Pruning Euphorbia

heckaboreJanuary 10, 2008

I have some Euphorbia that I planted last year: the regular E. characias, that I see everywhere, and some cute little E. Dean's Hybrid, that I bought at Heather Farms Garden in Walnut Creek.

After they finished blooming, I cut off the flowers and the plants are doing OK, but E. characias looks pretty forlorn right now, and E. Dean's Hybrid has many tiny shoots at soil level while the old shoots are completely dead-looking. How do I encourage more shoots to come up? Do I prune out the dead-looking shoots on E. Dean's Hybrid? These plants look great near my purple Berberis, and I want to make sure they are as healthy as possible.


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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Remove the older stems down to the ground to make room for the new shoots.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 10:55PM
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slave2thefur(san diego - north coast)

Be careful pruning Euphorbias - the sap can give you a severe rash (contact dermititis) that lasts for weeks.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:35AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

It's very much like Salvia leucantha. When you see the new growth coming in at the base you can cut all the old growth off and the plant is completely renewed and looks beautiful again.

And as slave2thefur said, wear gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from the sap, just in case.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I put on my thickest gloves and cut out all the dead looking stuff. I also cut out some stalks that flowered last year, although they look healthy, in hopes of encouraging some new shoots.

What about composting this stuff? Would the latex/sap cause any problems if I added the euphorbia stalks/leaves to my pile?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:37PM
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