When To Plant Euphorbia

The plant genus Euphorbia (Euphorbia spp.) contains more than 2,000 species. Around 1,200 of them are succulents, some of which have odd shapes and broad, mushy leaves, while others remarkably resemble cactus and have spines. The genus’ plants are frequently referred to as spurge or euphorbia by growers.

With repeated additions and deletions of species and subgenera, Euphorbia is a somewhat ambiguous genus. The genus contains species that are annual, perennial, and biennial. There are species of herbaceous plants, woody shrubs, as well as deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. The presence of a milky white sap in the plants is the defining trait among the species.

Most of the euphorbia species utilized for landscaping or as indoor plants are succulents with interesting forms and foliage, but a handful are also prized for their blooms. The poinsettia is one of the most well-known euphorbia species that is not a succulent.

The majority of euphorbias flower in the spring or summer and hibernate over the winter. Most species should be planted in the spring, when the risk of frost has gone, however houseplants can usually be started at any time. The growth rates of the species range from slowly to rather swiftly.

Euphorbia is poisonous to dogs, cats, and humans in all forms. Each plant species has a different amount of toxicity.

Where would be the ideal location to plant a Euphorbia?

In general, euphorbias need a sunny location and rich, well-drained soil. Light types, meanwhile, can tolerate some shade and do well as ground cover around shrubs and trees.

How to plant euphorbias

Dig a deep hole when planting euphorbias that have been cultivated in pots and fill it with compost or leaf mould. Euphorbia should be planted firmly, then it should be watered well and mulched to keep moisture in and weeds out.

Here, Monty Don proposes two exceptional euphorbia species and provides planting instructions. Additionally, he offers advice on how to grow euphorbias from cuttings.

How to care for euphorbias

As long as the growing environment is favorable, euphorbias don’t need feeding or special care. After the blooms have faded, blooming stems should be pruned. However, gloves must always be used when working with euphorbias because their milky sap is hazardous if consumed and irritates the skin and eyes.

How to propagate euphorbias

Euphorbias can be grown by taking springtime cuttings. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the sap.

By collecting cuttings of Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii in the spring, you can learn how simple and gratifying euphorbia propagation is. Monty Don offers advice on how to maintain the cuttings’ viability, plant them, and shield your hands from the irritating sap:

Is Euphorbia winter-hardy?

My new succulents, which I planted in containers over the course of last summer, have practically turned to mush as a result of the most recent cold spell, Howard writes.

The succulents’ growing zones in my garden saw temperatures as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do any succulents have the ability to withstand colder temperatures? What can I do going forward to prevent freezing damage to the plants? Additionally, do you have any helpful suggestions for extra growing techniques? I’m not prepared to give up on the “succulent challenge” just yet.

I spoke with Charolett Baron, an expert succulent and cactus aficionado, and I inquired about how her collection of succulents had fared through our abnormally cold conditions.

She also revealed some of the hard lessons she had to learn about cultivating succulents after she too lost some of her favorite specimens in a prior cycle of extremely cold temps.

Here are some of her tips for choosing succulents that can withstand freezing weather as well as what she does to safeguard her collection of succulents and cacti:

She has discovered that the agave, “After Glow,” is more tolerant of freezing temperatures and that the yucca, “Wall Bright Star,” is resilient to 0 degrees. These examples were discovered by Baron at Petaluma’s Cottage Gardens.

Specimens with variegation appear to be less robust. Frost is not tolerated by euphorbias. Despite the fact that they are supposedly hardy to, say, 30 degrees, container plants are more sensitive to lower temperatures.

Crassula sarcocaulis can withstand temperatures as low as 10. Hens and chicks, often known as sempervivums, can endure freezing temperatures. Stonecrops, commonly known as sedums, survive the freezing temperatures with little obvious damage.

Baron advises covering ALL of your succulent plants in breathable, frost-protective cloth that enables moisture and sunlight to pass through.

Although they must be removed during the day, thin sheets thrown over the plant in cold weather also works nicely.

Place the containers in sheltered spots like eaves. Wait until the weather warms up before going out on the water.

Run some low-voltage lights in your mini-greenhouse or bigger structure for added warmth, and keep the pots lightly covered in floating row covers—a frost-protective material—until no longer necessary.

Finally, her own succulent plants have survived because she covered them, including those in her greenhouse, in the ground, and in pots.

When the temperature dropped to 28 degrees, the sedums, sempervivums, Orostachys, Senecio mandraliscae, Crassula cocinea ‘Campfire,’ Rhodiela, and Aloe nobilis in my garden were unharmed.

Read the plant label before buying succulents because it will usually indicate whether or not the plant is cold-hardy. Some species within a given genus may be more resilient than others.

A protracted rainy period like the one we had will also reduce hardiness, as will the number of days with low temperatures.

The slightly more fragile succulent variety can be successfully grown by readers who live in a warmer area.

Surprisingly, visiting nearby neighbors who have had little to no plant frost damage will also assist you choose which succulents will do well in your own garden.

“Succulent Container Gardens, Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants” by Debra Lee Baldwin is a fantastic resource for all succulent fans.

This book provides answers to many queries regarding the cultural requirements of succulents, the hardiness of specific plants, and attractive container arrangements that use color, texture, and size that are appropriate for each container.

What distinguishes a yucca from an agave in terms of appearance, queries Cynthia?

Yuccas are mounding succulents that grow 2 to 3 feet tall and feature spiky foliage with stringy hairs along the margins. In the early or middle summer, they produce flowers on stalks.

Agaves grow in clumps and have leaves that are about 18 inches long, 3 inches wide, and have sharp, pointed points. Agaves, commonly referred to as century plants, don’t flower often, but when they do, it’s usually on stalks that extend several feet above the clump of foliage.

Is it acceptable to graft a citrus tree onto a camellia? asks Jess S. If it is not required, avoid removing the camellia’s root system.

Is Euphorbia a perennial plant?

In the fall, cut the entire plant back to the ground. After flowering, perennial herbaceous euphorbia require deadheading. Before the first frost, cut the plant back to the ground so that it won’t come back the following year.

Can Euphorbia be grown outdoors?

  • 1.Poinsettia: Popular Christmastime plants include poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima). During the holiday season, you may buy these potted plants in brilliant red at florists and garden retailers. Bracts, which are modified colored leaves that also exist in yellow, white, and pink variations, are a feature of poinsettias. With careful care, a poinsettia you receive as a gift can survive your Christmas tree and blossom again the following winter.
  • 2. Crown of thorns: Also known as Christ plant or Christ thorn, the crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is a low-maintenance plant that adapts well to both indoor and outdoor environments. Green leaves and tiny, vibrant blooms are features of crown of thorn plants. A milky sap is released when the plant’s sharp, prickly stems and branches are damaged. You should be aware that crown of thorns have a high level of toxicity and can be dangerous to both animals and people if consumed if you’re thinking of keeping one indoors.
  • 3. Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Efanthia’ wood spurge: This species of wood spurge is an evergreen herbaceous perennial that is distinguished by its chartreuse, yellow-green flowers.

Are euphorbias contagious?

The ideal plant for growing beneath large trees is Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, one of the few species that grows in poor, dry soil in shadow. It grows through subterranean runners and finally forms a low carpet that smothers weeds. From spring to early summer, it produces erect spikes of lime green blooms in contrast to the dark glossy leaves. It serves as a good evergreen foil all year long for other shade-loving plants. It has received The Royal Horticultural Society’s esteemed Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Grow Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae in partially to completely shaded, well-drained soil. Trim back fading flower stems in the fall. Every spring, as part of routine border maintenance, remove undesirable seedlings.

Wear gloves whenever handling euphorbias. The creamy sap irritates the skin.

How are euphorbias made bushy?

One of the uncommon succulents that can bloom for the majority of the year is the Crown of Thorns plant. It also happens to be one of the easiest plants to cultivate indoors because it likes warm environments just like humans do.

Its strong, thorny stems are covered in bright-green leaves. As a plant matures, its lower leaves will fall off naturally and won’t regrow. You can cut your plant back by half in the spring if it becomes too tall and lanky. It will splinter off as a result of this. This succulent will become bushy and lush because new stems will develop from where the pruning cuts were made below.

Its flowers are really bracts that endure for a few weeks and put on a consistent display of color for months. They come in vivid pink, salmon, peach, red, white, or yellow bracts.

More flowers, even bigger ones, are produced by modern hybrids than ever before. When they receive enough light, Crown of Thorns consistently bloom. Typically, spring and summer are the greatest times to see a lot of blossoms. With enough of bright light, you can, however, keep this peculiar succulent in bloom well into the fall.

Give the winter season to Crown of Thorns. The plant will develop more slowly in the fall because of the shorter daylight hours. During the winter, place your plant in a cooler location with sunlight and give it only occasional waterings. (See the instructions below for “Temperature” and “Water”).

They prefer slightly dry, sandy soil and are drought-tolerant and simple to grow. This succulent requires less watering than other house plants because it retains water in its thick stalks, just like a cactus. Reduce watering if the leaves turn yellow and drop off.

WARNING: When touching this plant, use strong gloves because the thorns are very sharp! Watch out for its milky, toxic sap as well, which can irritate your lips, eyes, and skin.

How much cold can Euphorbia stand?

The majority of euphorbia species can withstand extreme heat and really prefer it when the average daytime temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Each species has a different threshold for cold. Others don’t grow well in temperatures below around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while some can tolerate a slight frost.

How does euphorbia survive the winter?

The sensitive perennial Euphorbia “Diamond Frost” is frequently used in pot and container displays. It can be planted in large groups for dramatic effect or alone to compliment other plants with its frothy foliage and flowers.

This dependable plant blooms for a very long time, from late spring until the first autumnal frosts. Additionally, it doesn’t require deadheading, and as the weather rises, you’ll discover that it is drought-tolerant.

Grow Euphorbia “Diamond Frost” in rich, moist, well-drained soil in either full sun or light shade for the greatest results. Either treat it like an annual and compost it once it has reached the end of its useful life, or overwinter it by relocating it to a bright, frost-free location.

What should I grow beside a euphorbia plant?

This class act provides frothy flower bracts all summer long in addition to an impressive architectural structure and colorful foliage. Additionally, there is one for every circumstance, including scorching, dry soil, bogs, shaded woods, and patio pots.

While the sculpture-like, blue-tinged subspecies wulfenii looks wonderful as a statement plant in a Mediterranean-style planting scheme, Euphorbia characias and carex or sedge make a perfect, contemporary combination for patios.

E. griffithii “Fireglow” would happily run around in soggy soil and turn out to be a good bedfellow for the red-flushed astilbes and rodgersias with bronze leaves.

Allow plants to spread out organically, just removing any dead stems as they emerge. Always use gloves when handling them since the sap, which stings when a stem is snapped and flows excessively, is irritating.