Growing Euphorbia Flowers
Discover Euphorbia’s Interesting Growing Secrets
Euphorbia is a genus of plants that belong to the family Euphobiaceae.
It is among the most diverse genera in the plant kingdom with a little over 2000 species, including the euphorbia milii and euphorbia tirucalli. In fact, it is only believed to be exceeded only by Senecio. Most member of the family Euphobiaceae and genus Euphorbia are commonly known as Spurges. The common name “spurge” comes from the Old French/Middle English word spurge which means “to purge”. This is due to the plant’s sap which is popularly used as a purgative or laxative.
The botanical name Euphorbia comes from Euphorbus who was the physician of Numidia’s king Juba II. He was one of the first physicians who wrote about specific Euphorbias that can be used as laxative. In 12 B.C, the king Juba II named this plant after Euphorbus. Eventually, the entire genus was named Euphorbia in the famous physician’s honor.
Euphorbia includes annuals, perennial herbs, shrubs and trees that have a corrosive and poisonous milky sap. Many are succulent and can either be thorny or unarmed. The deciduous leaves can either be alternate, opposite or in whorls. All spurges produce unisexual flowers.
Euphorbia Plant Propagation
Euphorbia is usually propagated by seed or cuttings. However, most growers prefer to propagate by cuttings as this can be done a lot easier. Even the most seasoned gardeners experience some kind of difficulty when propagating Euphorbia plants by seed.
Always remember to use a sharp and sterile knife when taking cuttings. After taking cuttings, the wound should be doused with cold water in order to wash away the milky sap or latex. The cutting should be allowed to dry out for a few days. Before sticking it into the growing medium, it is very important to strip the leaves from the bottom part at around an inch from the bottom.
For best results, dust the euphorbia cutting with rooting hormone (preferably 0.1% naphthyl acetic acid) before pressing it into the soil. This will help the plant produce healthier and stronger roots. Also, avoid placing the plant in an area with direct sunlight before the plant establishes a mature root system. It is advisable to wear gloves when taking euphorbia cuttings because the latex can cause skin irritation.
How to Grow The Euphorbia Plant
Euphorbia plants prefer full sun and well-draining soil. Remember to add some organic fertilizer to the planting hole. Don’t overdo the application of fertilizer, it should only be light. Also, remember to place the plants at the same depth they were in when growing in the containers. Spacing should be around 10-12 inches apart for ideal results.
Keep in mind that choosing your Euphorbia plant at the nursery is one of the most important parts. Choose plants that look healthy and show signs of new growth in terms of leaves and flower buds. This will ensure that the plant is strong and will not die easily. For best results, it is recommended to apply a small amount of organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks. During extended dry spells, water well until the soil is completely moist. Once established, Euphorbia plants usually grow well even without much attention.