Information About Euphorbia

Information About Euphorbia

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Euphorbia Stem Rot Issues – Reasons For A Rotting Candelabra Cactus

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Candelabra cactus stem rot, also called euphorbia stem rot, is caused by a fungal disease. The tall stems of euphorbia begin to rot at the top of the limbs once the fungus takes hold. Click this article for more information about this disease.

What Is A Candelilla Plant – How To Grow A Wax Euphorbia Succulent

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Succulent lovers should definitely have a wax euphorbia succulent in their collection. There are no serious pests or disease associated with this plant and it has an ease of care which appeals to forgetful gardeners. Learn about growing a candelilla euphorbia here.

Moroccan Mound Succulents: How To Grow Euphorbia Resinifera Plant

By Amy Grant

As the name suggests, Moroccan mound succulents are native to Morocco where they can be found growing on the slopes of the Atlas Mountains. Interested in growing Moroccan mound succulents? Click this article to learn how to grow Moroccan mound euphorbias.

Flowering Spurge Info – Learn How To Grow Flowering Spurge Plants

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Also known as baby?s breath of the prairie, flowering spurge plants produce white, green-centered flowers from early summer to late summer. Growing flowering spurge isn?t difficult as long as you can provide the right conditions. Click here to learn more.

Euphorbia Medusa’s Head Care: How To Grow A Medusa’s Head Plant

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

The genus Euphorbia boasts a number of fascinating and beautiful plants, and the Medusa's Head euphorbia is one of the most unique, with grayish-green, snake-like branches and yellowish-green blooms. Want to learn how to grow a Medusa's Head? Click here.

Caring For Dragon Bone Plants – Learn How To Grow Dragon Bones

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Dragon bone euphorbia is an elegant and structurally unique plant that can live on the patio in summer as long as it is brought indoors before cool temperatures arrive. Learn more about the plant and how to grow it in this article.

Baseball Plant Info: How To Grow Baseball Euphorbia

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Euphorbia obesa, also called baseball plant, forms a ball-like segmented shape that is adapted to hot, arid climates. Euphorbia baseball plant makes an excellent houseplant and is low maintenance. Read here to learn more about it.

Growing Euphorbias: How To Cultivate A Euphorbia Plant

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Euphorbia plants also go by the easier to say, but less elegant, name of Spurge. There are many varieties of Euphorbia plants and growing them is easy. Learn how to care for these plants in this article.

Euphorbia Lactea: Handling the Toxic Mottled Spurge

The wonky look of Euphorbia lactea will add a character to your garden that no other plant can. It has three-sided, candelabra arms and a tall, lanky stem. The silhouette is wobbly. In fact, Euphorbia lactea nearly resembles a child’s drawing.

Adding to E. lactea’s charm are short spines along the edges. They’re small but still sharp. The whole plant is green with mottled white stripes. This inspired the common nickname Mottled Spurge.

It doesn’t seem like it, but mottled spurge is a shrub, not a cactus. This is due to the presence of sap and the absence of large flowers. Also unlike cacti, Euphorbia lactea is a tropical plant. It’s native to India, Sri Lanka, and other areas in tropical Asia.

We won’t lie, Euphorbia lactea is a challenging plant. It has specific watering needs and is dangerously toxic. Once settled in though, mottled spurge pretty much takes care of itself. It’s perfect for neglectful gardeners willing to make an initial effort.

Good Products for Euphorbia Lactea:

Euphorbia Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are these plants are quite self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care, especially overwatering, than from neglect. However, they are fairly hardy and make great plants for beginners.

It's critical to provide your Euphorbia with soil that has sharp drainage. Soggy soil can quickly cause root rot and kill a plant. If you're growing your plant in a container, it should have ample drainage holes. An unglazed pot is best because it will allow excess moisture to escape through its walls as well as through the drainage holes. Provide your plant with lots of light and periodic watering. Avoid overhead watering, which can cause powdery mildew and other fungal problems on the foliage. Pruning is typically only necessary for overgrown plants to bring them back to a manageable size.


Euphorbia plants prefer a spot in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days, though some species can tolerate part shade. In hot climates, some afternoon shade can be helpful for most species.

All Euphorbias, especially the succulent varieties, need well-draining soil. A sandy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH is best, though most will do fine in slightly alkaline soil as well. When grown in containers, Euphorbia should be planted in a cactus/succulent potting mix.


Water whenever the top couple inches of soil feels dry from spring to fall when the plant is actively growing. During the winter, reduce watering to only when the plant shows signs of wilt.

Temperature and Humidity

Most Euphorbia species can tolerate hot temperatures and prefer a warm environment with average daytime temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold tolerance varies among the species. Some will handle a light frost while others don’t grow well in temperatures below roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity tolerance also varies. It’s important to have good ventilation around the plants if there is high humidity to prevent fungal disease.


Feeding requirements vary by Euphorbia species, but in general all of the plants will benefit from some fertilizer. Adding compost or a balanced organic fertilizer to a new plant will help to promote healthy growth. Then, many Euphorbia species will do fine with a weak liquid fertilizer applied throughout the growing season. Container plants typically need more feeding than ones grown in the ground. And a plant that develops yellowing leaves at the bottom is one that's in need of feeding.

Euphorbia Species, River Euphorbia


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 6, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a columnar African species that can form thickets of spiny, impenatable plnat material. Common landscape plant in southern California but needs to be cut back frequently or gets to be a big mess. The other 'similar' species include Euphorbia trigona, and compact, extremely upright grower with much larger leaves and smaller overall size Euphorbia angularis- also a smaller plant, but with very irregular and varying diameter along 'columns' and some degree of variegation- columns are very thin and somewhat rubbery in texture relative to E triangularis Euphorbia grandicornis- a much larger plant with huge thorns and extremely variable 'columns/branches' in terms of shape and diameter Euphorbia pseudocactus is not always 3-sided, and its smaller, with striking variegation and stou. read more t spines. there are more, but those are the most commonly grown in cultivation here in the US that can be confused with E triangularis.

Many Euphorbias are 'triangular' in cross section and this species can be confused with these others just from the name. This one is a large species, eventually forming into a tree with a cylindrical woody trunk and large upright 'branches' that eventually get too heavy and collapse, either tearing off, or just hanging down. The ones that tear off have a tendency to root in place, and new plants, and a thicket, start that way.

Paired 1/2" spines project laterally and up, and are very sharp and thin, making this plant a danger to trim without gloves.

Leaves are 'tongue-like' and very small, showing up in wet times of the year when it's warm (late summer to fall in southern California if watered well. rarely if at all if not watered well) and show up at each spine, curling downward about 1cm.

Flowers are yellow-green and appear in fall.


SERIES 17 | Episode 25

The genus Euphorbia is a large one. It has about 2,000 species of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees and includes spiny cactus and showy perennials.

A characteristic of Euphorbias are the showy bracts. These are a leaf, modified to look like flowers and help attract pollinators. But the real flower is called a cyathia and is the tiny group of true flowers right in the middle.

One of the most common Euphorbias is known as Crown of Thorns or Euphorbia milii. These plants are native to Madagascar and, as the name implies, are covered in thorns. Crown of Thorns usually flowers on the new growth, which means you get a mass of flowers through spring, into summer and autumn, and even through winter. The Thais have done extensive breeding of Crown of Thorns to produce showier, larger bracts, almost the size of a hydrangea flower. These range in colour from white, through to yellow, apricot and cherry red.

Crown of Thorns might not be your thing - you might not go for plants with sharp thorns - but there are plenty of other Euphorbias that aren't such prickly customers.

Euphorbias are the most incredible family. They look nothing like each other and their diversity is amazing. The deciduous Euphorbia 'Firesticks' gets a gorgeous winter colour. Euphorbia trigona looks like a cactus and look out for the purple leaf form called 'Red Devil'. Euphorbia mauritanica is a lovely shrub which gets to 1 metre and is covered in starry flowers. And they are all drought tolerant because of their succulent stems.

Euphorbias are the chameleons of the plant world. Petty Spurges are perfect for a cottage garden. A problem with that style of garden is people often choose plants that use too much food and water - so it's not really the style itself that's the problem but the plants. Euphorbias are the perfect cottage garden plant. For example Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii is a lovely perennial to 1 metre and gets beautiful lime green flowers, a lot like hellebores. Creeping Spurge, or Euphorbia myrsinites is a really pretty ground cover and will spill over the edge and soften the front of a rockery. Euphorbia dulcis 'Chameleon' is known for its stunning winter foliage - the leaves turn a lovely rich purple.

Euphorbias enjoy a sunny or part shaded position in well drained, moist soil. Their cold tolerance varies depending on the species. Some like a sheltered spot and some will even tolerate frost. The more highly succulent species are generally frost tender and will need protection.

Propagate from cuttings in spring or summer, but ensure the succulent species dry out and callous over and completely stop bleeding before placing them in barely damp sand.

Remember to wear gloves when handling all Euphorbias because they have white milky sap which can cause skin irritations. Even accidentally rubbing your hands into your eyes can cause temporary blindness.

The Poinsettia is also a Euphorbia - Euphorbia pulcherrima. The great thing about Euphorbias is that they're really hardy. Being poisonous, they're rarely attacked by insects, and they bring winter colour to the garden in even the dullest of spaces.

Watch the video: Euphorbia amygdaloides, amazing lime colors in the border