Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Euphorbia, Spurge


Euphorbias come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny golf balls to spiny shrubs. They add striking architectural forms, excellent contrasts and flashy summer colours. Growing tips: The above like light, free-draining soil with plenty of sun. E. amygdaloides, E. griffithii and E. schillingii need moister, richer ground with a bit of shade Division All hardy euphorbias that die back in winter can be divided in early spring as the new growth starts to emerge. Shrubby or evergreen forms can be boosted by cuttings taken from young shoots in early summer, being grown on in a cold frame or greenhouse. To prevent excessive loss of the white sap when cut, insert the cutting into a pot of gritty compost immediately. Safety tips Spurges were once used in medicine for the purgative qualities of the poisonous white sap. Wear gloves when handling them.

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