Growing euphorbia plants and care guide to getting the most out of your plants

Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission when you buy through links on our site.

Growing euphorbia plants and care guide to getting the most out of your plants

Growing euphorbia plants and care guide to getting the most out of your plants

Last Updated on

Euphorbia comprises a large genus of plants inside of which are over 2,000 species so there is literally an endless choice of varieties. Of these, around 1,200 are succulent species that provide some of the most remarkable shapes and look very similar to cacti. They are cultivated because of the range of foliage in architectural shapes they have but only a few are known for the flowers they produce. Those that do produce flowers bloom in the spring or summer and tend to go into dormancy come winter.

Of these non-succulent varieties, the euphorbias are deciduous and the most popular flowering varieties include the traditional Christmas Poinsettia, the poinsettia as grown by most people over Christmas as well as the familiar milkweed also known as Euphorbia peplus.

Hardy poinsettias for rockeries and flower beds

Most of the succulent varieties are not very hardy so they do better in the UK when grown indoors but there are also many hardy rockery varieties too. There are many perennial varieties that provide much-needed winter colour with many being evergreen while some die back for winter before emerging again in spring, these perennial Euphorbia are what most Uk growing will likely want to plant which include varieties such as EUPHORBIA amygdaloides purpura and EUPHORBIA characias.

Easy to care for

Whether flowering or not, euphorbias are quite simple to care for and they require very little care and maintenance once they get established. Once established they are incredibly self-sufficient and won’t die from very much besides from too much care or too much watering.

Regular care

Beautiful blooming wood spurge in March

Plant euphorbia in full sun to partial shade

Euphorbias require areas with full sun but they do tolerate partial shade, especially the woodland varieties. If you have a flowering euphorbia, full sun is a necessity to get the most out of the flowers. If you don’t give it full sun, the plant will put all of its resources and energy into maintaining itself rather than flowering which effectively defeats the purpose of having a flowering variety in the first place, that being said the foliage of many varieties is equally stunning.

Even though there is very little you have to do to care for the plant, there are some specific requirements to give them the best chance of thriving.

Watering euphorbia

Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’

First, unlike other succulents, euphorbia does not tolerate long drought so you need to keep an eye on watering, especially when grown in pots. You’ll have to water your plants sometimes weekly during the summer months. Effectively you want to water whenever the soil becomes dry in on surface being careful not to overwater. Once you note that it’s dry enough, water it deeply but don’t let it sit in the water because this can lead to root rot.

Feeding euphorbia

To help them get established when you first plant them or during their growing season you can add organic matter like compost or fertilizer such as bone meal or fish blood and bone into the soil. If you are growing your euphorbia in a container, you can give it a half-strength fertilizer on a monthly basis.

Vitax 1.25Kg Blood Fish and Bone Fertiliser
  • Contains nitrogen and phosphate, with added potash for strong root development
  • Improved ripening and healthy growth of fruit and vegetables.
  • With added potash for strong root development

Pests and diseases

The good news is, euphorbia are typically problem-free. Very few animals want to contend with the spiky needles or the Milky sap there are known for. It’s worth noting that the milky sap can irritate the skin so always wear gloves when cutting them back or taking cuttings.

Mealybugs and spider mites


However, there are a few bugs that have taken a liking to euphorbia which mealybugs and spider mites being the most common pests and they will feed on your plant until such time as it eventually dies. These insects increase in numbers very rapidly so it’s imperative that you catch the problem early on and rectify it by spraying the plants with a pesticide spray.

Provanto 84436674 Ultimate Bug Killer RTU 1L
  • Up to 2 weeks control of a wide range of pests
  • Rapid action and long-lasting protection
  • Use on flowers and a wide range of edibles
  • Targets lily beetle, whitefly, scale, greenfly, red spider mite, blackfly, mealybug, thrips and leaf hopper
  • Use outdoors and indoors

Root rot

As mentioned, they are susceptible to root rot. This really only happens when the plants are in wet soil for too long. By having well-draining soil in limiting the watering until such time as it’s dry enough to require it, you can avoid this. Dig plenty of organic matter and grit into the soil if there area does sometimes become waterlogged before planting.


There are some issues of mildew if you have bad air circulation. You can correct this by changing the growing conditions to provide better airflow around your euphorbia before you resort to a fungicide but it bad cases try to improve air circulation and spray the plant with a fungicide.

FungusClear Ultra 225ml
  • Systemic protection and control of blackspot, powdery mildew and rust
  • Use on roses and other flowering or ornamental plants
  • Protects new growth and protects plants for over 3 months, when used at intervals recommended in usage instructions
  • Use between March to September
  • Apply using a garden pressure sprayer washed before and after use


Euphorbia usually falls onto 3 pruning categories, evergreen varieties just need the flowering trimming when they have finished and turned brown. Varieties with biennial stems which means they flower on the stems in the second year just need to flowering stems cutting back to ground level in autumn. Finally, deciduous varieties which die back for winter need all the stems cutting back to ground level in autumn, ideally before the first frost.

Read our detailed guide on pruning euphorbias with examples of varieties and which pruning method to use.

Propagating euphorbia 

Euphorbia cuttings growing well
Euphorbia cuttings growing well

If you have a successful euphorbia plant that you want to propagate, you can technically propagate from seed but this is very difficult to do. The most common way to propagate is by taking cuttings. Be cautious of the fact that the cuttings ooze a sticky, milky white sap that is an irritant to the skin and the eyes as already mentioned so it’s important that you wear gloves during this process.

Some of our favourite varieties:

  • Euphorbia Grandialata will start out in an upright growth and eventually spread into a thorny bush with coral red flower bracts in the summer.
  • Euphorbia lactea has fan-like branches with black spines.
  • Euphorbia milii is a thorny, bushy plant that provides floral bracts of red, orange, yellow, and white throughout the year.
  • Euphorbia obesa is round and plump and it has reddish Stripes. It tolerates some shade.
  • Euphorbia symmetrica is a smaller, round subspecies of the euphorbia obesa.
Bestseller No. 3
Botanicly - Succulent Plants/Cacti – Cactus Plant (Euphorbia Ingens) - 70 cm Tall House Plant
  • This indoor cactus plant is one of these tall house plants, which comes with a height of 70 cm.
  • Succulent plants/cacti are beautiful creatures of nature. This cactus plant makes e.g. a perfect 30th birthday gifts for men!
  • The tall house plant (Euphorbia Ingens) comes in a pot size of 19 cm
  • Partial sun is ideal for this Euphorbia Ingens cactus plant, for succulent plants and cacti in general
  • Men know this indoor cactus plant from Westerns movies, which makes these tall house plants e.g. perfect 30th birthday gifts for men
Bestseller No. 4
Snow on The Mountain Seeds - Euphorbia marginata -
  • All of the seeds sold in our shop come from the best producers in the European Union. Thanks to many years of cooperation, we have developed the most appropriate conditions for storing and distributing fresh and precisely tested batches of seeds, always! Eliminating middlemen in the whole process not only makes it possible for us to avoid the problem of sending out old seeds, which have been lying on the shelves in warehouses for many months, but also guarantees the highest quality for products.
  • All of our seeds pass through a four-stage quality control process. STAGE ONE consists of carefully selecting producers as well as controlling their crops, including foreign producers. Plants are not only checked when they start to grow, but also during blooming and bearing. It is important at this stage to ensure spatial isolation, thanks to which we can be certain of obtaining the desired morphological characteristics of each particular species, such as colour, height and shape.
  • STAGE TWO consists of performing high precision tests in laboratory conditions. Thanks to the use of the highest quality equipment, and also thanks to highly qualified staff, our suppliers perform more than 30,000 quality tests annually. STAGE THREE consists of sowing seeds in control plots. We obtain precise information concerning their germination, which must be maintained at an appropriately high level. Simultaneously, the varietal identity of each species is checked at this stage.
  • STAGE FOUR is performed in our warehouses and consists of rejecting seeds which have been lying for too long on our shelves and replacing them with new batches. Each packet is stamped with an appropriate batch number and also with the sow-by-date. All four stages make it possible for us to state with confidence that the seeds we are selling comply with the highest standards and have passed through all possible control stages without problems.
  • Prizes and awards! The seeds we sell are widely recognised and have won many awards. They have won numerous gold medals and also prizes for their high quality and for the application of innovation. Some of these awards are: TOP INNOVATION (June 2015), GOLD MEDAL AT THE INTERNATIONAL FAIR (2015), CONSUMER QUALITY LEADER (2014), FARMER OF THE YEAR (2014). Non-GMO Seeds!
Bestseller No. 5
FloraStore - Cactus Euphorbia Ingens (Cowboy Cactus) (1x), Height 70 cm, Pot Size 19 cm, House Plant
  • This beautiful branched Euphorbia Ingens is excellent to its right to a beautiful place in a room or office. This euphorbia also fits well in a modern interior. He attracts all his attention through his whimsical shapes.
  • Shipping height: ca. 19 CM.
  • Pot Size: 19 CM.
  • Daily fresh from grower.
  • Special shipping resistant packaging.
Bestseller No. 7
Plant World Seeds - Euphorbia Characias Characias Seeds
  • Genuine Plant World Seeds branded packets supplied direct from Plant World Seeds UK
  • Height: 60-90cm
  • Packet content (approximately): 20+
  • Probably the most popular and long-lived of all spurges, this old favourite produces strong stems of evergreen, blue-green leaves which terminate in extended narrow heads of bright yellow flowers. One of the easiest, long-lived and trouble-free plants you can grow.
Bestseller No. 8
  • Item Package Quantity:1
  • We are selling seeds only not plants
  • Attracts bees, deer and rabbit resistant. Drought and air pollution resistant. Easy Care. Plants form an upright, bushy mound, the stems surrounded with leathery blue-green leaves that remain evergreen.
  • International Shipment
Bestseller No. 9
Plant World Seeds - Euphorbia Oblongata Seeds
  • Genuine Plant World Seeds branded packets supplied direct from Plant World Seeds UK
  • Common Name: Syn. Euphorbia Corallioides palustris zauberflote. Eggleaf spurge. Oblong spurge.
  • Height: 45-60cm
  • Packet content (approximately): 20
  • Too rarely seen or grown, the "Coral Spurge" a non-running clump former, has dazzling yellow flowers and bracts in dense profusion on massed wiry stems. These are produced from earliest spring until early winter, making this fabulous and attractive plant one of the longest-flowering and valuable of commercial cut flowers too. It is synonymous or very similar to Euphorbia Corallioides, the two species being to all intent and purpose indistinguishable when grown together.
Bestseller No. 10
Choice of Green - Euphorbia erytrea Cactus in - Desert Cactus - Live Indoor Plant in Growers Pot Diameter 19 cm - Height 70 cm - Quality from Holland - Fresh from The Grower
  • GREEN PLANTS This greenplant is known to have an air-purifying effect indoors. Perfect for poorly ventilated areas and in the bedroom.
  • EASY CARE! Water the top inch of soil of the Live Green Plant once the soil feels dry. Never allow the soil to become saturated. Easy care plants are fairly drought tolerant.
  • LOVES INDOOR LIGHT: Green plants happily grow in medium to bright light. If set in direct light, use a sheer curtain to protect the plant.
  • REAP HEALTH BENEFITS: Studies show that raising plants such as Palm plants house plant help clear indoor air of pollutants. Having plants in your home improves your mood, sparks your creativity, and reduces stress.
  • ENJOY LIVING HOME DÉCOR: Green house plants add Healty atmosphere to your home, porch, or office. They grow slowly, so there?s no need to prune or shape. The blooms last for weeks. Keep this plant for yourself or give as a gift!

Last update on 2020-05-26 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

No comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.