When To Divide Euphorbia

Euphorbias seldom ever need to be fed. If the soil is rich or plants receive too much food, they frequently grow lush and leggy.


Portion Euphrobia that have a permanent framework of branches will require deadheading after flowering, or if the entire stem that was flowering starts to die back, you can clip out some of the branches at the base. A good dome of brief, unflowered stems or shoots will remain, and they’ll bloom the next year. E. characias subsp. wulfenii and E. myrsinites are two examples.

E. amygdaloides var. robbiae is an evergreen groundcover that can be deadheaded in the summer to tidy up clumps by shearing off spent flower stems.


Mulching borders is a great strategy to prevent weed growth and water evaporation. For typical garden growing conditions, this could be done with organic materials; however, if growing the silvery and grey species in a Mediterranean planting scheme, this might be done with gravel.

See our section on Deadheading in Ongoing Care above for more information on how pruning is typically done. Herbaceous plants, however, will die back throughout the winter, so you can tidy up the plant by removing any old, brown, or dead-looking stems.

These are multiplied through division. As you’ll do this right after flowering, it will happen in late spring for the earliest blossoming. The optimum time to divide anything that blooms later in the summer is in the spring when plants are just starting to grow.

Softwood cuttings are used to reproduce these shrubby-appearing euphorbias, especially the ones that grow stems one year and bloom the following year. In the early spring, use the young, short shoots at the base. E. characias and its relatives, E. myrsinites, and E. mellifera are excellent choices.

Although cultivars cannot be grown from seed and the seedlings will have somewhat different behaviors and colors, species can be grown from seed. When capsules become brown, gather the seed.

How are Euphorbia plants divided?

Cuttings of euphorbia should be handled carefully because many species release an unpleasant milky latex when they are cut. According to Brittanica, this latex was actually employed as a laxative, which is why the plant is known as spurges because of its purgative properties. While still belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family, plants in the genus Jatropha produce a clear sap that is irritant rather than a milky latex. Some euphorbia species also produce poisonous seeds.

Wear gloves if you are taking euphorbia cuttings. The best way to propagate Euphorbia polychroma is through division in the spring. After carefully removing the plant from the ground with a garden fork, cut the clumps into more manageable pieces by hand. Seeds can also be used for the propagation of Euphorbia polychroma. Harvest seeds in the fall, stratify them through the bitter winter, and then plant them for spring germination.

When ought Euphorbia to be pruned?

Trim away any winter damage as soon as spring arrives. In order to prevent disease and pest infestation, it is a recommended grooming practice to remove dead and broken stems from the plant’s base. Some cultivars require the removal of all old growth at the base as they die to the ground each winter in order to reappear from the roots.

Only the tips of stems that sprouted the previous year are where the majority of euphorbia species bloom. Throughout the spring and summer, trim back euphorbia stems to their base right after bloom to ensure that the plant doesn’t become overloaded and produces flowers on a regular basis. Use clean hand pruners to cut off a blossoming stem at the base as it begins to turn yellow, and then compost the clippings. Pinch the tips of kinds that have a tendency to become lanky and flop over as they get taller when new stems emerge. Shorter stems are the consequence, which are better able to support blooms.

When is it safe to transplant euphorbia?

The perennial spurge (euphorbia polychroma) has vivid yellow bract-like flowers. Because of its compact growth patterns, it is also known as cushion spurge. Approximately 12 to 18 inches in height and almost that width are the dimensions of mature plants.

Although there are many types of spurge, I think the euphorbia polychroma is the most beautiful.

The eye-catching yellow spurge blooms at the same time as certain bulbs, forget-me-nots, and creeping phlox. If it is placed close to the creeping phlox, it creates a stunning contrast.

Spurge thrives in direct sunlight. The majority of soil types will yield attractive plants, but the soil must be well-drained. It can endure some levels of drought. The bracts are there for a few weeks before turning a velvety green tint. I trim the plant a little before it sets seed. As a result, seeds won’t develop and the plant will look well-mounded.

To prevent weed growth and maintain consistently wet soil, it is a good idea to mulch the plant with leaves.

Give this plant a dedicated area. Avoid placing it close to high-growing plants that could shield it from sunlight. Because it self-seeds, some people think this plant is invasive, however over the years, my one large plant has only given rise to three volunteers. They are fortunately growing in two distinct flower beds, which is ideal. Make sure to shear the plant before seeds develop if you don’t want more plants to sprout up.

One yellow spurge specimen may be planted, or several specimens may be planted together. Many plants look good when used as a border. It can be be cultivated in rock gardens and in pots. I favor placing this plant in a flower bed as an accent plant.

This spurge type is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and needs minimal fertilizer. The plant will grow lanky if there is too much fertilizer applied.

It is hazardous if consumed, thus caution is advised. When working with this plant, it has been advised that the gardener wear gloves and long sleeves because the milky sap might irritate the skin.

Deer and rabbits dislike the flavor of this plant, which is a highly positive trait.

Cut all the stems to two inches above the ground in the fall. As the buds for the following year are developing at the base of the plant, do not cut the stems any lower.

If you want this specific spurge, maybe a friend will gift it to you. Small transplants should be placed in the garden with care and given frequent watering until they get established. Early spring or the fall are the best times to perform transplants.

Euphorbia polychroma spurge is a wonderful addition to your landscape. You’ll smile from the bright yellow color, and guests will be astounded by its attractiveness.

Should I prune my Euphorbia once it blooms?

Euphorbias are a lovely addition to any garden since they add color in the spring and summer and have attractively shaped foliage. They also have vivid, colorful bracts.

Some evergreen euphorbias just require their faded blooms to be trimmed back once they have finished flowering. Others have biennial stems that must be trimmed to the ground after flowering, like several Euphorbia charcacia kinds. Fall is the time to trim down deciduous plants to the ground.

Wear gloves when handling euphorbias because they all have a thick, milky sap that can irritate the skin and eyes.

Euphorbia Care:

Some plants need to be divided or propagated every two to three years, preferably in the early fall or spring, even if they have a short lifespan.

After flowering is complete, many benefit from being severely pruned, at least by one-third. This prevents any free-seeders from taking over and promotes the growth of new, fresh foliage.

Trimming euphorbia:

  • Early in the spring, remove any damaged stems to keep the plant neat and healthy.
  • As soon as the euphorbia blooms, trim the stems at the base.
  • Clip carefully, since new shoots may appear that you wish to preserve.

anything touches your skin because it is a potent irritant. Additionally harmful due to the sap, spurges should be avoided.

euphorbias and yard cats survive for years without trouble, but I don’t have kids or pets.


Check individual entries as perennial euphorbias have varying hardiness, especially in regards to their northern boundaries.

for the plants that are listed here. Some species only have root hardiness further north but are evergreen in southerly zones. Other varieties do well as annuals.

Exposure: Sun or Shade?

Although some euphorbias can take some partial shade, most euphorbias prefer the sun. those with dark purple or reddish coloring

If planted in full sun, the foliage’s coloration will be more dramatic. In fact, just a few species prefer at least dappled.

Others require part shade in the South’s blazing sunshine but can tolerate intense sun in the North, where they can thrive. One option that works well in shadow is Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae.


The ability of spurges to withstand drought is one of its greatest advantages, hence proper drainage is essential.

The “Chameleon” does like more wetness than other animals. Euphorbias are also not fussy about soil, and the majority can

tackle common and sandy circumstances. Fertile soils may promote those varieties that tend to run and spread.

Keeping things lean gives control since people tend to expand beyond their limitations. However, if you want your

Can Euphorbia Polychroma be divided?

Plants can be multiplied in the fall or early spring by division, cuttings, or by spreading ripe seeds.

At the conclusion of the flowering season, take terminal cuttings, or split by dividing the roots in the spring.

Because the cushion spurge doesn’t like to be disturbed, take careful when separating it.

How dangerous is Euphorbia?

The milky secretion of the Euphorbia plant, sometimes known as latex, is extremely poisonous and irritating to the skin and eyes. This study provides an illustration of the range of ocular inflammation brought on by unintentional ingestion of Euphorbia plant latex. Three patients came in with recently developed accidental ocular exposure to milky sap of a Euphorbia species. In all cases, there was a significant burning sensation along with vision blur. Visual acuity decreased to counting fingers from 20/60. Clinical findings ranged from anterior uveitis to secondary increased intraocular pressure, mild to severe corneal edema, epithelial defects, and keratoconjunctivitis. With active supportive treatment, all symptoms and indicators disappeared after 10 to 14 days. When handling euphorbia plants, wear safety goggles. Asking the patient to bring a sample of the plant for identification is usually advisable.

Trees, succulents, and herbaceous plants all belong to the Euphorbiaceae genus.

[1] There are numerous kinds of Euphorbia that can be found growing in the wild or in gardens or homes as cultivated examples. The milky sap or latex is poisonous and can cause severe skin and eye problems. From moderate conjunctivitis to severe kerato-uveitis, ocular toxic response can vary [2]. There are a few case reports of people losing their sight permanently as a result of accidentally putting Euphorbia sap in their eyes. [24] Corneal involvement typically proceeds in a predictable order, with edema getting worse and epithelial sloughing on the second day. [3,5] Some species are thought to be more poisonous than others. [6] The inflammation usually goes away without leaving any aftereffects when it is promptly treated and carefully maintained. Here, we show three instances of ocular toxicity brought on by three distinct Euphorbia species: E. trigona (African milk tree), E. neriifolia (Indian spurge tree), and E. milii (Crown-of-thorns houseplant).

Am I able to transfer my Euphorbia?

I’m Nell. I don’t blame you for wanting to keep and transfer your favorite shrub, Euphorbia c. wulfenii; but, the best suggestion, I’m afraid, is not to try. It is extremely improbable that this Euphorbia will grow successfully because it has a weak root system and does not like to be moved. They also don’t live very long, so it’s better to start over with a new plant in a fresh location, making sure it receives plenty of sunlight and has proper drainage. They do grow quickly, though, and in a few seasons they will become a lovely shrub. the very best Theodora Driver Garden and Landscape Design by Melanie Driver

How are Euphorbia plants replanted?

Do you have any advice for growing a huge E. Trigona? I just don’t understand how to accomplish it.

The more plant mass there is above the soil level, the more potential root mass there may be below.

Euphorbia repotting is challenging. With all those branches slamming against each other as you repot, the likelihood of getting their hazardous corrosive white sap (latex) on you is significant. In order to prevent the branches from scratching one another, we pack between the branches with tightly bunched newspaper while wearing a lot of protective clothes, such as goggles and gloves.

The roots are then cut loose from the pot’s sides using a tool. Lay everything down flat on a ground-level tarp. Gently remove the plant from the pot with two to three people. Succulents’ roots should generally not be disturbed too much, but if they are fully confined within their container, a modest bit of root massage to reroute the root tips is advised.

Put the plant in the new, larger pot (terracotta is recommended) with fresh, fast-draining cactus soil, making sure that the soil line at the top stays in the same position. You’re done once you’ve added extra soil all around. After two weeks of not watering, the plant’s roots should have recovered and should start to flourish once more.

Why are my Euphorbia’s leaves falling off?

The withering and dropping off of the leaves is one of the most frequent problems Euphorbia Trigona owners experience.

We make an effort to avoid being ambiguous when providing assistance, but the truth is that the leaves never appear to last indefinitely, and even somewhat improper care for a brief period can result in this problem. It appears to occur after one of the events listed below.

  • excessive water Leaf drop can be caused by using too much water and failing to let the soil dry out slightly in between waterings. Typically, this indicates that the leaves turn yellow immediately before dropping off.
  • inadequate water The leaves are the first thing to die off when a plant is dehydrated. Before they fall, you can typically anticipate some wilting and brown crisping.
  • Too chilly The plant can withstand some freezing temperatures, although the leaves will probably suffer some damage.

This is a clear sign that your plant is having light problems. However, if you still consider the area to be “bright,” such as if it is immediately next to a window, you might not need to move it.

All young leaves will turn to face the window when light from one direction, such as that from a window, causes only little bending. To keep things balanced, simply rotate the pot 1/4 turn every several weeks.

Without a doubt, if the site is really far from light sources, you can be forced to move it to a position with more sunlight.

The light levels are typically too low if you find that your Euphorbia Trigona has lost some of its markings or that the red colours on the Rubra type are fading. Move to a brighter area or gradually subject it to more intense sunshine to correct this.

New growth often has less distinct patterns and is green. This is typical, so don’t be alarmed.

The vast bulk of the plant’s surface will have a “live” or fleshy appearance. But occasionally corking will take place, leaving the plant’s tissue thicker and with a scabby, brown appearance. The area that is impacted will appear dead and may even be mistaken for an illness.

On elder plants, some corking is completely typical and a natural part of the growing process. However, I would anticipate first noticing this on elder growth.

The browning and damage in the image above are visible at the top of a stem, while the older growth below this point is unharmed.

When this occurs, it is much more likely that sun damage, especially too much sun exposure, is to blame for the browning. Even though it appears “natural,” it might detract from the overall design and cannot be “corrected.”

All you can do is stop it from happening in the first place or, if you already see it happening, stop it from growing worse. Move it right away to a place with greater shade if you see any harm just beginning.

One of my plants with the highest pest resistance. Touch wood—I’ve never had any in my collection! They aren’t frequently seen, and if you do, you should have no trouble handling them.

Visitors have noted that springtails can occasionally be seen in the root ball region, however they are generally not a serious issue. Extremely dry weather may also be a problem for spider mites.

If your African Milk Tree has been sitting in wet soil for a while, root rot can develop rather quickly. In essence, it has been severely overwatered for this to occur.

If you have a tendency to overwater your houseplants, you are not alone. However, use a container with drainage holes, and always wait until the top few inches of soil have dried up before watering again.

There isn’t much you can do if the stems are extremely squishy below the soil line. To produce replacements, think about employing any hard material from higher up the plant.

Combining too much direct sunlight with swimming underwater is the most likely cause. This may result in some really unpleasant damage. Read about these issues (corking) above, and also read our care advice regarding the requirements for light and water. This ought to stop further issues. Leave a comment at the end of the post if you’re still unsure.