, climbing habit. It can reach a height of about 180 cm. Also commonly known by the name "Crown of Thorns", it is native to the island of Madagascar. This is also a species covered with sharp thorns, which, usually, produces few flowers. In summertime it is recommended to shelter it from direct sunlight in order to avoid burns on branches and leaves but it always requires very luminous positions. Below 15° C, it begins to have serious problems. Pay much attention to watering, which will be abundant in summer and limited in winter. Water stagnation can cause root rot and permanent damage.

DIY Editor
Do-it-yourself enthusiast. I started with the renovation of my flat and then I changhed this passion into my job.