Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Plant Profile: Euphorbia aka Spurge

Euphorbia Plant Profile

Euphorbia (Euphorbia spp.) also known as spurge is an easy-care perennial plant that deserves a place in your garden. Aside from being low-maintenance, it is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and long-blooming. 

It is hardy to zones 4-10. Euphorbia prefers full to part sun and well-draining soils. Some plants are short-lived and need to be dug and divided every few years. Euphorbia is also easy to propagate by taking stem cuttings, stripping off the lower leaves, and rooting them in a soilless potting mix.

The common garden spurge is in the same family (Euphorbiaceae) as poinsettia, croton, castor oil plant, and several kinds of succulents. One thing you will notice that many have in common is they exude a white milky sap when a stem is broken. Be careful when pruning them as this sap can be a skin irritant and harmful if you get it in your eyes.

Like their poinsettia cousin, the spurge’s so-called flowers are actually modified leaves called bracts. These stay on for a long time and lend great color appeal to these decorative plants.

Spurge are available in colors ranging from bright chartreuse to deep burgundy.  Popular varieties include ‘Ascot Rainbow’, ‘Glacier Blue’, and ‘Polychroma’.

Euphorbia - You Can Grow That!


The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz


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